spider

Tag archives for spider

City life makes bigger spiders

A new study from researchers at the University of Sydney shows that golden orb-weaving spiders (Nephila plumipes) that live in the city are larger and produce more offspring as compared to country living. When they say the spiders are big, they mean really big. The females can reach up to 20-25mm (males are only ~5mm).…

Tarantula insecticide

  Drs. Glenn King and Maggie Hardy at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia have discovered a small protein, aptly named orally active insecticidal peptide-1 (OAIP-1), in the venom of Australian tarantulas (Selenotypus plumipes) that can kill prey when ingested orally. According to the study, OAIP-1 is fast acting and more potent…

US Navy funds spider research

The US Navy has decided to sponsor research conducted by Dr. Randy Lewis, a specialist in spider silk, at Utah State University. Their interest in the research lies in the ability for spider silk to maintain adhesiveness even under wet conditions. Therefore, Navy officials are seeking to create a synthetic ¬†spider silk that they can…

Spider creates sculptures

Check out this “sculpure” of a spider discovered by Biologist Phil Torres, created by what may be a new species of Cyclosa found in the Peruvian Amazon. This is not just a pattern weaved by the spider into the web, but instead it is created from debris in the forest (dead insects, leaves, etc.). It…

Strength in Nature

This is a must-see special from NOVA highlighting nature’s secret to creating very strong things: like the beak of a toucan, an abalone shell and a spider’s web. It aired last night on PBS (premiered Jan 2011) and I found myself glued to the TV. Scientists are working hard to try to re-create some of…