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Depending on the order / infraorder... there are differences, exceptions and uniqueness. The following is intended to provide a simple overview only.

 Ventral view


1 - pedipalp (sensing, handling prey, the last segment contains the secondary sexual organ of the sexually mature male)

2 - labium (a kind of lip under the mouth opening)

3 - sternum

4 - book lungs (for breathing)

5 - epigynum,  epigrastic furrow (access to the female sex organ)

6 - spinnerets

 Dorsal view


1 - pedipalp (sensing, handling prey, the last segment contains the secondary sexual organ of the sexually mature male)

2 - chelicerae / fangs

3 - eyes on the cephalothorax (eight, with exceptions)

4 - carapace / prosoma

5 - one of eight legs

6 - abdomen / opistosoma

7 - spinnerets

Structure of the legs


1 - coxa / tochanter

2 - femur

3 - patella

4 - tibia

5 - metatarsus

6 - tarsus

7 - tarsal claws



1 - brain

2 - stomach

3 - heart


4 - intestine

5 - anus

6 - spinnerets and silk gland


7 - ovary

8 - egg exit (gonopore)

9 - book lung


10 - chelicera

11 - venom gland




In the following you will find a small list of various terms that spider owners usually use:

0.0.1: one spider of undefined gender

0.2.0: two female spiders

4.0.0: four male spiders

Cephalothorax: Prosoma / head
Chelicera, chelicerae: spiders´ jaws, basal segments of the fangs
Coxa: basal segment of spider's leg

Cribellum: a silk spinning organ of Araneomorphae
Cuticle: exoskeleton, consisting of epidermis, mesocuticle, exocuticle and epicuticle
Cymbium: organ used in transferring sperm to the female (on the end of the male's palpal tarsus)
Embolus: end of the male's cymbium
Epigrastic furrow: opening of the genitals for males and females (ventrally on the abdomen between the two forward booklungs)

Epigyne: external female sex organ (copulation organ) in entelegynen true spiders
Exuvium, exuvia: shed skin / exoskeleton
Femur: the third of seven leg segments
Hemolymph: spiders blood
Instar: terminology for stages of growth, in germany it is calles "NS" or "FH" (Nymphenstadium / Fresshaut)
Maxillae: sharp plates on the pedipalps
Metatarsus: sixth of seven leg segments
Molt: process of shedding exoskeleton / the shed skin itself
New world species: tarantulas from North and South America 

Old world species: tarantulas from Africa, Asia, and Australia 
Opisthosoma: abdomen
Palpal bulbs: male's secondary reproductive organs
Patella: fourth of seven leg segments
Pedicel: connection between opisthoma to cephalothorax
Pedipalps: second pair of appendages attached to the head, they have 6 segments, as opposed to the 7 of the real legs. Mature males tarsal segments are the secondary sexual organs
Prosoma: Cephalothorax
Sling: synonym for spiderling (baby-spider)
Spermathecae: females organ for storing males sperm, one of the most helpful ways for sexing molts
Spermophore: tube inside the palpal bulbs form mature males to transfer sperm
Sternum: plate underneath the prosoma
Stridulate: unique organs to create sounds
Tarsus, tarsi: Seventh leg segment
Tibia, tibiae: Fifth of seven leg segments
Tibial apophysis: hooks from mature males of most species on the tibia used in mating
Trochanter: Second of seven leg segments
Urticating bristles: primary defense mechanism used by new world tarantulas. The spiders kick these hairs against their enemies. It can cause allergic reactions to people
Ventral: bottom

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