Meet the spiders!

Indian Ornamental (Poecilotheria regalis)

This tarantula lives in southeastern India and southern Asia. It may attain a leg span of more than seven inches!

Wolf Spider (Hogna antelucana)

This active hunter searches for food on foot, aided by sharp vision and its ability to sense vibrations like those of the beating wing on an insect or the patter of steps on the soil.

Fishing Spider (Dolomedes okefinokensis)

Large fishing spiders rest their front legs on the surface of the water on the shoreline trying to sense vibrations from prey. When something gets close, the spider pounces.

Desert Hairy Scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis)

The largest scorpion in North America (reaching 10 to 18 cm), this animal beats the daytime heat of its desert home in burrows and hunts in the evening, feeding on insects, spiders, lizards, and even an occasional small mammal.

Tailless Whip Scorpion (Phrynus marginemaculatus)

Not actually a scorpion, this arachnid waves its first pair of legs around to feel its way. A tailless whip scorpion makes a cameo appearance in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which one character wrongly suggests that its bite is lethal.

Giant Vinegaroon (Mastigoproctus giganteus)

Like a skunk, this arachnid shoots a foul-smelling spray from its abdomen if disturbed.

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

This spider is identified by a dark, violin-shaped mark on its head. Its venom can cause a deep wound in humans that takes weeks or even months to heal and can produce symptoms such as nausea and a fever.

Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)

One of the few species harmful to people in North America, a black widow often features a red hourglass shape on its underside.

Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma smithi)

This stunning tarantula, which lives mainly on the Pacific coast of Mexico, resides in burrows, hurrying out to prey on insects, small frogs, lizards, and mice.

Goliath Bird Eater (Theraphosa stirmi)

One of the biggest spiders in the world, it preys on snakes, mice, and frogs but, despite the name, rarely birds.

Golden Orb-web Spider (Nephila pilipes)

Found in the Southeast Asian rainforest, this large spider has yellow on its abdomen and spins a golden web.

Orb Weaver (Argiope sp.)

Members of this genus are found all around the world and spin large webs that often contain striking designs. Charlotte’s Web author E. B. White, who consulted with a Museum curator while writing the classic children’s book, named the main character Charlotte A. Cavatica after a common orb weaver, Araneus cavaticus.

Funnel-web Grass Spider (Agelenopsis sp.)

This spider spins a sheet-like web attached to a narrow tube, or funnel. Sitting at the mouth of the tube, the spider waits to strike after feeling vibrations of prey crossing the web.

Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis)

The large charcoal-colored females make flat, tangled webs in dark corners and under overhangs and shutters to catch insects.


©AMNH/R. Mickens, D. Finnin

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