Arachnology 2014 – Newark, Ohio

The 2014 meeting of the American Arachnological Society in Newark, Ohio, was hosted by Andrew Roberts of OSU Newark. I live-tweeted this conference for the many who could not attend and to preserve a record of the highlights. This is a read-from-the-bottom document.

AAS Home  2014 Meeting abstracts - Casual Night Video on GooglePlus - Other Meetings - About This Document

Travis Seaborn @TravisSeaborn Got home last night from #arachnids14 conference inspired and reinvigorated to work on my research and writing. So much fun. #science

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor Man, quiet here with all my spider friends gone. Thanks for a great meeting! See y'all next year! #arachnids14 #arachnids15

Nina Sandlin @nsandlin And now I guess it is time to go home. Thank you, everybody who was part of #arachnids14!

The #Arachnids14 Field Trip, June 24

Petra got a Callipodida... If you found something cool, please share!

Now we have sorted & rehoused our finds...

These were less abundant, maybe due to a preference for soggy cardboard

The woods were also full of these guys

It was pretty wet & muddy, but the woods were full of these guys

Labels for the #arachnids14 field trip (1 of 3 sites) - yell if you need some

A map of the Dawes Arboretum

The #arachnids14 field trip was at the Dawes Arboretum, founded & named for this awesome individual

This is Rich Bradley's license plate

Ohio Spider Survey's Rich Bradley, our #arachnids14 field trip guide

We're back from the #arachnids14 field trip. This was us waiting for the rain to stop

Kenny Chapin @KennyChapin Had a great time at #arachnids14. That all for making it happen!

Mr. Belcher @kyspiderguy Thanks for great time at the #AAS conference in #Newark Ohio.

Banquet and Auction, June 23

Chrissy Bell @thepinkwoobie Cards against Arachnids.

A custom shirt 2B made by Cara Shillington (L) like one I'm modeling (R) went to #arachnids14 host @spiderprofessor

The non-silent auction brought in $2125, for a grand total of $2998 raised for student research

Sarah Shrader got this remarkable 1861 Blackwall for $250

Fellow linyphiidist Brian Patrick just got this not-quite-describable spider objet for $75

This piece of art went for $400 to Jeremy Belcher!!

The silent auction took in $783 for student research!

3-vol Bonet w a card signed by Bonet himself went for $120 to Francisco Rivera from UNAM, Mexico!

Now, results of the #arachnids14 silent auction are being read out... yours truly got Spiders of Connecticut at last! $36

Top award for the talks: Kristen Emata! [systematics of Calicina]

Awards for the talks: the runner-ups are tied: Chia-Chen Chang [conspicuous spider markings] & Skye Long [spider brain morphology]

Top poster award: Ashley Carey! [jumping spider eyes]

Student awards! Elizabeth Herrera runner-up poster award [simple embryonic staging system]

Chrissy Bell @thepinkwoobie Arachno-auction #arachnids14

Monday afternoon, June 23

Could not resist sharing this characteristic posture of participants at an arachnology conference

Karen Cangialosi @karencang #arachnids14 Nina Sandlin, tweeter extraordinaire for the AAS in action!

Patrick: Laura Ingalls Wilder sites near there; in Vermillion, national museum of musical instruments; McGovern legacy museum

Patrick: we also have a "corn palace"; prehistoric Indian village; Dakota Discovery Museum; Cabela's & a gun library

Patrick: Mitchell is the 5th-largest city in SD, with a population of 15,254 [2010 census figures]

Patrick: Pierre - pronounced "peer" like peer review - is one of only 5 capitals not on the Interstate system

Patrick: Mitchell is close to Sioux Falls, about 1 hr by car. "Hey, up here, people drive an hour to get ice cream."

