Spiders

Displaying 1 - 20 of 26 articles

As a generalist predator, spiders, like this Western Rough Wolf Spider, help limit the number of insects in your garden. Jean and Fred/Flickr

Spiders are a treasure trove of scientific wonder

Only two Australian spiders can kill you, but the rest are a pretty fascinating bunch.
The wasp’s pupa commandeering an enslaved spider. Keizo Takasuka

Wasps turn spiders into their zombie bodyguards, then kill them

Scientists in Japan have discovered a new species of wasp that induces a zombie-like state in spiders in order to manipulate them into protecting the wasp’s own offspring.
Cute monster: Phoneutria spider. dejeuxx

Which is the world’s deadliest spider, really?

It seems Ebola and terrorism may have lost their scare factor. That is because journalists have once again turned to arachnophobia. “Brazilian Wandering spider found under a bunch of bananas in Waitrose…
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…

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…
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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…

Top contributors

More