Each chapter will highlight a common species: a plain language and scientific overview of the biology and natural history of common spider species of North America. That’s a big task, because of the hundreds of potential candidate species, we’ll only highlight a dozen or so of the most common.
We need your help: Many of you provided valuable feedback on your favorite spidey friends, and we have already spoken to loads of Arachnologists, but we want to know what’s on everybody’s minds (spiderly speaking). See our chapter candidates and let us know if we missed a North American species SO INCREDIBLE IT MUST BE INCLUDED!
Here are the species we are proposing as “main chapters”:
Misumena vatia (goldenrod crab spider)
Dolomedes sp. (fishing or dock spiders)
Salticus scenicus (zebra jumper)
Parasteatoda tepidariorum (American house spider)
Latrodectus sp. (widow spiders)
Pardosa sp. (thin-legged wolf spiders)
Cheiracanthum sp. (ceiling spiders)
Agelenopsis sp. (funnel-web spiders)
Hoot traveled to Portland, Oregon last week for the Entomology 2014 conference, and had a blast! Here’s some of what she learned:
1. Twitter takes taxonomy to the next level. Tweeps tweet life around them in places where taxonomists can’t always go. Just ask Morgan Jackson @BioInFocus.
2. In fact, there are all kinds of reasons scientists should use Twitter and other social media—to find collaborators, help fight off imposter syndrome, share a really cool story about a centipede… Such great insight from Derek Hennen (@derekhennen)
3. People are seriously taking a sofa safari across the U.S.A.! We’re tuning in, as the Bug Chicks (Kristie Reddick, M.S., and Jessica Honaker, M.S.) trek through some of our own backyards. Awesome photos and stories on their blog, http://thebugchicks.com/blog/. Follow them on Twitter too (@thebugchicks)
5. Yes, bug art is a thing. Some of it is beautiful, some of it is fun, and some of it just tells us what’s up. Take, for example, Chris Hedstrom (@OregonBeatSheet), Katie McKissack (@beatricebiology), Esabelle Ryngin (@wowowosh), Carly Tribull (@cmtribull), Alexander Westrich, and Ainsley Seago (@americanbeetles).
With this show, we’re getting the SciArt word out in hard copy to bibliophiles, lonely people looking for dates, four year olds, and the rest of the Cameron Village Library crowd.
Julia Rice’s examination of Belly Button Biodiversity
Robin Anders’ look into how birds navigate the Great Migrate
Artist in Residence Christine Fleming’s explaining What’s the Difference between commonly confused animals . . .
and demonstrating jumping spiders’ Sexy Spider Dance
Jaime Van Wart’s telling us why we just want to Squeeze It!
and James Hutson’s showing us how charming fireflies can be (and why some of them light up!)