Patrick: the 2015 meeting is June 19-23 at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell SD, which is NOT near Mt. Rushmore

Next up: Brian Patrick, who will host next year's mtg in Mitchel SD, will give us a sneak preview

Vetter: on question "Have you ever had a bad experience w a spider? (describe)" some said, "Yes, I saw one"

Vetter: why dislike spiders: scary, creepy, sly; hide in shoes; cost of antivenin

Vetter: why dislike spiders: icky, creepy sneaky & skeezy; jump on you; webs; "they suck"; "they're always watching"

Vetter: UW Green Bay had higher fear of scorpions score than Tucson

Vetter: had high correlation of scorpion scores w spider scores, both decline a bit w age

Vetter: adapted a standard arachnophobia questionnaire, got IRB approval, had Ns of 133 to 208

Vetter: which is odd, since scorps inflict more damage. ... Arizona has scorpions & Green Bay doesn't

Vetter: you always hear about people being afraid of spiders & never hear about people being afraid of scorpions

Next up: Rick Vetter, Scorpion phobia vs. spider phobia in undergrads at 5 US universities

Uetz: these males also court more enthusiastically, seeking to "level the playing field" for themselves

Uetz: results confirm that males learn to associate courtship by other males with presence of female chemical cues

Uetz: lab-reared males do th is much less; so what is the role of experience?

Uetz: field-collected spiders pay attn to courtship by other males &, presumably thinking a female is near, also start to court

Next: George Uetz, Learning to eavesdrop: experience in social eavesdropping in wolf spiders

Rypstra: these same types emerged in spiders all reared in complex environments, suggesting a genetic component

Rypstra: 4 personality types emerged - nicknamed Lazy, Darter, Achiever & Sneaky

Rypstra: environment here means the size of the container & complexity of stuff in it #arachnids

Rypstra: Another study showed that the environments spiders were reared in determined the makeup of their behavior habits

Rypstra: prev work by Jonathan Pruitt demonstrated that arthropods had personality - bold/shy individuals, etc.

First up, Ann Rypstra, Environmental impact on the development of personality in a wolf spider

This last session of #arachnids14 is on Behavior, moderated by Sandra Brantley.

OK, we're about to start the last talk session of #arachnids14 - but this eve there'll be a very fun auction of arachnid objet!

Monday morning, June 23

Even to spiders! RT @spiderwrangler Moms are important. Hancock

Ryan Bell @spiderwrangler Moms are important. Hancock

Hancock: but still hard to tell if the juveniles are trying to disperse

Hancock: in our test, group spaced out v quickly after mother was removed, & 10-15 days later area shrinks back down

Hancock: so what are the juveniles doing after mother is gone - looking for new one, just dispersing?

Hancock: ... & location of mother served as kind of a hub; but after mother dies that pattern falls apart

Hancock: previous work shows spacing in a social/subsocial web is important to effectiveness of group capture...

Hancock: this is part of a program to integrate math & biology

BTW: This next talk will be the last one of the morning, after which we will unceremoniously run off for the group photo

Next: Nathaniel Hancock, spacing of juvenile spiders in subsocial webs of Anelosimus studiosus

Stoffer: & they do seem to prefer what they know, but there is an overall preference for multimodal signal (vis + vibr)

Stoffer: prev work suggested that females would prefer what they were previously more familiar with

Stoffer: the microhabitat may affect whether they are more exposed to vibration or to visual display or both

Stoffer: S. ocreata males mature 2-3 weeks before females, so females have time to form general impressions before choosing

Next: Brent Stoffer, Effects of sensory experience on unimodal & multimodal preferences of wolf spiders

Here is a QR by the way if you want to hear Gladicosa "purr"

Sweger: if we can hear it, predators can hear it, so there can be costs (risks) to producing airborne sound

Sweger: *possibly* Gladicosa has unique potential for acoustic communication, & thus evolutionary potential

Sweger: recorded airborne sound & vibration from 4 wolf spiders. Volume not related to body size - Gladicosa loudest

Sweger: spiders have sensory capacity for detecting vibration but not airborne sound, so why do they make airborne sound?

