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Latest Spider Stories

Flying Jewels Spell Death For Baby Spiders
2012-03-03 05:32:38

New species of parasitic spider flies discovered in Australia Spider flies are a rarely collected group of insects. Adults are considered important pollinators of flowers, while larvae live as internal parasitoids of juvenile spiders. Eight genera are recorded in Australasia, including four genera in the subfamily Panopinae, a group of large, hairy, often metallic colored adults whose larvae specialize as parasitizing mygalomorph spiders such as tarantulas, trap door and funnel web...

Why Don't Spiders Stick To Their Own Webs?
2012-03-02 04:00:37

[ Video 1 ] | [ Video 2 ] Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Costa Rica asked why spiders do not stick to their own sticky webs. Repeating old, widely quoted but poorly documented studies with modern equipment and techniques, they discovered that spiders' legs are protected by a covering of branching hairs and by a non-stick chemical coating. Their results are published online in the journal, Naturwissenschaften. They also observed that spiders...

The Bigger The Phobia, The Larger The Spider
2012-02-24 05:55:32

According to new research, the bigger the person's arachnophobia, the more likely they perceive the spider is bigger than it really is. During the study, participants who feared spiders were asked to undergo five encounters with live spiders, and provide size estimates of the spiders after those encounters. They found that the more afraid they said they were of spiders, the larger they estimated the spiders to be. "If one is afraid of spiders, and by virtue of being afraid of spiders...

2012-02-23 11:35:09

The more afraid a person is of a spider, the bigger that individual perceives the spider to be, new research suggests. In the context of a fear of spiders, this warped perception doesn't necessarily interfere with daily living. But for individuals who are afraid of needles, for example, the conviction that needles are larger than they really are could lead people who fear injections to avoid getting the health care they need. A better understanding of how a phobia affects the perception...

2012-02-17 08:00:00

The Science Magazine EurekaMag.com publishes insights into specific subjects of all areas of natural science. The latest review covers the Aranha Mouse Spider which is a spider whose bite can be serious but can be effectively treated with funnel-web antivenom, Holocene which is a geological epoch which began around 12,000 years ago and continues to the present, and Lantana which is a perennial flowering plant native to tropical regions and growing as herbaceous plants and shrubs up to two...

Scientists Search For Spider Web's  Strength
2012-02-02 09:38:05

Scientists report that they have solved the riddle of how spider webs can withstand different levels of stress - including hurricane force winds - without collapsing. Researchers, led by Markus Buehler of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), used computer simulations to find out how silk structures respond to different levels of stress. What they found was quite remarkable. Reporting in the journal Nature, the researchers found that web durability does not only rely on silk...

Male Spiders May Break Off Genitals To Boost Paternity
2012-02-01 09:13:18

Perhaps it is not a thought that crosses the minds of the average male, but spiders have more to consider than most other creatures when it comes to choosing a mate. Biologists have long known that some male spiders sacrifice their genitals in the act of reproduction and that doing so leaves them sterile, but no one could adequately explain why this was so. An answer, however, may now be at hand following a series of meticulous experiments by Daiqin Li, a behavioral ecologist at the...

Male Spiders Eavesdrop To One-Up Their Rivals
2012-01-04 11:18:01

[ Watch the Video ] Just published this month, new research shows how spiders eavesdrop on other males and copy their courtship signals as a likely means of stealing their mate. Researchers have made a new discovery into the complex world of spiders that reflects what some might perceive as similar behavior in human society. As male wolf spiders go searching for a mate, it appears they eavesdrop, match and even try to outdo the mating dances of their successful rivals, a behavior seen...

Super Silk From Genetically Modified Silk Worms
2012-01-04 08:13:26

US researchers say they have created genetically modified (GM) silkworms that spin silk far stronger and more elastic than the normal silk produced by the critter. Scientists from University of Wyoming, who published their research in the PNAS journal, say their ultimate goal is to produce silk from worms that has the toughness of spider silk. Spider silk, weight-for-weight, is stronger than steel. The team say the silkworm silk has a whole range of biomedical applications, including uses...

2011-12-13 01:06:50

If you're a red-headed guy with eight bulging eyes and a unibrow, size does indeed matter for getting the girl. More specifically, the bigger a male jumping spider's weapons appear to be, the more likely his rival will slink away without a fight, leaving the bigger guy a clear path to the waiting female. Duke University graduate student Cynthia Tedore, working with her dissertation advisor, visual ecologist Sönke Johnsen, wanted to know what visual signals matter most to...


Latest Spider Reference Libraries

Skeleton Tarantula, Ephebopus murinus
2014-08-29 11:32:08

The Skeleton Tarantula (Ephebopus murinus) is a species of spider belonging to the Theraphosidae family, a sub-family of Aviculariinae. This New World species is native to several South American countries. Its common name comes from the skeleton-like markings on its legs. The generic name, Ephebopus comes from the Greek meaning “youthful” plus “foot”, and the specific name, murinus is from the Latin meaning “mouse-colored”. The adult E. murinus normally grows to a leg span of...

Cobweb Spider, Theridiidae
2014-06-23 08:44:11

Theridiidae is a family that contains over 2,200 species of cobweb spiders, also known as tangle-web spiders or comb-footed spiders, which can be found throughout the world. This species received its common names from its tendency to build three dimensional, sticky webs and from the comb of serrated bristles on the fourth leg. It is thought that this family is the only to hold a high diversity of web types, including gumfooted webs, which are highly similar to those produced by spiders in the...

Wolf Spider, Lycosidae
2014-06-23 08:30:31

Lycosidae is a family that holds about 2,300 species of wolf spiders that can be found in a variety of habitats including woodlands, gardens, and moist coastal areas. Many species do require specific microhabitats, like montane herb-fields, but most species are nomads and do not reside in one area for long periods of time. Some species within this family build burrows that can have trap doors or open entrances, while others in arid regions build nests with plugged entrance ways, to protect...

Funnel Weavers, Agelenidae
2014-06-19 13:16:37

Agelenidae is a family that holds about 1,200 recognized species of funnel weaver spiders that occur throughout the world. These spiders build funnel shaped webs that trap prey in their complicated patterns, but they should not be confused with other families of spiders that build funnel webs like funnel-web spiders or funnel-web tarantulas. Funnel weavers can reach an average body length between .1 inches in the smallest species and .7 inches, although the largest species can reach total...

800px-Sparassidae_Palystes_castaneus_mature_female_9923s
2014-06-19 08:25:14

Sparassidae is a family that holds over one thousand species of huntsman spiders, also known as giant crab spiders and wood spiders, or as rain spiders or lizard-eating spiders in some areas of its range. These species are native to Australia but were also introduced to temperate areas throughout the world including China, Japan, and some areas of the United States, including Florida and Hawaii. They inhabit warmer areas and can often be seen entering human habitations and other shelters...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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