UBCO lecturer is crawling with spooky spider knowledge

UBCO lecturer shares his enthusiasm for all things arachnid

Fake spider webs paired with eight-legged freaks decorate many homes at Halloween and are essential for scare tactics.

While living, breathing spiders may cause spine-tingling shivers for some, UBC Okanagan spider expert Matt Nelson claims this fear is misplaced.

Despite commonly held beliefs, the biology lecturer with the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences said spiders rarely bite and are essential players in the world’s ecosystem.

READ MORE: Car crashes through front of West Kelowna pizza shop

The fascination with spiders began at a young age for Nelson.

“As a kid, I was a rock turner,” said Nelson. “I flipped them over to see what was underneath and almost always, I found spiders.

There are more than 45,000 species of spiders, ranging in the size from the micro to macroscopic, with some reaching the size of a football.

According to Nelson, they are also resistant to environmental changes such as heat and drought and have adapted to every terrestrial ecosystem except that of Antarctica.

“Some arachnids even reside on humans, they are commonly found in people’s eyebrows,” explained the biology lecturer.

Spiders are something humans can’t live without, stated Nelson.

“Spiders eat insects. I would say that is their primary role. Some, like the Okanagan’s native sheet-web spider, do this through passive hunting with their funnel-shaped webs. Others, like the wolf spider, actively hunt. Spiders also kill other spiders, sometimes even their mates.

“If there are spiders in your house, they are there for a reason,” said Nelson. “The same strategies that you would use to energy-proof your house, will keep spiders out. For example, make sure there aren’t cracks in your doors and close your windows properly. If you see a spider, put it into a jar and take it outside.”

READ MORE: City and Colour to perform in Kelowna Nov. 10


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s Shuswap stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling into region on Dec. 14

Salmon Arm farmer’s market moved indoors

The last market will take place Dec. 7

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

Salmon Arm RCMP say budget cuts won’t impact service

Police force, facing $10.7-million budget shortfall, says it won’t compromise public safety

Salmon Arm boxer hopes to fund Olympic dream

Supporters show they’re in Jordyn Konrad’s corner

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Okanagan philanthropists treated to moving speech on National Philanthropy Day

David Roche shared his message to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and non-profits

Most Read