Arachnews: February 10, 2020

In this week’s Arachnews:

  • #PruittData hits the mainstream media, plus more insight from biologists
  • 3D horseshoe crab fossils
  • lots of new research on medical applications of scorpion and spider venom
  • some absolutely gorgeous tarantulas
  • a truly bonkers paper on spider husbandry
    …and more!

Read the whole thing on Medium.

Arachnews: February 3, 2020

In this week’s Arachnews:

  • a roundup of #PruittData news
  • Sydney funnel-web season in Australia
  • jumping spiders in eyeliner
  • the secret to capturing moths with spider silk
  • new species named after mathematician Cedric Villani; Gollum; Mithra; and the Gullah and Amazigh people
    …and more!

Read more on Medium.

Arachnews: January 27, 2020

In this week’s Arachnews:

  • a surprising discovery about dragline silk
  • how to extract and observe face mites (you don’t need much more than a microscope!)
  • the evolution of aquatic spiders
  • circadian rhythms in spiders and mites
  • as always, new species and geographic records
    …and more!

Read it on Medium.

Arachnews: January 20, 2020

This week’s Arachnews is a shorter one, as I’m catching up on a backlog of papers to sort. In this edition: charismatic Habronattus jumping spiders, the return of Silkhenge, fallout of the Australian bushfires, the latest volley in the are-horseshoe-crabs-arachnids debate, and more!

Read it on Medium.

Arachnews: January 6, 2020

In 2020, we’re switching to weekly—because there’s just too much art, writing, news, and scientific research for a measly monthly digest. In this edition:

  • funny & educational Twitter threads
  • tattoos!
  • social spider evolution
  • how mites and spiders cope with heat
  • new recluse spider in Mexico
  • new South African widow spider (with purple silk)!
  • a glossary of the jargon I used in the article

and more! Read it on Medium.

The Year In Spiders: 2019

At the end of 2018, I was burnt out on politics, and I decided to instead write about something I genuinely loved and could change people’s minds about: spiders. I started writing up the various bits of arachnid-related things I come across, calling it “Arachnews”.

Still from "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse", showing an awed Miles Morales ("me") copying Peter B. Parker ("actual arachnologists").
My very first Arachnews post.

In April, Sebastian Alejandro Echeverri asked Spider Twitter who might be interested in a group blog, to provide better coverage of arachnids than the usual “creepy-crawly” stuff you see in the news. I jumped aboard, and we switched from my “random bookmarks of things people send me” system to a spreadsheet of Google Scholar alerts. I had no idea how much stuff was out there, guise. It’s a whole new world. Yes, like the song, but, like, with more spiders.

Aladdin & Jasmine on flying carpet superimposed over video of C. lividum spiderlings and mother
🎶️ A whole new world 🎶️ (video by chrisweeet)

Here are my 2019 highlights—not just personal favourites, but stuff you’ll see popping up again in years to come. Continue reading The Year In Spiders: 2019

Arachnews: November 2019

In this month’s Arachnews:

  • the usual stunning photos of divers arachnids
  • lots of research on ecology, pest control of mites (often with mites), venom, and tick-borne disease
  • spiders in the age of the dinosaurs
  • intriguing endosymbiont discoveries
  • rhino ticks! elephant ticks!
  • a bunch of Brachypelma tarantulas have been moved to a new genus, Tliltocatl
  • some very cool new finds, like new liphistiid species and ancient troglobitic harvies

Check it out over at Arachnofiles on Medium.

Arachnews: October 2019

Whoops, forgot to post this after it came out! Anyway, the October edition of Arachnews has lots of stuff:

  • award-winning spider portraits
  • cute mite faces
  • #Arachtober art
  • how to extract spider venom
  • jumping spiders on caffeine
  • EXTREME! 🛹 sexual size dimorphism

Do go check it out, clap, etc.