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Insect Hunts

Body Parts

Learn the differences between ants and spiders.
Learn the differences between ants and spiders.

How does an ant look ­compared to a spider? Look at their body parts to find out.

Explore Body Parts

What You'll Need:

Ant and spider (or models of each)


Magnifying glass

Modeling clay



Step 1: Take a good look at an ant and a spider. The closer you look, the creepier they seem, with appendages and bristles sticking this way and that. In this activity, you will find interesting differences between insects and spiders.

Step 2: Look at their bodies. How many body parts does the ant have? How many body parts does the spider have? How many legs does the ant have? How many legs does the spider have? Which organism has 2 thin antennae coming from the top of its head?

Step 3: Now use what you know about insects to design your own. Use modeling clay to make an insect with 3 body parts. Decide how large your insect really is. Use something thin, such as toothpicks, as antennae. Use something wider, such as branch segments, to add 6 legs.

Step 4: Write out the following information about your insect: What is the name of your creature? Where does it live? What does it eat? How does it protect itself from predators?


Don't do this activity with ants that bite.

What Happened?

There are similarities between insects and spiders. Both have jointed legs and hard external skeletons, called exoskeletons. But there are also many differences. Insects have 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen) and 6 legs. All the legs are attached to the thorax. Insects typically have antennae that help them sense and respond to changes in their environments.

Although most ants do not have wings, most insects do. Spiders, however, never have wings.

Spiders have 2 body parts, the cephalothorax and abdomen. They have 8 legs, 4 on each side. Another difference is that spiders do not have antennae, but insects do.

On the next page, learn how to watch caddisfly nymphs build their home from materials around them.

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