Are you one of the many people afraid of spiders? Do you cringe when you see one or run the other way? Have nightmares about them?… or, do you LIKE spiders?
In the two weeks that my nieces and nephew were here this summer, we spent a lot of time outside. I learned early on that both girls were afraid of spiders and so I did my best in my short time with them to teach them about spiders, though I have to say that even at their young ages–9 and 13, a lot of “knowledge” has already been accumulated and it was difficult to convince them that I was right and what they knew was wrong.
If their Mom or Dad said so, then surely it HAD to be true. Same of their teachers at school.
As their Aunt–and one who lives far away– I fall low on the list of people to believe. How could what I say be different from what they have already learned! How could these trusted adults in their lives be wrong!?
People aren’t born afraid of things, they learn to be afraid–from other people, from TV shows, movies, videos etc. I am sure a huge part of fear comes from watching how others react. If your parents are afraid of spiders, snakes, bats and other animals, so too in most cases will be the kids. As a child I too was afraid of these things, mostly from watching how my Mom reacted to them–to say she was terrified of snakes, and likely spiders too, is not an exaggeration.
Luckily I have changed since then and no longer fear these fascinating animals. I am proof people can change! (Read more about overcoming a fear of spiders)
When asked to elaborate on what I do or what my mission is, I often say I am a Nature Photographer, Naturalist, Writer, Teacher, Lover of all things wild, and unofficial Spokeswoman for bats, spiders, snakes, and other creatures Hollywood has convinced us to fear. There are SO MANY myths out there surrounding some of our common animals. And it really is too bad because the results are needless fear and persecution.
And so, in thinking about this, I decided it would be fun to do a short quiz on spiders, just to see if what you know is fact or fiction. Years ago I did a post on this but I realize that many of you are new subscribers and likely did not read that post. So here it is! Click on each one to see the correct answer.
True or False:
- All spiders are poisonous.
- Spiders are hard to identify and to figure out the species, a microscope is required.
- Spiders don’t eat their prey, they “suck” the juices from it.
- Spiders are insects.
- All spiders make silken webs to catch their prey.
- Spider bites are uncommon.
- Tarantulas are not the deadly creatures Hollywood makes them out to be.
- Black widow females always kill and eat their mates.
- Brown recluses are common throughout the United States and are easily identifiable by the violin on their carapace.
- Medical professionals can easily identify spider bites by twin punctures and from the symptoms described by their patient.
How did you do?
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read all of the answers, but want to know how you did, Click HERE for the quick version with NO explanation of the answers.