Behold, the brown recluse!

Brown recluses aren’t often out during the day. Instead they hide, at times inside houses—in an attic, basement or behind a piece of furniture. In South America, the tendency has earned them a nickname: la araña detrás de los cuadros, or “the spider behind the picture.”

The bite of a brown recluse isn’t terribly painful, so why does the spider have such a fearsome reputation? The short answer is: its venom.

Brown recluse venom can cause a deep wound that takes weeks or even months to heal and can produce symptoms like nausea and a fever. If you are unlucky enough to be bitten, hope the culprit was male. A female’s venom can be twice as concentrated as a male’s.

Living things can respond very differently to venoms. Though toxic to humans, guinea pigs and rabbits, brown recluse venom (Loxosceles reclusa) has little effect on mice and rats. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why. 

See the brown recluse and 16 other arachnids in Spiders Alive! now open. 

Feast your eyes on the fearsome jaws of the camel spider!

Researchers from the American Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Namibia, and Texas A&M University have created a visual atlas and dictionary of terms for the many strange features that adorn the fearsome-looking jaws of a little known group of arachnids. Called camel spiders, baardskeerders [beard-cutters], sun spiders, wind scorpions, and other colorful names, Solifugae are an order of arachnids that are neither spiders nor scorpions, and are notable for their intimidating jaws.

In research out today in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, the scientists present the first comprehensive analysis of jaw morphology across Solifugae. Their jaws, or chelicerae, are the largest for body size among the group of animals that possess these specialized mouthparts—including horseshoe crabs, sea spiders, and arachnids—and bear most of the structures used for their classification. Despite their prominence in folklore around the world, these animals, known as solifuges, have scarcely been studied, and much remains unknown about their biology.

Read the full story on the Museum blog


Camel Spidersorder Solifugae

… are an order of arachnidas, known variously as camel spiders, wind scorpions, sun spiders, or solifuges. The order includes more than 1,000 described species in about 153 genera.

Much like a spider, the body of a solifugid has two tagmata: an opisthosoma (abdomen) behind the prosoma (that is, in effect, a combined head and thorax). At the front end, the prosoma bears two chelicerae that, in most species, are conspicuously large. The chelicerae serve as jaws and in many species also are used for stridulation.

Unlike scorpions, solifugids do not have a third tagma that forms a “tail”. Unlike spiders, they are not venomous.

Most species of Solifugae live in dry climates and feed opportunistically on ground-dwelling arthropods and other small animals. The largest species grow to a length of 12–15 cm (5–6 in), including legs. A number of urban legends exaggerate the size and speed of the Solifugae, and their potential danger to humans, which is negligible…

(read more: Wikipedia)

photographs: Arizona (by Braboowi); South Africa (by John Richfield); Israel (by Guy Haimovitch)

Spiders evolved more than 300 million years ago, long before dinosaurs walked on Earth. Those ancient spiders didn’t build webs but sought the safety of burrows dug underground. There, they were shaded from the Sun and protected from predators.

Only about 50 percent of known spider species spin webs. Others hunt their prey or burrow underground. Spiders make many different kinds of silk, each with a property—toughness, flexibility, stickiness—specific to the task it performs.

Learn more in the new exhibition, Spiders Alive, now open.
These Hilarious Tarantulas Prove That Spiders Aren't Scary
These tarantulas are so silly, it's impossible to be scared of them.

An inside look into the lives of tarantulas, proving once and for all that they are just big nerds :3

Appearances by: ophelia-the-tarantulasir-p-audax, necessary, glspidurs, arachnophiliacs, imitation-lobster-meat, bitidragon, yourdeadblood, winderbeast, earth-inspired, iwilleatyourenglish, loved-and–lost, cargoart, watchmedrown, alrightyspidey, kidlokitrash

If I left anyone out or if you have a silly spider moment, please send me a message on here or at so I can add yours! I want this post to show people how awesome tarantulas are and I want to include everyone :3