Spiders Enjoy Vegetarian Meals Occasionally

Spiders have always been known to feed on insects, but zoologists from the University of Basel, the US, and the UK have now been able to show that their diet is more diverse than expected. Their findings show that spiders like to spice up their menu with the occasional vegetarian meal. The Journal of Arachnology […]

Ten New Spider Species Found in Madagascar

An international team of researchers has discovered ten new spider species in Madagascar. All ten belong to the genus Anelosimus, which is in the family Theridiidae. The names of some of them are very recognizable. For example, Anelosimus darwini honors Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary biology, and Anelosimus wallacei is named after Alfred Russel […]

Arachnid Matriphagy: These Spider Mothers Literally Die for Their Young

By Yael Lubin Maternal care can be costly. In fact, prolonged maternal care can sometimes cause a mother to delay or even forego producing additional young. An extreme case of costly reproduction occurs in the spider Stegodyphus lineatus (in the Old World family Eresidae), where the mother has only a single small clutch of young […]

Spider Bites Highly Unlikely to Cause Bacterial Infections, Study Finds

Last year, spider expert Richard S. Vetter, a former staff research associate at the University of California, Riverside, debunked the myth that venomous spiders are commonly found in bananas and other international cargo. Now he and a team of scientists have set their sights on another spider-related question that is circulating among the medical community […]

New Study Provides Key to Identifying Spiders in International Cargo

Spiders found in international cargo brought into North America are sometimes submitted to arachnologists for identification. Often, these spiders are presumed to be of medical importance because of their size or similarity to spiders that are known to be toxic to humans. In 2006, after witnessing multiple episodes where harmless spiders were mistaken for toxic […]