Utah's Plants and Animals - Insect and Spider Differences

Have you ever wondered why we have so many insects and spiders? If they "bug" you to the point that you want to destroy them, maybe you should know a few things.

Insects and spiders are alike in some ways. They are small, cold-blooded animals and they don't have backbones (invertebrate.) One way they are different than other animals is the number of legs they have. Complete the activity below to find out how many legs both insects and spiders have.

Look at these pictures carefully and count the legs of the both grasshopper and the spider.

Did you count six legs on the grasshopper? That's right! Notice other parts of insects that are the same or different than the spider:

Spiders have eight legs. They also make webs to catch their dinner.

Before you destroy the next insect you see, remember that they may do some good. A grasshopper may be a meal for a bird and a spider could catch that pesky fly that is bugging you!

Try it!

Invent your own personal bug. Remember that all insects have the following parts:

Head - contains eyes, mouth, and two feelers called antennae

Thorax - the middle section

Abdomen - the end section. This is where the insect digests its food. Sometimes it has a pincher or a stinger.

Legs - all insects have three pairs of legs (six legs in all)

Draw your bug on a piece of paper. Give your bug a name and then answer these questions:

  1. How does your insect travel? (Does it fly, crawl, swim, or hop?)
  2. What does it eat?
  3. How does it protect itself? (Can it change colors or does it bite and sting?)
  4. What does it like to do during the day or night time?
utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.