Sweger: people often talk about Gladicoa gulosa making a "purring" sound

Next: Alexander Sweger, bioacoustics & morphology in wolf spiders & the potential for acoustic communication

Cramer: I've come up w a system & started marking them individually [slide looks a bit like a recluse in a football jersey]

Cramer: prev paper said they actively scavenge, but "in all my hours of observation they don't actively do anything"

Cramer: brown recluse meals of choice (in this garage): 1, spiders; 2, pill bugs; 3, beetles

Cramer: "the brown recluse is definitely not living in the fast lane" main activities are adding web & feeding

First up: Ken Cramer, who's been observing live brown recluses in a garage

Now another Behavior session, moderated by Ann Rypstra

Great leiobunine opilionid penile diversity slide from Jeff Shultz's talk this morning - see clearer image or read more about it

Brantley: one change is that the litter layer is going away, & that's really affecting the linyphiids

Brantley: even though sites close, had v diff results; ongoing drought & fire changing forest stand structure

Brantley: the mountain grassland site looks like recovery, but mixed conifer not so much

Brantley: we set out pitfall traps immediately after 2011 & '12 catastrophic fires

Next: Sandra Brantley, Changes in spider communities following wildfire in northern New Mexico

Shultz: ...& the practice of grouping species into female choice vs sexual conflict is not supported

Shultz: plotting measurement of muscles involved in forced entry & operculum closing suggests coevolution

Shultz: & some opercula have barriers, suggesting conflict. Sacs & no barriers tend to go together, & seem to be ancestral

Shultz: in leiobunine harvestmen, a good deal of penile and operculum diversity. Some penes have sacs for nuptial gifts

Shultz: evolution via female choice vs sexual conflict are seen as conflicting concept but may be more of a continuum

Shultz: reproductive structures have to evolve fast enough to keep up with speciation, but need to reflect evolution as well

Next: Jeffrey Shultz, Biomechanical diversity of reproductive structures in leiobunine harvestmen

Cruz da Silva: looked at web-building vs hunting on water groups; web builders tend to have reduced piriform glands

Cruz da Silva: Hygropoda, Nilus & Neotropical were major groups

Cruz da Silva: 77 taxa, 35 known genera; interestingly Senoculidae came out closely related

Cruz da Silva: pisaurids, known for their nursery webs & male nuptial gifts, have a worldwide distribution

Next: Estevam Cruz da Silva, Phylogeny of the nursery web spider family Pisauridae

Alvarez-Padilla: keep in mind, collecting in Mexico is fun, & there *are* some safe places to collect

Alvarez-Padilla: in imaging, if you're doing standard views, 15-20 views should cover most of animal surface

Alvarex-Padilla: 14 yrs after Coddington et al. on sampling protocols "I return to Mexico & nobody has used it"

Alvarez-Padilla: only been 12 faunistic studies in Mexico, lack vouchers, morpho species ID'd only as "spp"

Alvarez-Padilla: 4th, comparative online databases linked to papers, 5th voucher specimens

Alvarez-Padilla: 2nd tool is robust tools to measure diversity, 3rd is standard sampling protocols

Alvarex-Padilla: I can tell you that the Platnick spider catalog is the envy of all entomologists

Next: Fernando Alvarez-Padilla, Faunistic inventories in Mexico: A comparative approach

Mallis: found precursors of the spigot in very early instars

Mallis: starting in 2nd instar, you see a grouping of a modified spigot w 2 flanking structures

Mallis: We prepared spigots of each instar for SEM. Few studies have looked at spigot ontogeny

Mallis: ... is at a strategic position, taxonomically, for this study 2/2

Mallis: Besides "being in my opinion being one of the most beautiful spiders in the world," T. perfuga... 1/2

Mallis: a lot has been done on araneoid silk, less on cribellate silk

Next: Rachel Mallis, Spigot ontogeny in Tengella perfuga: preliminary mapping results on silk production in cribellate spiders #arachnids

Ryan Bell @spiderwrangler Displaying phylogenetic trees is always tough for the audience to follow and see. Zooming with Prezi is a big help.

