Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.

Close

Are Spiders Vertebrates or Invertebrates?

By Jasey Kelly

Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

Determining whether a creature is a vertebrate or invertebrate may not be something you do on a daily basis, but it's worth knowing which creatures are which. The major difference is a backbone: invertebrates lack this bone structure. Spiders happen to be invertebrates, with a slew of their arthropod kin. In place of the backbone, spiders have rigid outer coatings.

Body Structure

Most invertebrates have what's called an exoskeleton, a protective, hardened outer coating. Vertebrates, on the other hand, have spinal columns and interior skeletal structure. Because their exoskeletons are on the outside and don't grow, spiders must molt, or shed their exoskeleton, a few times as they age. You may see spider "shells" in webs or other places after a molt. Other arthropods go through this process as well.

Photo Credits

  • Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

Author

With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article