Burke Blog

Eye arrangements diagram

To identify spiders, you can't just look at 10-12 pictures! There are 50,000 species to choose from, separated by picky microscopic details.

Western Toad

Western Toads dig shallow burrows in loose ground or shelter under rocks or logs.

Tip of leg of orbweaving spider, showing claws.

The oft-repeated "spiders don't stick to their own webs thanks to oil on the feet" is wrong — the story is much more complicated.

Tailed Frog

Tailed Frog males do not vocalize, possibly because the females cannot hear calls over fast-moving water in streams.

Remains of rove beetle

Books say spiders don't eat solids but "suck the juices" of their prey. False! All spiders digest solids externally with vomited enzymes.

Rough-Skinned Newt

Rough-Skinned Newts will display a bright colored underside when threatened.

Cartoon by Owen Curtsinger showing a concerned commuter 3 feet from a spider

Despite "common knowledge," the nearest spider could be hundreds of meters away—or right under your feet. It depends!

Cartoon by Owen Curtsinger of spider taking it easy in the summer

In late summer when people notice garden orbweavers and giant house spiders, most native spiders are juvenile.

Rhyacotriton olympicus

Olympic Torrent Salamanders can be found in spray zones of waterfalls and will come onto land on really wet nights.

Illustration of dictyna sublata female and male.

It's easy to tell males from females, so please don't call all spiders "he" or "him."

Cascade Torrent Salamander.

Cascade Torrent Salamanders are found from the Columbia River Gorge to north of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state.

Spider fangs

Spiders very rarely bite humans, but that isn't because their fangs are too small; most could bite if they tried.

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