Almeida-Silva: the new family is sister to the Oval Calamistrum Clade & Fused Paracribellar Clade

Almeida-Silva: Our new family - w 26 genera, 13 newly described - is supported by 4 synapomorphies

Almeida-Silva: Macrobuninae, once the biggest amaurobiid subfamily, is now shown to be only distantly related to Amaurobiinae

Almeida-Silva: family Amaurobiidae has been known as a trashcan. Amarobiinae subfamily seems to be monophyletic #arachnid14

First up: Ina Maria Almeda-Silva, Cladistic analysis & revision of Macrobunidae new rank

We're about to get started w this morning's program at #arachnids14, Taxonomy & Diversity, moderated by I-Min Tso

Good morning & happy Monday. See some pics from our fun arthropod activities last night at

Sunday evening, June 22 - Casual Night with the Arachnids

Look, a Schizocosa ocreata male courting!

Making "webs"

Making spiders

Amazing biomechanics - this model demonstrates how bugs extend their legs

Meanwhile, Dr Rovner answers those questions one always wanted to ask about spiders

Ryan Bell @spiderwrangler Why yes, that is a Schiz made out of pipecleaners...

A good day at OSU #arachnids14

Arthropod experiences in progress

This African millipede demonstrated to dozens of people how to move dozens of legs all at once

A large Australian walking stick. The males fly, & visited several of our guests

In the #arachnids14 arthropod petting zoo - petting, oohing & ahing in progress

Some scenes from Casual Night with the Arthropods, #arachnids14's public event - complete with petting zoo

See more of Joe Warfel's arthropod photography at

A young opilionid molting, photo by Joe Warfel. That whole long leg has to be pulled out

A whole LOT of opilionids gather under a picnic table, photo by Joe Warfel

A different opilionid, Caddo agilis, photo by Joe Warfel

An opilionid (harvestman), family Sclerosomatidae, photo by Joe Warfel

A fluorescing scorpion peers out of its burrow, photo by Joe Warfel

The face of an amblypigid, photo by Joe Warfel

A schizomid, photo by Joe Warfel

A pseudoscorpion, photo by Joe Warfel

This is Liphistius, a primitive spider from Asia with abdominal segmental scuta

And now a few highlights from Joe Warfel's slides...

kissmeimpatrick86 @kissmeimpatrick @SpiderAnderson #Wisconsin #spiders #arachnids14 #tarantula #insects #bugaboo #bugs #WorldCup2014 #Wimbledon2014 #wow

Scariest monster I've seen all day!

Once people became aware of MRSA infections, the number of alleged brown recluse bites reported to Rick fell to like 1 a year

Now THIS is a brown recluse...

If your spider has markings or big hairs or makes big webs between trees - IT IS NOT A BROWN RECLUSE

Rick Vetter is talking about people's misconceptions about brown recluse spiders

George tells us that using video to study wolf spiders & jumping spiders has taught us that they're smarter than we thought

George Uetz tells us that we can't see out of the back of our head, but jumping spiders can. Also they like to watch videos

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor So, uh, size matters to the ladies if you're wolf spider. Wow!

George Uetz tells us that we can't see out of the back of our head, but jumping spiders can. Also they like to watch videos

And now, an audio an audio recording of the brown recluse spider's mating call

We saw a closeup of the spit coming out of the spider's jaws, & then hear the sound the squirts make

Look, a spitting spider spitting

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor Bob Suter: I recorded from a spitting spider head...

Mr. Belcher @kyspiderguy Had a great time teaching little kids to make hand spiders at community event night

Bob Suter is showing us a fishing spider jumping on the videos of a fishing spider jumping on the water. Now it escapes a frog!

Meera Lee Sethi @gruntleme Extraordinary. MT @nsandlin Cara Shillington radio-tags male tarantulas to learn how they live

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor cyborg tarantulas? No way, that's a radio tag!

