Q:

Do spiders have good eyesight?

A:

Quick Answer

Generally, the majority of spiders have poor eyesight despite the fact that some species have six to eight eyes. A spider’s vision is capable of detecting quick movements and changes in light intensity, but spiders do not depend on their eyesight when catching prey.

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Full Answer

Some species, such as cave-dwelling spiders, do not have eyes and are completely incapable of sight.

Instead of vision, spiders rely more on touch, vibration, smell and taste. They possess a heightened and developed sense of vibration that enables them to detect the slightest movements in the soil and on their webs. The fishing spider can detect vibrations on the surface of the water that helps them target and catch small fish within their reach.

Eyesight is more important to spiders that actively hunt rather than wait on webs to catch their prey. There are three types of hunting spiders that rely on good eyesight: jumping spiders, wolf spiders and net-casting spiders. Jumping spiders have excellent eyesight and can recognize mates as well as enemies. They have three sets of eyes: side, middle front and front.

Wolf spiders hunt in the moonlight and have four posterior eyes that are lined with a reflective layer that enables them to see in low light. They have excellent night vision. Net-casting spiders are specialized for night vision and have a wide field of sight. Their night vision is more acute than a cat’s or an owl’s.

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