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Arachnology

Besides their natural talents of spinning webs and catching prey, Washington's forest spiders can actually help us observe the effectiveness of sustainable timber harvesting practices. Read about the Burke's research into what the future holds for spiders and other species in forest areas cleared for logging.

Female specimen of Zodarion rubidum from Gold Bar

Burke volunteers discover two spider families new to Washington state.

Live male Pseudophrys lanigera.

Welcome to Washington! How did a spider common in Europe make its way to Seattle? We may never know, but it appears to be here to stay.

Sticky trap with spiders

Spiders seldom need controlling and pesticides are not the best way to do so. Sticky traps or better yet, physical exclusion work best.

Leucauge

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

Leucauge

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

Leucauge

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

White-tailed spider

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

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.

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