Cara has actually been radio-tagging male tarantulas to follow them electronically & learn how they live

Cara Shillington tells our public guests at #arachnids14 about the lives of tarantulas ... the babies are very adorable

Doug: we go out on the sand w a blacklight & catch scorpions when they fluoresce. It's one of the best things you'll ever do.

Doug describes the experiments he does in his lab to learn about the weird brains & nerves of scorpions

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor now that is an excited scorpion...

J. Andrew Roberts @spiderprofessor Scorplings!

Starting talks at Casual Night with the Arachnids, the public portion of #arachnids14 Doug Gaffin is presenting "Mind Melding with a Scorpion"

OH at #arachnids14 arthropod petting zoo: Kid: Is that from Australia? Scientist: Yeah. Kid: That's where I'm going to go live when grow up!

Science On Google+ @ScienceOnGoogle Getting ready to start our Casual Night with Arachnids! Watch on #YouTube & join conversation using #arachnids14 View media

Science On Google+ @ScienceOnGoogle Want to see #spider relatives harvestmen, #scorpions mites & ticks in action? Join us in 30 mins for #arachnids14 View media

Science On Google+ @ScienceOnGoogle Our Casual Night with Arachnids starts in 1hr! Chat on exciting #spider research using #arachnids14 View media @spiderprofessor

Sunday afternoon, June 22

That's the last talk today. Tune in 6pm for Casual Night w Arachnids. Questions answered, lore shared & reportedly a G+ Hangout

Dodson: so, comparing Misumenoides formosipes & Misumena vatia, we see a lot of variation in the relevant factors

Dodson: they have low density, but sex ratios vary, Mating systems vary (scramble competiton vs. scramble + fights)

Dodson: hypotheses all assume males move around more than females. Using 2 thomisid spp, this is true

Dodson: various hypotheses have been put forward, many focusing on selection for locomotory ability

Dodson: as we know, spiders are way on the female end of the sexual size dimorphism scale

Next: Gary Dodson, "What's up with the dwarf males?"

Huang: There was considerable incongruence between BAF values & biodiversity results

Huang: set up 180 sampling plots at 8 univ campuses in central Taiwan, counted spiders, inseccts, herbaceous & woody plants

Huang: BAF evaluates land-use surfce types, homogeneous zones & landscape mosaics. We compared that to biodiversity

Next: Pao Shen Huang, can BAF reflect eco effectiveness of urban areas? A case study on campuses in central Taiwan

Chang: vegetation mix & spider diversity was not congruent w BAF designation, maybe partly since we only counted adults

Chang: BAF level was assigned by expert based on aerial photos. We measured spider diversity of same areas

Chang: When a city designer meets an ecologist: the biotype area factor (BAF), to evaluate eco effectiveness of urban areas

Next: Shao-Tzu Chang, can BAF index reflect biodiversity pf landscape mosaics in coastal areas? Spiders as indicators

Seaborn: Daily max/min closer in my data than in USFWS & wx sta data. So bryophyte matts stabilize temps

Seaborn: also had USFWS HOBO data & data from weather station at Mt. Leconte. Ended up w a lot of data

Seaborn: I put waterproof data loggers under the moss matts to understand microhabitats

Seaborn: Microhexura montivaga is a federally endangered spider found under moss matts on high N-facing slopes in Appalachia

Next: Travis Seaborn, Abiotic microhabitat parameters of spruce-fir moss spider

Potts: put spiders (Mermessus fradeorum) in chambers w & w/o sundews. There did not seem to be exploitative competition

Potts: but what about web-building spiders? I picked a linyphiid spider w similar prey-capture strategies & prey animals

Potts: A previous study found that wolf spiders compete w sundews but stealing prey directy from the plant

Potts: carnivory has evolved multiple times in plants. I used the sundews (Drosera), wh are common in bogs

First up: Leslie Potts, Interactions in a tangled web: competition between spiders & carnivorous plants

Now the Ecology session, moderated by Kenneth Cramer

Questions about other arachnids also welcome at #arachnids14 Casual Night. Tweet them now to @spiderprofessor for answers 6-7pm tonight

Do you have questions about spiders? Tweet them to @spiderprofessor & they'll get answered 6-7pm at #arachnids14 Casual Night!

