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2011-04-01 12:55:00

New research from the University of Cincinnati provides food for thought. The research examined how short-term and long-term hunger affected mate selection and aggression in female wolf spiders (Schizocosa ocreata) commonly found in the eastern United States and Canada. These female spiders are potentially aggressive and cannibalistic when approached by a courting male. The research is published in the April 2011 print issue of the journal, "Animal Behavior." It was carried out by George...

2011-03-02 13:27:25

Animals' capacity to adapt is a factor in how they are likely to respond to changing climate conditions. This conclusion of a new study published March 2 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B is not especially surprising, says author Brandon Barton, but confirms the importance of accounting for local adaptation when determining the likely ecological effects of climate change. The work shows that the ability of the top predator in a well-studied food web to adapt to local temperatures can...

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2011-01-24 10:25:00

New research from the University of Cincinnati shows that when male wolf spiders are courting, they can modify their mating signals depending on the environmental surface in order to ensure that their message gets through. The researchers said that the wolf spiders are leaving little to chance when it comes to increasing their opportunities to successfully mate. Male wolf spiders adjust the modes of their signaling depending on the habitat on which they find themselves in order to improve...

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2010-12-06 06:35:00

Studying spider silk, NSF-supported researchers learn about the properties of this sticky material, and their findings could lead to new bio-adhesives and glues that work under water Ali Dhinojwala and Vasav Sahni consider themselves materials scientists, not biologists. They study surfaces, friction and adhesion. Nevertheless, they have discovered that understanding how nature makes things stick sometimes means getting up close and personal with the creatures responsible. When they...

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2010-11-10 12:15:00

Researchers have found that Australia's deadly redback spider has established itself in New Zealand, which poses a significant risk to humans as it threatens to colonize major cities. Scientists said the venomous redback, which is a relative of the black widow, probably found its way over there by riding on imported goods from Australia.  They said that it established itself at sites on both the North and South Islands. The government's AgResearch institute said in a study this month...

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2010-11-09 06:25:00

British scientists have incorporated tarantulas into their study of how the human brain responds to fear based on proximity, direction and how scary people expect something to be. Researchers from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England asked 20 volunteers to lie inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. The scientists had each person view a screen showing a tarantula crawling closer...and...closer to the participant's feet. As the arachnid got...

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2010-09-30 09:25:00

A research and development effort by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wyoming, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. has succeeded in producing transgenic silkworms capable of spinning artificial spider silks. "This research represents a significant breakthrough in the development of superior silk fibers for both medical and non-medical applications," said Malcolm J. Fraser Jr., a Notre Dame professor of biological sciences. "The generation of silk fibers having the properties...

02d813653dae88b90955356e3b9202e6
2010-08-03 09:39:51

It's a question that has puzzled scientists for years: why, in some species of spiders, are the females so much larger than their male counterparts? Now, investigators from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) believe they have found the answer. According to their findings, which are published in Wednesday's edition of the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, the cause is likely tied to bridging, a technique of transportation used by some spiders to cross large gaps. When...

2010-07-27 23:44:39

Researchers have long envied spiders' ability to manufacture silk that is light-weighted while as strong and tough as steel or Kevlar. Indeed, finer than human hair, five times stronger by weight than steel, and three times tougher than the top quality man-made fiber Kevlar, spider dragline silk is an ideal material for numerous applications. Suggested industrial applications have ranged from parachute cords and protective clothing to composite materials in aircrafts. Also, many biomedical...

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2010-05-13 09:35:22

Discovery opens the way toward biomimetic production of ultra-strong, elastic fibers Five times the tensile strength of steel and triple that of the currently best synthetic fibers: Spider silk is a fascinating material. But no one has thus far succeeded in producing the super fibers synthetically. How do spiders form long, highly stable and elastic fibers from the spider silk proteins stored in the silk gland within split seconds? Scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM)...


Latest Spider Reference Libraries

Singapore Blue, Lampropelma violaceopes
2014-09-22 17:06:17

The Singapore Blue (Lampropelma violaceopes) is a large tree-dwelling species of tarantula from Malaysia and Singapore. These spiders have been known to grow in excess of nine inches across. The body is a very colorful blue with brown or gold colored carapace. The male equivalent is normally not as vibrant. The diet is made up primarily of beetles, cockroaches, crickets, pinky mice, birds, and other small animals. During feeding, the abdomen will often increase in size two-fold. Image...

Western Desert Tarantula, Aphonopelma chalcodes
2014-09-22 16:18:33

The Western Desert Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes), known also as the Arizona Blond Tarantula or the Mexican Blond Tarantula, is a species of spider belonging to the family Theraphosidae. It has a limited distribution within the deserts of Arizona and adjacent parts of Mexico but can be very common within this range. The common name “blond tarantula” is in reference to the carapace, which is densely covered in pale hairs and contrasts strongly with the all-dark colored legs and abdomen....

Texas Brown Tarantula, Aphonopelma hentzi
2014-09-22 16:02:39

The Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi), known also as the Oklahoma Brown Tarantula or the Missouri Tarantula, is one of the most common species of tarantula thriving in the southern-most United States today. Texas Browns can grow to be over four inches in legspan, and weigh more than three ounces as adults. The body is a dark brown color. The shades may vary between individual tarantulas and is more distinct after moult. Female individuals can lay up to 1,000 eggs. The eggs are...

Mexican Golden Red Rump Tarantula, Brachypelma albiceps
2014-09-21 10:05:15

Mexican Golden Red Rump Tarantula (Brachypelma albiceps) is a species of the genus Brachypelma. The carapace is a light golden color with legs and a black abdomen covered with longer red hairs. Females typically live for about fifteen years. The males normally live about five years or up to twelve months after the last molt. This spider is native to the central highlands of Mexico, especially in Guerrero and south of Morelos. In the wild, they construct underground burrows, typically under...

Honduran Curlyhair, Brachypelma albopilosum
2014-09-21 09:46:39

The Honduran Curlyhair (Brachypelma albopilosum) is a species of tarantula that have a native range including Central America, from Honduras to Costa Rica. They are terrestrial and opportunistic burrowing spiders. It is covered in long hairs that have a characteristic curl to them giving it a unique look. This tarantula is a plump-bodied spider covered with dark brown to black colored hair. It has a golden-bronze sheen because of the longer gold hairs that cover the whole body, which are...

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Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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