Currently, there have been no spider species discovered with wings, so spiders cannot fly. However, some species of spiders can glide through the air.
The main example of a spider gliding through the air is the Selenops spider, which is also called “the flying spider”.
When dropped from a height, this spider seems to be able to glide through the air to locate a tree it can attach to. They’re able to steer themselves and turn their body in the direction they want to glide in mid-air.
Does a Spider With Wings Exist?
There are currently no spiders with wings that have been discovered as of the time of writing this article.
There have been many reports of spiders with wings since 2012 when some theories about flying spiders started emerging. For a short period in 2012, the term “winged spider” was even trending on Google Trends, which just goes to show the potency of this theory.
Later in 2014, several articles were talking about the potential threat of newly discovered flying spiders that can cause harm to human beings. And the reports kept coming after, even after scientists and researchers have debunked these theories of flying spiders existing in the world.
Today, we can say with certainty that no such flying spiders exist.
As much as many people would like to see new and interesting spider species with wings, there have been no new findings in this field, as no spiders with wings have been discovered yet.
Can Any Spiders Fly?
Spiders cannot fly because they do not have wings.
Flying through the air for spiders is not possible, because they don’t have wings. No spider species in the world have wings, so you won’t see flying spiders anytime soon, it seems like. Unless there is a new species of spiders with wings newly discovered, that is.
However, some spiders like the Selenops species, can glide in the air and steer into the direction they want to go.
In a study that was published in 2015, a group of researchers tried dropping 59 Selenops spiders from the canopy of a tree in Panama and Peru. The results were astonishing – 93% of all spiders were able to glide through the air in the desired direction, which led the researchers to the conclusion that these spiders can glide through the air.
When these spiders were dropped from the canopy of a tree, they were able to turn their bodies in the direction they wanted to glide mid-air. It seems as though this movement was coordinated by the front legs of the spider, which allowed them to turn in the direction they wanted when flying.
It’s widely believed that Selenops spiders developed this ability because the likelihood of falls from high distances in their habitat is very high. It’s a necessary adaptation in case they fall from a trunk of a tree and survive the fall quite comfortably.
Even though the Selenops can glide through the air, they still can’t truly fly in the true sense of the word. They’re perhaps the closest spider species you’ll get to flying spiders, though, and many people see them as such.
Skillful Steering Through the Air
These spiders don’t really fly through the air, but their behavior can be best described as “steering”, or rather, “gliding” through the air.
Researchers that conducted the study about these spiders found that the vast majority of spiders (93%) were perfectly capable of turning mid-air into the desired location they wanted to glide into.
To achieve that goal, spiders used their front legs to steer into the direction they wanted to go. If they wanted to steer right, they moved their right front leg and use it for changing the direction. The same goes for left turns.
With this technique, flying spiders were capable of surviving falls from up to 13 feet. Most spiders made their way onto another tree, while others tried to find higher ground which they prefer to lower ground.
Even though the locals have already known about such behaviors of these gliding spiders, it’s a real revelation to the rest of the world, which didn’t know about the existence of the so-called flying spiders.
MORE INCREDIBLE SPIDER ABILITIES:
- Can Spiders Walk on Water?
- Spiders that can Change Color
- Are There any Spiders with Wings?
- Do Spiders Have Spider Sense?
- Are There Flying Spiders?
Are Flying Spiders Dangerous?
The Selenops spiders can bite humans or attack them, but they’re not venomous and won’t cause any severe problems to humans if they attack you.
There have been some reports of the so-called flying spiders attacking humans, but these reports are relatively rare. These spiders can inadvertently fly on human beings as they wander through the forest, which might happen on some rare occasions. If the spider is surprised by the human, it might bite.
However, this happens rarely, and the spider bite is not dangerous at all. Luckily, these spiders don’t have a lot of venom and it’s not dangerous to humans, so the likelihood of severe injury is quite low. The only problem might occur if you’re allergic to spider bites, which is when shock might kick in – otherwise, the bite is not dangerous.
Some residents of the areas where these spiders live (Peru, Panama) will tell you that it’s often recommended to keep the windows closed when these spiders migrate. That’s when it’s highly likely that these spiders might jump through windows and enter homes, which might be a scary proposition to some homeowners.
To conclude, there are currently no spiders with wings in the world, nor there are any spiders that are capable of flying.
There is a species called Selenops that is able to glide through the air and steer into the desired direction as they fly. There have been some studies done on their unique behavior, and we could describe it more as gliding than flying, though.
Even though they can glide nicely through the air, there have not been any flying spiders found in the world yet. It would be interesting to see such a spider, although for now, no such phenomenon has been found yet.
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