Burke Blog

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.

Brazilian Wandering Spider, Phoneutria nigriventer

The most notorious "deadly" spiders of Australia and Brazil are not as toxic as their reputation; very few deaths have ever been recorded.


There is no spider on earth whose bite is likely to cause death in humans, especially with medical treatment.

Pink toe tarantula

Theraphosid "tarantula" spiders are big and spectacular but not particularly dangerous. Very few pose even a mild bite hazard.


Practically all spiders have venom; none that I know of are poisonous (to eat). "Is it poisonous?" or "Is it venomous" has no meaning.


Real spider fang punctures in human skin are hardly ever visible to the naked eye. If you have two visible marks, that doesn't mean a spider bite!


House spiders could not survive without insect prey. Therefore, your house contains insects even if you see only spiders.


Everyone seems to believe spider bites cause all mystery skin sores, bumps & punctures. Nearly all have other causes.

Macrothele calpeiana

About 20 lesser-known spider myths, featuring jumping tarantulas, poisonous spider urine, ten-legged spiders, and more.

Pygmy Short-horned Lizard

Horned lizards are rather toad-like in appearance, hence their Latin name “Phrynosoma” meaning “toad body."


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