Myth: You give spider size in coins

Photo: Shaun Ivory modified by Rod Crawford
Photo: Shaun Ivory modified by Rod Crawford

Myth: The size of spiders should be described in terms of coins.

Fact: I have heard the phrase "it's as big as a silver dollar" from callers countless times. The traditional USA silver dollar was not minted after 1935 and not in general circulation after 1964; I haven't seen one since I was a child. I have no idea how big one is! What's more, I strongly suspect that most of those using them to describe spiders have no real idea of their size either.

Use of more common coins, such as dimes, as size comparison is a little more understandable, but if you're making an inquiry on the Internet, remember that people in other countries don't know how big your country's coins are. Spider size is best stated in centimeters or millimeters, or at least in inches.

Spider Myths

"Everything that 'everybody knows' about spiders is wrong!" —Rod Crawford sets the record straight with Spider Myths.

A spider next to a coin

This Callobius severus is 15 mm long (body), 28 mm (legspan). What is that in quarters, please?
Photo: Shaun Ivory modified by Rod Crawford

A distribution map for two types of spiders

Warning: Don't assume you've seen this spider before you take a look at this map! 

close up of a spider

Spider Myth Resources

Explore even more! Additional spider resources and more myths (poor spiders can't catch a break!).

Photo: Cathy Morris/Burke Museum
Photo: Cathy Morris/Burke Museum