Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Nature/Spiders

General Conference
Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 1928

1. Do one of the following


Due to the fact that we now have many endangered species of spiders, you may want to encourage the selection of options b. or c.

a. Collect, identify, and preserve at least 16 species of spiders. Place on each specimen bottle a label showing the locality and date of capture and the spider's common or scientific name.

edit (<----Link is Broken) gives instructions on how to safely capture spiders for identification. This site also lists other sites that will assist with identification of the captured spider.

b. Make colored drawings or paintings of at least 16 species of spiders, life size or larger and in natural coloring. Label each with its common or scientific name.


Here are some photos of various spiders you may wish to draw.

c. Take color photos of at least 16 species of spiders. Identify each picture as to its locality, date taken and the common or scientific name of the spider.

edit has a perpetual spider photo contest along with pointers on how to take photos of spiders. If your camera has a macro mode, be sure to use it when taking close-up photos. This feature is marked with a flower icon on many cameras. Most cameras cannot focus on close-up objects unless they are in the macro mode.

To identify the spiders you find, you may need to consult a field guide. If you wish to also earn the Insects honors, select one that covers both spiders and insects. You can also post photos of spiders at The helpful community there will gladly attempt to make an identification for you.

2. What is the largest member of the spider family?

The goliath bird eating spider (Theraphosa blondi)

The goliath bird eating spider (also called the birdeater) (Theraphosa blondi) is an arachnid belonging to the tarantula family and is the largest spider in the world. The spider was named by explorers from the Victorian era, who witnessed one eating a hummingbird and reported the sighting to the Western world.

The largest ever found had a leg-span of more than 28cm .

3. Write or give orally a description (forty words or more) of a spider that has gained notoriety in your region.


The spider would depend on where you live. Use the suggested resources and your local library for books on spiders of your area. You may also wish to use an Internet search engine, and search for something like "notorious spider" and the name of your region, country, or continent.

4. Give three ways in which spiders differ from insects.


Spiders have 8 legs while insects only have 6.

Spiders have singular eyes with lenses and insects have compound eyes.

Spiders don't have antennas and insects do.

Spiders have bodies with two parts, combined head and thorax called the cephalothorax, and the abdomen, and insects have bodies with three body parts, head, thorax, and abdomen.

5. Make a careful drawing of an orb web.


Should look something like this:

Orb weaver spider web at night

6. What other kinds of webs are there besides the orb web?


Funnel & Sheet webs spun by grass spiders, Family Agelenidae. The Sheet web is used to catch prey while the spider hides in the attached Funnel web for just the right time to scurry out to the helpless victim

Nursery Webs, used as a nursery or special nest carried around by the female until the eggs are about to hatch, spun by Family Pisauridae

Cobweb, irregular webs spun by comb-footed spiders, family Theridiidae

7. What do spiders eat? Make a list of victims found in spider webs.


Here are some of the things that spiders eat. Accept all reasonable answers for the first question. Flies, Grasshoppers, Wasps, Bees, Mosquitoes, Geckos, Small lizards, Other Spiders, Insects, Snakes, Small Birds, Mice, Frogs, Small Fish, Tadpoles, Crickets, beetles, mealworms, cockroaches

Locate a web either at the location of the meeting or have each student watch one near their home. Write down what they see caught in the web.

8. For what is a spider web useful?

  • Cross hairs for optical instruments. (Gun sights, microscopes, telescope finder scopes)
  • Birds use webs for constructing nests.
  • Spider webs can be used to cover an injury and help the blood to clot.
  • Scientists are experimenting with using spider webs in repairing torn human ligaments.

9. Find two references in the Bible to spiders and their webs.


Here are three possibilities:

Job 8:13-15 (KJV)
So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:

Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.

Proverbs 30:24-28 (KJV)
There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

Isaiah 59:1-6 (KJV)
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

10. What are the chief enemies of spiders?


Due to excessive habitat destruction, man is the spider's worst enemy.

Round worms and mites are parasites that attach themselves to the spiders, sucking them dry of their vital fluids.

Birds enjoy tasty spider snacks, as do lizards, wasps, and other spiders.

Almost every small carnivore is the spider's enemy.

11. How do spiders

Emphasize that even though there are some venomous spiders, except for a few rare cases, they bite humans only in self-defense. The human race needs spiders in order to survive.

a. Help us?


Spiders are predators and so they eat flies and other small annoying insects. Many of these insects destroy our crops and gardens. Other insects caught in their webs can cause disease in humans.

Dust mites live in our homes and eat the dead skin that comes off our bodies. Many people are allergic to dust mites. Spiders eat the Dust Mites, thereby assisting in allergen control.

Spiders are an integral part of the food chain. Because the spider eats and is eaten, it helps to keep the ecosystem balanced. Without spiders the ecosystem would become imbalanced, seriously damaging many living things, including humans.

b. Hurt us and our property?


Some spiders are venomous. Their bites can range from painful to deadly if the correct treatment is not used within a short time after the bite.

Most people are afraid of spiders, so if a property has either too many spiders or venomous spiders, it would be hard to sell that property.

Spiders make webs in unwelcome places, like corners of rooms or between limbs of trees over a path. These webs cause us to spend time and money removing them. Their webs also trap dust that can cause an allergic reaction in some people.



About the Author


Stephanie East

Educator with a Master's in Education with an Outdoor Education emphasis

Elementary, Middle School & High School Teacher

Corporate Computer Trainer

Co-Director of Wilderness Adventure Camp for the Illinois Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Co-Creator with Rodney East of "Why Knot? an introduction to knots, splices & rope" DVD which has all the information needed to complete the Knot Tying Honor. Available through Advent Source.