Let’s say someone mocks you for calling spiders insects. There is only one way out of this (that is if you rule out killing the mocker – which usually isn’t done in polite society). That way out is somehow making insects into spiders.
How can you turn an insect into a spider when it most obviously has six legs whereas spiders have eight legs? But the insect has two antenna. So to mimic the spider, all the insect would have to do is bow its head way down so its antenna touch the ground. Then the mock spider would have two lame legs as well as six fine legs. The more sophisticated insect would be able to move its antennae and thus possibly use all eight “legs”.
But spiders usually have eight eyes, where insects have two compound eyes. This could be remedied by the very steady handed and fine eyed maker. Compound eyes come in units. All you would have to do is poke these units with a needle until there are only eight units left. For symmetry’s sake you might want to leave four from each compound eye. Now I’m not sure if an insect could see with these eight “eyes” but maybe so.
It’s harder to make an insect spin a web. But a life stage of insects can spin webs. That is the caterpillar of moths or butterflies can spin silk or other web like strings.
Now here’s where it gets tricky. These caterpillar webs won’t be sticky enough to trap prey that lands on it. If only there were an insect that could make a glue and its solvent.
Leaf cutter ants are quite the chemists. They use cut leaves to make a nutritional fungal growth to feed their nest. Could we not redirect its hard work and chemistry to make both a glue and its solvent? The leaf cutter ant could attach the glue to the caterpillar’s web then use the solvent to walk on it without being stuck. Then it could catch other insects or perhaps a spider (how’s that for turnabout?) They could feed off these creatures and thus procreate and grow this new breed of spider like insects.
But wait I’m using different species of insect to mimic one lone species of spider. Well all but one of these things could be done by (or to) ants. Perhaps they could enslave a species of moth or butterfly caterpillar to help feed themselves. Then when the caterpillar finished its spinning it could make a cocoon, enjoy its metamorphosis and then fly away. Heaven help it if it lands on the web again.
And that is how an insect can become a spider. It would probably take a lifetime to make all this a reality with even the most cutting edge science. All for not using the word bug. Spiders and insects are all bugs. I know this now.