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Some Adair County Spiders

2020-10-22 - Adair Co., KY - Photo by Matt Downen.
By Matt Downen

I recently moved back to Columbia after getting a PhD in arachnology. I've been taking some pictures of spiders in Adair County for #Arachtober on twitter and thought people in the community might like to see some spiders that can be found around here for the spooky season.

The spider on the left is a bolas spider. They don't spin a web, but instead, swing a sticky glue ball around on a line of silk (like throwing a bolas) to catch moths. These are harmless to people.

The spider in the middle is the trashline orbweaver. These spiders spin a circular orb-shaped web that is decorated with a vertical line of debris in the middle. The line of trash is thought to be used for camouflage. These are also harmless to people.

There are two spiders in the image on the right. Here, a brown recluse has caught a wolf spider. The big wolf spiders are really abundant this time of year, but they are pretty harmless. Brown recluse spiders only have six eyes, but you probably don't want to get that close to see. They can be identified by the dark brown fiddle-shaped marking on their back. Brown recluse bites can be harmful to humans, but bites are rare, and usually only happen when the spider is pressed up against the skin. Just don't leave clothes on the floor and put them on if you have brown recluses around!

These photos were taken in September and October of 2020 out on Pelham Branch Rd.

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