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Spiders are invertebrates mentioned very briefly in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.

Daddy Longlegs are also discussed on this page. Though they are commonly thought of as spiders, they aren't actually spiders taxonomically.

Description

Spiders are a large group of arthropods belonging to the Order Araneae. They are characterized by their eight legs, two-segmented bodies (as opposed to three), and no antennae. The head and thorax segments are fused into a "cephalothorax". Spiders have a very narrow gut and can only ingest liquids, not solid food. Therefore spiders must predigest their food outside their bodies first. To this end, they inject their prey with digestive enzymes to liquefy them.

Daddy longlegs are mentioned in How to Be a Pirate. It is widely thought these are a type of spider, so will be dealt with on this page. However, Daddy Longlegs - also known as harvestmen - belong to the Order Opiliones, not the taxonomic Order of spiders. They appear similar in form with short bodies and eight long legs. However, daddy longlegs do not produce silk or webs, and they are able to take in solid particles to eat. Also, despite popular belief, they do not contain any venom or poison. Daddy longlegs have a wide diet depending on species and may include plant matter, Fungi, small insects, fecal matter, and dead things. They do hunt, but mostly scavenge.

Function

In the Book series, as with many creatures, spiders are used as a metaphor to describe something else.

In reality, spiders can be consumed by people and help keep garden and crop pests down.

Appearances

Hiccup: The Viking Who Was Seasick

In this Children's book about Hiccup as a small child, he is revealed to be afraid of spiders, as well as many other things.

How to Be a Pirate

In Book 2, Fishlegs' long limbs are compared to a daddy longlegs.

And there he clung, like an anxious daddy longlegs, terrified but alive.
  — Book 2  


How to Speak Dragonese

Fishlegs is again compared to a daddy longlegs.

Hiccup was sharing his boat with his best friend Fishlegs, who was even skinnier than Hiccup and looked a lot like a daddy longlegs with asthma and a squint.
  — Book 3  


Hiccup, Fishlegs, and Camicazi are described as looking like spiders when they cling to a closed portcullis at Fort Sinister when trying to escape from the Romans.

Two meters or so up, they clung, dripping and terrified, like four little spiders.
  — Book 3  


How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse

The author added a poem about the Venomous Vorpent, comparing it to a tarantula:

I am the Venomous Vorpent,
Deadlier than an asp soaked in arsenic,
More toxic than toadstool-soaked tarantula.
Are your cough-y and cold-y and snotty and sneezy?
Are you mad? Are you sad? Do you feel queasy?
Is your skin so hot it is starting to smoke?
Is your throat so stiff it is making you choke?
If you fall down DEAD, perhaps you too
Have been stung by the VENOMOUS VORPENT.
  — Book 4  


Spider webs are mentioned as part of Old Wrinkly's treatment for a headache caused by fever, in his text, Old Wrinkly's Cures for Common Illnesses.

While Fishlegs is ill, he is describes as being "hot as fire, weak as a fly in a spider's web, and talking nonsense."

Later, Camicazi is twice likened to a spider "clinging to her rope, two meters below them" and "hanging, like a little spider" in the Great Hall of the Hysterics while on the Quest for the Frozen Potato.

The sound of spider movement and spiky Hedgehogs are used to describe the sound of a sick Doomfang.

The SOUND it made was unutterably awful, a sadness so extreme it made you want to weep yourself, a sound that crept up the spine like spiders' feet, and scuttled over the scalp, sending each individual hair on Hiccup's head prickling upward like the spines on a hedgehog.
  — Book 4  


Gallery

References

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Spider on Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Opiliones on Wikipedia

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