What Is Arachnophobia and How Common Is the Fear of Spiders In Humans?

Arachnophobia is a morbid and abnormal fear of spiders. Among the animal phobias, it is second in frequency of occurrence only to the fear of snakes. An evolutionary reason for phobias, such as arachnophobia, and a fear of animals remains unresolved. One theory is that the presence of venomous spiders led to the development of […]

What Is a Millipede and What Does the Name Millipede Mean In Greek?

Millipedes belong to the class Diplopoda, a name that means double legs, from the Greek diplo, double, and poda, a foot. Like centipedes, they have long, slender bodies that consist of a head with chewing mouthparts and one pair of antennae, which are much shorter than those of centipedes, and a trunk that consists of […]

How Do Scorpions Mate and Reproduce?

The male scorpion, smaller than the female, grasps his mate’s pincers with his pincers and leads her in a mating dance, the promenade a deux, that may last as much as an hour. The promenading couple eventually comes to a suitable hard surface where fertilization can take place. Scorpions, unlike spiders and almost all insects, […]

What Is a Web Casting Spider and How Do They Catch Their Prey?

Web Casting Spiders are nocturnal spiders catch insects much as a fisherman catches fish with a cast net. They spin a web so small that they can pick it up and hold it with their four front legs. A hunting web-caster hangs upside down from its hind legs, the elastic net small and in its […]

How Big Is the Biggest Spider In the World?

The biggest spider in the world is big enough to cover a dinner plate. The largest known spiders are the Goliath bird-eating spiders of the coastal rain forests of northeastern South America. The largest one known, a male collected by a scientific expedition in Venezuela, had, according to the Guinness Book of Records, a leg […]

What Is a Tick and Where Do Ticks Come From?

We often speak of ticks and mites as if they were two separate groups of arachnids, but ticks are really nothing more than very large, blood-sucking mites that take their meals from reptiles, birds, or mammals. In North America, there are only two families of ticks: the hard ticks, which have the body more or […]

How Dangerous Are Scorpion Stings To Humans?

All scorpions are venomous and sting with a bulbous, thorn-like structure at the end of the tail (abdomen). But the toxicity of the venom to humans varies with the species of scorpion. The sting of most scorpions is painful and causes swelling and discoloration at the site of the sting but is not dangerous. A […]

Where Do Mites Live and Where Do Mites Come From?

Mites are essentially ubiquitous. That is, they can be found almost everywhere on land, in fresh water, and even in the seas. They live high in the Arctic and are among the few arthropods that can be found in Antarctica; they occur on tidal flats and sandy beaches of the seas; and they occupy almost […]