Spider Myths resources

October 15, 2015
Rod Crawford

This green and white Leucauge is from the 1893 masterpiece "American Spiders and their Spinningwork" by Henry C. McCook (1837-1911).

General Information

The American Arachnological Society
The largest organization of professional arachnologists. Site includes a form for submitting arachnid questions to experts.

The American Tarantula Society
This site includes a number of illuminating online articles. See especially the one on how misinformation gets into kids' books and the one about scorpion myths.

Jumping Spiders (a section of The Tree of Life web site)
Photos of the jumping spiders (family Salticidae) of the world, arranged according to the hierarchy of technical classification.

Australian Spiders Info and Links

National Geographic Spider Fact Sheet

The World Spider Catalog
A technical resource for the serious arachnologist, listing all named spider species mentioned in recent literature.

North American Spider Lists
This new project of the American Arachnological Society provides checklists of named spider species of the USA and Canada, replacing the now-defunct "Nearctic Spider Database."


Regional Resources

Washington Spider Checklist (1988)

Spiders of the Arid Southwest

Spiders of Texas

Colorado Spider Survey

Ohio Spider Survey

Spiders of Wisconsin
Useful for the links to BugGuide photos of each species in 7th column.

Great Lakes Spider Database (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois)

Los Angeles Spider Survey

California Spider Checklist (1979-2004)

Orange County, California Spider Pictures

Alabama Spider Checklist (2006)


Medically Important Spiders

University of California Hobo Spider Page
This page contains some more recent information on the hobo spider, which has not been found in California. The old "hobo spider site" is obsolete.

Nina Sandlin's Brown Recluse Page
This article from the American Medical Association is the sole fully accurate general brown recluse information resource I know of. Most of the others are so bad they make me cringe!

eMedicine's Atrax Page
A fully authoritative medical account of Australian "funnel-web" envenomation, countering much of the hype on these spiders.

Demystifying Spider Venom and Spider Bites
Survey of all proven medically important spiders by Dutch arachnologist Ed Nieuwenhuys.

British Arachnological Society
Irresponsible British news media characterize false widow spiders (<emSteatoda spp.) as a horrible threat to life and limb; these articles give the facts about these practically harmless spiders.


Spider Myths

Rick Vetter's Spider Pages

Urban Legends about Spiders from about.com
Several urban legends sites include spider material, but the above (compiled from other sites including www.snopes.com) is the most complete. What's more, they finally stopped calling spiders insects!

The Spider Hugger
A blog devoted to debunking spider nonsense. He's on Twitter too (@SpiderHugger).

Camel Spider myths debunked by National Geographic

Amazingly "True Facts" about Spiders
This entertaining spoof is not a real myth! It lampoons the type of hoaxes widespread on the Internet. Pay attention to what you read!


About (and by) Rod Crawford


Photo Sources:

Other photos are used courtesy of the photographers (who retain all rights), as credited. The photos by Bob Thomson were given by him to Rod Crawford (author of this page); the J.W. Thompson Co. photo of a yellow flower spider and the Margaret Davidson drawing of a hobo spider belong to the Burke Museum. A few drawings are by the author, but most are adapted from public domain sources, either non-copyright or copyright expired. Many of the line drawings are by classic arachnologist James Henry Emerton (1847-1930) in his late 19th century works on New England spiders.

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