Sharing, Caring, and Thievery: Arachnid Behavior and Interaction


Join us on January 15th for a talk by Jillian Cowles, titled "Sharing, Caring, and Thievery: Arachnid Behavior and Interaction" over Zoom. Starting at 6:30 we will have a pre-meeting social, followed by a brief business meeting and the talk by Jillian at 7:30. Please contact ctentsoc@gmail.com for the Zoom meeting info.

January's speaker will be Jillian Cowles, giving a talk titled: .


Abstract: Every community has its different individuals: those that share, those that care, and those that steal. Some are gregarious, while others are loners. The community that I speak of is not made up of humans, but of the small neighbors living right under our noses - the arachnids. Spiders, vinegaroons, and other arachnids demonstrate a degree of social interaction that may astonish you. Arachnids may be devoted mothers, chivalrous mates, and team players. They can also be resourceful sneak thieves. In this presentation, you will meet fiercely devoted mother green lynx spiders, chivalrous cellar spiders, and altruistic vinegaroons. You will also meet hitch-hiking pseudoscorpions, mites partnering with carrion beetles, and the tiny thief Argyrodes as it steals from its formidable host, the black widow. Welcome to the surprising world of arachnids!

Jillian's Bio: Like many good stories, Jillian's started with a road trip. At the age of eighteen she came to southern Arizona in a third-hand Chevy van with the dream of seeing a Gila monster in the wild. She fell in love with the desert (and her spouse) and stayed. Her vocation has been working as a clinical microbiologist at University Medical Center in Tucson (now retired), but her avocation has been to document the plants and animals of the desert. She started with photographing wildflowers, and the occasional crab spider or green lynx spider would insinuate itself into the photos. Before she knew it, spiders and other arachnids had practically hijacked the photographic database, resulting in the publication of her book, Amazing Arachnids, published by Princeton University Press in 2018. Her photographs have appeared in numerous other books and publications, and have been used in arachnid courses, a TV show, and a building mural. And sometimes dreams really do come true; she has been lucky in not only seeing Gila monsters in the wild, but can now say that some are her familiar friends and neighbors, as they share the same bit of desert to live in. She could not ask for more.


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