And that's it for the behavior session of #arachnids14, where it's all about how to behave to stay in an non-eaten state

Tso: Attacks on C. ginnago were more frequent when only decorations were darkened, vs deco & spider body

Tso: Ariamnes cylindrogaster has needle-like twiggy body. Dummies w tucked-in legs had fewer attacks than ones w legs spread

Tso: Cyclosa ginnaga puts decorations in its web to look like bird droppings

Tso: many variations on theme of spiders needing strategy to counteract strategy they use to attract prey, to avoid predators

Next: I-Min Tso, Evidence for effectiveness of spiders masquerading as bird droppings or twigs

Clark: ~90% of toads oriented to courting male, ~60% to walking males, & 0% to males sitting still

Clark: if toad oriented to iPad, they'd almost always come right up & attack (lick the screen)

Clark: showed toads videos of the spiders on iPads, measured detection latency (time) & attack probability

Clark: we showed videos of courting vs walking males in different conditions to a predator Bufo americanus, the American toad

Clark: we have a lot of data on their courtship displays, including female attraction & unwanted attraction of predators

Clark: the Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders & their mating behavior have been studied in the Uetz lab for more than 3 decades

Clark: mating displays need to be conspicuous to be effective, but this also puts them at risk

Next: David Clark, Risky courtship behavior of male wolf spiders

Chapin: of the game theory models for invert contests, "self assessment" (how big you are) was best fit

Chapin: often the fight ends when one runs away, but size-matched contests more often end up in cannibalism

Chapin: results of interactions show the whip spider is territorial. Next, who wins? Bigger ones w more pedipalp display

Chapin: if it's about territory, does one - the resident - value the territory than the intruder?

Chapin: whip spiders (ampblypygi) walk on 6 legs & engage in agonistic interactions. What do they fight about?

Next: Kenneth Chapin, Contesting territories: Asymmetric resource value & assessment strategies in whip scorpion

Chang: White- & brown-clypeus spiders got similar numbers of non-flying insects, suggesting the coloration targets the former

Chang: used hair removal treatment to give some Heterepoda dark clypeus. White faced ones got lots more flying insects

Chang: Heterapoda has a bright white clypeus, with higher reflectance than its brown body

Chang: some nocturnal spiders such as orb weaver Neoscona & wandering Heterapoda, have conspicuous markings

Chang: we know bright coloration can serve as a lure for prey in diurnal hunters, what about nocturnal ones?

Next: Chia-Chen Chang, Conspicuous markings of a night-wandering spider attracts flying prey

Sitvarin: for smaller frogs, those that jumped more tended to be captured more often

Sitvarin: factors most predictive of whether frog would be captured are relative mass & how much they jumped

Sitvarin: captures occurred in about 25% of trials, about half the attacks came from behind the frog

Sitvarin: used cricket frogs, which are ~half the size of a penny, & wolf spider Tigrosa helluo

Sitvarin: Among invertebrate predators of frogs, spiders are No. 2, behind water bugs, an under-studied interaction

Next: Michael Sitvarin, "thinking about frogs &things that eat them"

Mukhtar: collembola in "mixed" arena did not differentiate among the spiders based on diet cues

Mukhtar: collembola in arena with wolf spiders fed collembolans spent more time & moved more than those w cricket-fed spiders

First up: Muhammad Khalid Mukhtar, effect of diet-associated cues from a wolf spider on collembola, its prey animal

Ryan Bell @spiderwrangler Casual Night With Arachnids at the Reese Center on the OSU Newark Campus, 6pm! #science

We are back from lunch & about to start the Behavior session, moderated by Gary Dodson

Sunday morning, June 22

Thank you @lilyorit for the spider anesthesia question & presenter Sean Koebley for the answer

Answer pt 2: put spidey in Tupperware, waft in CO2, once the legs curl in you have abou 1 min to immobilize it

We had a question about an earlier presentation: "How do you anesthetize a spider?" Answer pt 1: carbon dioxide

That was it for this session, time for lunch!

