Have you ever wondered what you would call a baby spider? As it turns out, there are a few specific terms for how we can talk about baby spiders.
A sling spider is the term used for any juvenile spider that has yet to reach adulthood whether it was just freshly hatched or it’s already a few months old. You can also use the term spiderling to refer to baby spiders or just call them slings for short.
pider slings are pretty different from their fully grown counterparts. Slings are often less able to move around, lack the bold and pronounced colors of their adult counterparts, and typically are less of a potential threat to people.
A sling spider hasn’t fully developed yet and that means it won’t be producing as much venom and it might not even be able to puncture human skin with its bite. Some of the bigger spiders out there are still capable of having sling spiders that can bite.
There’s a lot of questions to answer out there when it comes to spider slings. We’re going to take a look at what makes a juvenile spider count as a spider sling, how to tell when a sling has fully matured into an adult, and whether or not all spiders can have spider slings.
Let’s dive into the fascinating world of baby spiders.
What Is A Sling Spider?
The sling spider is the common term for juvenile and baby spiders. It might surprise you to know that even the biggest, scariest tarantulas were once tiny little babies.
In fact, many people abbreviate sling spider to simply refer to them as “slings.” The term sling is derived from a shortening of the technical term for a juvenile or baby spider: a spiderling.
A sling spider is any spider that hasn’t reached full maturity. This is true for tarantulas as well as other types of spiders.
There are countless varieties of spiders out there and each of them reaches maturity at a different time.
We’ll discuss in just a little bit how you can tell when a sling spider becomes a fully grown adult, but for now it’s enough to know that spider is a sling for at least several months.
Sling spiders are a lot like they’re fully grown adults except in miniature. They also tend to be much slower and lack the complex, and often beautiful, coloration of fully grown adult spiders.
Most sling spiders also can’t hunt their own food and typically scavenge until they are old enough to begin hunting we’re catching prey on their own. At some point in its life cycle, a sling spider will go through a molt that will transform it from a sling into a fully grown adult.
What Age Do Spiders Become Spiders Instead Of Slings?
This is one of the most challenging questions to answer about the spider life cycle. This is because it can be very difficult to tell exactly when a sling has fully matured into an adult spider or tarantula.
We’re going to take a look at a few of the big reasons why it’s so hard to determine the exact age of a sling until it has reached full maturity.
The biggest challenge here comes from the fact that spiders come in all different shapes and sizes. The slings for large tarantulas might take longer to mature than the slings for smaller tarantulas.
Some people suggest a general rule of thumb that says anything over two inches is a fully matured tarantula, but this might not be the case for larger spiders that have larger slings.
If size doesn’t wind up being a good way of measuring when a sling becomes an adult, what do about age?
It’s also not very helpful that we can’t age slings based on the number of months or years they’ve been alive. The way we age spiderlings comes down to how many molts the spider has gone through.
Most slings will reach maturity when they have gone through 10 or 12 different molts. There’s another good way to tell when your sling is reaching maturity and that’s when it becomes fully mobile and starts to take on the coloring and characteristics of the adult tarantulas of its species.
Are All Baby Spiders Referred To As Slings?
All baby spiders can be referred to as slings. Spider slings, spiderlings, and slings are interchangeable terms that are perfectly fine to use for any type of baby spider.
Whether it’s the baby of the goliath tarantula or a freshly hatched household spider, they all count as spider slings. It’s perfectly fine to refer to freshly hatched spiders from any species as slings or spiderlings.
Even though spiders can be very different in size, shape, and color, they’re all part of the same family of insects. Every spider is an arachnid.
These are special types of insects that you can identify based on them having two body parts and eight legs. This is the one big reason why each spider has its young referred to as spider slings.
There is one little complication that we need to keep in mind when talking about referring to all baby spiders as slings. Spider “slings” is an informal term that isn’t used in the scientific community.
You’ll see this term all over websites and forums dedicated to spider husbandry and raising spiders as pets, but you won’t find it in many scientific journals. Scientists typically stick to the term spiderling in more formal settings.
The next time you see a baby spider, you’ll know to call it a spider sling, or just a sling for short. This is true for every type of baby spider whether it is an exotic pet spider or a common spider you can find outside your home. The next time that you see a big scary spider, just remember that they all started out as adorable little slings.