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Analysis and Comment (9)

New research shows golden orb weaving spiders are larger in cities compared to their relatives in the bush. New research shows golden orb weaving spiders are larger in cities compared to their relatives in the bush. Lizzy Lowe

City spiders are getting bigger — but that’s a good thing

Find yourself thinking that the spider living in your garden is the biggest you’ve ever seen? You could be right. New research shows some spiders are getting larger and even doing better in cities than…
Coming for me next? Coming for me next? Pierre J

Explainer: why are we afraid of spiders?

I have personal interest in arachnophobia – the fear of spiders – because I am a spider expert, but also because my daughter has it. She is not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association…
Gas guzzler? Gas guzzler? J. Lapp

Jiggy Mazda and the spiders from cars

Recently, the car manufacturer Mazda recalled 40,000 cars because of a “spider invasion”. This is not the first time it has happened with Mazda cars. In 2011, a similar reason was given for recalling 52,000…
Male orb-web spiders are dwarfed by their female counterparts, but they can maximise success if they don’t mate indiscriminately. Male orb-web spiders are dwarfed by their female counterparts, but they can maximise success if they don’t mate indiscriminately. Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

Tiny male spiders can get a leg over – as long as they’re picky

Males will mate with anything. Well, that is the general view, one that exists because of a simple biological underpinning: females are reproductively limited by costly gestation, while males are only…
Jumping spider silk draglines join bird wings and lizard tails as stabilising features in the animal kingdom. Jumping spider silk draglines join bird wings and lizard tails as stabilising features in the animal kingdom. VonShawn

How do jumping spiders make a perfect landing? Watch and learn

Jumping spiders are unique in the spider world as they don’t build webs - they’re active visual predators who rarely use silk. In fact, the main use we thought jumping spiders had for silk was a safety…
For golden orb spiders, it seems size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a mate. For golden orb spiders, it seems size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a mate. Michael Kasumovic

Incy wincy spider? Don’t fret – you can still get the girl

Whether it’s two lions fighting over a pride or two butterflies fighting over a sunny spot, decades of nature shows have led the average watcher to conclude that bigger, stronger males win competitions…
Female wasp spiders often eat their mate straight after intercourse. Female wasp spiders often eat their mate straight after intercourse. Wikimedia Commons

Sticky and picky: why male orb-web spiders like heavy virgins

When it comes to selecting a mate, females are traditionally thought of as the choosy sex; males, meanwhile, aren’t thought to be particularly picky. This makes sense for many species – the sex that invests…

Research Briefs (8)

New Mexican spider covers itself in soil

Scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico have discovered a new species of spider — that covers itself…

Small spiders have brains in their legs

The brains of tiny spiders are so large they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs. To investigate how miniaturisation…

A step toward spider silk synthesis

Researchers have taken a significant step forward in the quest to produce synthetic spider silk. Spider silk has five times…