Herrmann: stressed spiders had lower levels of dopamine, serotonin & epinephrine, &higher levels of octopamine

Herrmann: kept in dry container, then rehydrated enough to collect hemolymph

Herrmann: I looked at water stress. Spiders are esp prone to dessication given their great area relative to mass

Herrmann: octopamine is kind of considered the "fight or flight" indicator in invertebrates

Herrmann: octopamine related to many behaviors such as bee waggle dance, and is released in response to stress

Next: Samantha Herrman, "Stressing out!" Effects of stress on biogenic amine levels in wolf spiders

Kozak: this was the first time as far as I know that cross modal integration was demonstrated in any invertebrate

Kozak: they did recognize signals as coming from diff individuals, & went back & forth between them

Kozak: results suggest that they may have interpreted visual as multimodal, as in "ventriloquist effect"

Kozak: the females were more attracted to visual signal than vibratory, but most to combined (multimodal)

Kozak: can female wolf spiders recognize & differentiate multimodal signals, in synch and out of synch

Kozak: in "ventriloquist effect" we combine two signals that are offset - the dummy's mouth is moving more so he's talking

Kozak: wolf spiders can be courted by multiple males using multiple modes of communication (tapping, waving...)

Next: Liz Kozak w a behavioral interloper talk on cognitive cross-modal integration in wolf spiders #arachnids

Hsiung: different hues can be created by varying thickness of layers; iridescence can result from interaction w other layers

Hsiung: the blue has periodic nanostructures, while black & brown have no conspicuous periodicity

Hsiung: the blue hairs have a smoother, more cylindrical structure than black & brown hairs

HSiung: colors created by periodic nanostructures (photonic crystals) are called structured colors, can be very vivid

Hsiung:color is a complex feature, comprising light source, absorptive material & observer who can see that part of spectrum

Next: Bill Hsiung, Structural based blue appearance in tarantulas

Long: eyes are connected to proto-cerebrum by "optic neuropils," w a lot of diversity in details of structure

Long: spider brains have 2 regions, the sub-esophogeal mass & ptoto-cerebrum, wh handles visual imput & is the "thinking part"

Long: I had to develop a new method to get thick whole-head sections of spider cephalic regions

Long: spiders have more complex anatomy for brain dissection, as cephalothorax is on part w many organs in there

Long: insect neuromorphology & its relationship to behavior has been studied a lot, not so for spideys

Next: Skye Long, spider brain morphology (which is very under-studied)

Casem: cells of post-egg-production state seem to use autophagy to return to base state

Casem: tubiliform glands undergo dramatic changes in size & cellular structure as spider enters & leaves egg-producing state

Casem: tubiliform silk is used to surround & protect the egg mass

First up, Merri Lynn Casem on changes in the tubiliform silk gland in the Western widow when she is about to lay eggs

We're starting the Anatomy & Physiology section moderated by Doug Gaffin

That's it for this session, we are off to have coffee. Anatomy & Physiology after the break (10:45 ET)

Mr. Belcher @kyspiderguy Bell's quote: "Few failures in the life of an organism are as unforgiving as the failure to avoid a predator" by Lima & Dill '90

Bell: and this data was remarkably unequivocal, altho they do respond to cues on the substrate

Bell: in this study, Schizocosa ocreata exhibited no difference in behavior at all when exposed to airborne predator cues

Bell: in prev studies some spiders have been able to detect volatile cues (airborne chemicals) from predators

Bell: succesfully avoiding a predator is very important to staying alive...

Next up, Ryan Bell, response of S. ocreata to volatile cues of an intraguild predator (not a web talk)

Piorkowski: prev studies had seen no change in extensibily, which may have been an artifact of study methodology...

Piorkowski: extensibility changed, but stiffness & strength stayed about the same at diff ages

Piorkowski: do silk properties change as spider matures? Extruded Nephila pilipes silk at 4 speeds...

