Burke Blog

Portrait of Maggie Dutch

WA State Dept. of Ecology scientist Maggie Dutch partners with the Burke’s Puget Sound Foram Research Lab to study Puget Sound.


Spider bite cases resulting in amputation are sometimes reported, but no such case has confirmation of actual spider involvement.


Several studies show that only in rare cases do spider fangs carry lesion-causing microorganisms. Antibiotics help only if it's not a bite.


Few if any physicians can correctly ID spiders from bite symptoms alone. Spiders caught biting should be ID'd by arachnologists.

Brandon Peecook

Graduate Student Brandon Peecook and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Christian Sidor described Washington’s first dinosaur fossil in May 2015.

White-tailed spider

Inadequate studies claimed that wolf spiders, "yellow" sac spiders, woodlouse spiders and white-tailed spiders were dangerous. They aren't!

Portrait of Gene Tagaban

Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino storyteller, Gene Tagaban, aka “One Crazy Raven,” helped the Burke celebrate the Seahawks' trip to Super Bowl XLIX.

Hobo spider

Hobo spiders are neither aggressive nor are they true house spiders; the inflammatory name "agressive house spider" is a reject.

Hobo spider illustration

A chevron pattern, boxing-glove palps or a funnel web do not mean it's a hobo spider; you need a microscope to determine that.

Eye arrangement diagrams

Contrary to what you've heard, you cannot recognize a "brown recluse" spider by a violin shape. Numerous other spiders have one too!

Distribution map of Brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa

Brown recluse spider bites occur only in 15 states. Hundreds reported from other states and Canada are all false reports.

Steatoda nobilis spider

British media hype about "killer" false widow spiders is irresponsible and wildly exaggerated; the rare bites are mostly just painful.


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