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Fri Aug 30, 2019, 09:04 AM

Spiders are threatened by climate change - and even the biggest arachnophobes should be worried

The Conversation UK
August 30,2019
By Sergio Henriques
Chair of the IUCN Spider and Scorpion Specialist Group, Zoological Society of London

Is climate change making spiders more aggressive? A recent scientific study suggests so, as the researchers link aggressiveness to tropical cyclones...However, I have studied these arachnids for more than 15 years and I am not too concerned about tropical cyclones making them more aggressive... if you are not an insect, there is no cause for alarm – their “aggression” is not aimed at humans.

But, although there is no reason to be concerned about their size or aggressiveness, you should be worried about spider survival under climate change. To take one example, just last year I was researching the beautiful ladybird spider in the western Asian highlands (I’m keeping the location secret as these animals are sought after by the illegal pet trade). Where I observed the males maturing much earlier in the year than they would normally do, thanks to an unusual hot period in winter.

For them, this was a disaster. These male ladybird spiders usually leave their nests in spring to find suitable females, but this time they would emerge into the wider world only to find no females yet available to mate, as females appear to depend on food intake to reach sexual maturity rather than wait for environmental cues, such as temperature. Like Romeo, these males died without their Juliet.

You should care about all this because spiders eat an astronomical amount of insects, many of which are agricultural pests or the carries of human diseases, their loss will become ours as it impacts future ecosystems.

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Reply Spiders are threatened by climate change - and even the biggest arachnophobes should be worried (Original post)
bronxiteforever Aug 2019 OP
defacto7 Aug 2019 #1

Response to bronxiteforever (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2019, 07:02 PM

1. Think on this when you ponder aggressive spiders.

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