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Spiders are eight-legged arachnids that live on webs, and come in many varied species. They typically feed on insects.
One appears in the first film, this one being a subspecies to the Black Widow, after Blu and Jewel escaped from the smugglers, in the jungle just outside Rio. Blu, not comfortable in jungles, claims he has a spider on his back after walking between some leaves. Jewel, clearly annoyed by his constant complaining says, "It's just a leaf, turn around!" When Blu does so, Jewel, realizing that he really had a spider on his back, quickly flick it off and says: "Leaf! Told ya!"
In the second movie, this time a tarantula, Tiago was using it to scare his father awake, laughing afterwards along with the other Spix's Macaw children. A similar spider appeared in the song "Batucada Familia," when Jewel asked Blu if he was sure about staying in the jungle. Blu replies that he is "Mr. Jungle," only to be scared by a spider just some seconds later.