Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Will be back next week with more spider biology, but for now, here are a bunch of dogs dressed in spider costumes (and looking pretty unhappy, in my opinion!)  🙂

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Misconception Monday – Are spiders poisonous?

Hey all,

Here is the first installment in my new section, “Misconception Mondays,” in which I will go over a common myth/misconception about spiders and/or other arachnids, and why it is false or misleading. My hope is to increase the public’s understanding of spiders, and, in turn, decrease their fears about these cute, little creatures.

So, what’s misconception # 1?  That all spiders contain venom that is deadly to humans.

Why is this false? For one, not all spiders actually contain venom! There is, in fact, one whole family of spiders (and possibly one or two others) which contains no venom, and instead strangles their prey in order to kill them. OK, maybe this doesn’t calm your fears about venomous spiders considering that the other 100 or so families of spider *do* contain some form of venom, which they use to kill prey.

Still, there is no need to worry. Why not? Because most spider venom is used to kill prey that weigh tens of thousands of times less than we do. The amount of venom in any one spider’s bite is almost never enough to kill or even harm a human. Additionally, the majority of spider venom is not actually poisonous to humans.

Feeling better? If not, don’t fret! I am hear to allay your fears and will provide more information on spider bites (including the bites of specific spiders – i.e. black widows) in the future.

Have a good rest of your Monday, and if you see a spider, treat it well because it is likely a friend and not a foe.

Best,

Emma

Hello!

Hi everyone and welcome to my spider blog! Want to learn more about these poor, misunderstood organisms? Well, so do I!

I am a first year graduate student in an evolution, ecology, and behavior program, interested in studying spiders and their parasites with little (OK, zero) background in arachnology, and some background in parasitology. Therefore, I have started this blog in order to document my adventure into the world of spiders, and to inform others about the diversity and necessity of spiders in ecosystems around the world.

Topics I hope to cover and things you can find in this blog:

1) Misconceptions about spiders (and arachnids in general)

2) Coverage of interesting and current spider research

3) My own spider research stories and pictures from field work

4) More! Tell me if there’s something about spiders that you’re interested in learning more about. Keep in mind, I’m very new to arachnology, but I hope to increase my knowledge and yours through this blog!

Best,

Emma