“The point that she opens the egg sac is the point that she stops feeding,” says Mor Salomon, a biologist at the Israel Cohen Institute for Biological Control. “We have tried giving them food in the lab, but it just doesn’t work—they just don’t feed.” -- Absurd Creature of the Week: The Spider Mother That Barfs Up Her Guts to Feed Her Kids, by Matt Simon for Wired.
Portia is a jumping spider that eats other spiders, through complex layers[PDF] of visual recognition and planned, trial-and-error[PDF, html] movement, even losing sight of it's target. How does a hunter get to be smarter than the prey, while having the same number of neurons, not even as many as a honeybee? Well, that's the interesting part ... [more inside]
"Hundreds (maybe thousands) of spiders congregate between poles in the town of Santo Antonio de Plantina / PR." [more inside]
The Meta Bourneti spider is a rare slug eating spider, found throughout the UK and parts of Europe. It lives in complete darkness, and is usually found in caves. It was named European Spider of the Year in 2012. A cluster of them has been found to be living in the pitch black tombs of Highgate Cemetery
"I'm scratching, and I like to hide." SLYT. NSF arachnophobes.
Demodex mites are tiny arachnids that live in hair follicles on your face. Recent research in Ireland indicates that they may also be a major contributing factor to rosacea. [more inside]
The fear of spiders is hardwired into most of humanity, despite the creatures often being beneficial to people. For some reason, it's the odd and scary stories about spiders that stick in our heads.
The story of one woman's quest to photograph spider genitalia. By day, Nina is online operations manager for American Medical News, a newspaper published by the American Medical Association. But for 13 years, she’s devoted one day a week to behind-the-scenes work at the Field Museum in Chicago: sorting, identifying, and organizing spiders in the museum’s collections, and in the process turning an enthusiast’s knowledge about arachnids into a slightly demented personal project. [more inside]
A new and previously unknown species of spider, Cerbalus Aravensis, (photo) has been discovered in the dune of the Sands of Samar (map) in Israel's southern Arava region along the Israel-Jordan border by a team of scientists from the University of Haifa-Oranim. Cerbalus is the largest arachnid of its type in the Middle East, with a leg-span that can reach up to 5.5" (14 cm). Unfortunately, its habitat is endangered thanks for rezoning for agriculture and sand quarries. [more inside]
Spider web construction gallery is a collection of diagrams of the path a spider takes when constructing it's web. The diagrams are colour coded by construction phase. [VIA MoFi's very first post.]