Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spider round-up

Arachnophobes turn back now! I'm afraid of spiders, too, but there were too many in the recent weird news to ignore:
In addition to the new discoveries, species already described have engaged in noteworthy behavior. A golden silk orb-weaver, which can reach sizes upwards of 5cm, has been photographed in Australia eating a snake. "It was the most exciting thing I've ever seen," said George McGavin after his team captured slow-motion footage (video here) of prey triggering the trap of a net-casting spider in Central America. That could not be said of the photos of a spider that had crawled into a Chinese woman's ear and lived there for 5 days before being flushed out. Here in the U.S., drought and high temperatures is causing an increase in the spider population and driving one of the most deadly - the brown recluse - to seek refuge inside homes.
All spiders have a venomous bite, but only a few can be medically dangerous to humans, and the brown recluse is a top concern,” cautions entomologist Jim Fredericks. Omaha resident Dylan Baumann complains, "It's terrifying just thinking that might happen to me." He has killed 40 of the spiders and had 6 visits from the exterminator in an attempt to curb the infestation. Reading such anecdotes, it's hard to keep in mind that on the whole spiders are good for the environment. "The world would be a poorer place without spiders," proclaims Mark Harvey, senior curator at the Western Australian Museum, discussing a new 4cm-wide "albino" trapdoor spider that has yet to be formally named.
Cobwebs in the corners of the Cabinet:

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.