Piorkowski: when stretched, the silk loses water & its inner structure becomes more ordered, It's stronger & stiffer

Piorkowski: the dragline silk has an internal structure of "blocks & springs" w at disordered structure when extruded

Next: Dakota Piorkowski, ontogeny of silk tailoring potential: do large spiders conserve silk diameters to optimally forage #arachnids

Koebley: measured elastic modulus (stiffness) & extensibility, both were in line w or surpassing properties of orb web silk

Koebley: the silk has fibers ~ 7-8 nanometers long, never observed before on any silk, wh we called nanopapillae

Koebley: Br recluse silk being flat is perfect for AFM, it's ~6-8 microns wide, 40-80 nanometers high, so very thin #arachnids

Koebley: we anasthetize the brown recluse, restrain it, reel out the silk. To measure we use atomic force microscopy

Koebley: orb weaver silk is a cylinder ~3-5 microns in diameter - but Loxosceles is nothing like that. It's flat!

Koebley: as you know, silk is a unique in the materials world, dragline silk of orb weavers has been most studied

Next: Sean Koebley, Brown recluse spider's amazing nanometer-scale ribbons of stiff, extensible silk

Stellwagen: so really intersting from a material sci standpoint: UV just doesn't seem to affect it at any level

Stellwagen: gathered webs in the AM when they're fresh, stretched in a film-development box in the lab at diff UV exposures

Stellwagen: Japanese researchers working with silkworm siilk found the silk protein sericin is an antioxidant

Stellwagen: webs out in the sun all day, how does UV affect then? 3 types of UV: A, B & C

Stellwagen: previously showed how temperature affects stickiness - similar to honey in fridge vs in sun

Stellwagen: and if you even breathe on them, the droplets will swell before your very eyes - humidity response

Stellwagen: the viscous droplets when flattened in lab separate into different materials

Next: Sarah Stellwagen, UV-B irradiance doesn't influene the extebsibility of adhesive viscous orb web droplets

Amarpuri: the work has practical application for adhesives that work in humid environments #arachnids

Amarpuri: this showed a homogeneous structure with both salt & protein found throughout the droplet in similar proportions

Amarpuri: using Raman spectroscopy, which relies on shift in energy from the ligtht to study vibration etc.

Amarpuri: the combination of glycoproteins & salt makes the glue viscoelastic & humidity responsive

Amarpuri: the glue droplets are produced by Rayleigh's instability wh makes them bead up, and is viscoelastic

Next: Gaurav Amarpuri, on how homogeneous structure of glue-droplet explains the superior adhesive performance of spider silk

Folks, if you have questions or comments on the arachnology research being reported here, give a shout

Opell: we saw that much longer threads contribute to overall insect capture efficiency than we had previously thought

Opell: measuring the tangential force at each droplet to compute maximum span efficiency...

Opell: stretching a viscous thread in a specially desinged piece of eqpt & imaging it showed a parabolic shape

Opell: Bob Suter had noted that engineers design suspension bridges to be shaped like a parabola, see if spiders do the same

Opell: previously they measured relationship of thread length to stickiness & each droplet's contribution to stickiness

First up, Brent Opell re-examining the suspension bridge mechanism of an orb web's viscous threads

We're getting started, first session is Webs & Silk, moderated by Merri Lynn Casem

Saturday afternoon, June 21

Science On Google+ @ScienceOnGoogle Brown recluse spider has potential medical importance but myths exaggerate its status. We'll tackle in #arachnids14

They also jump on semis, & pull ostriches into trapdoors. And there are burrowing orb weavers.

This eve we had Eight Legged Freaks for #arachnids14 movie night. Jumping spiders hunting in packs to kill teenagers on dirt bikes!

Oct 22, 2005, was the octagon moonrise ceremony. The next one will be 18.6 years from then. See you there?

At the "matching" earthworks in Chillicothe they were celebrating the solstice today...

An artist rendering of the Hopewell site, from a dinner talk by Dr. Brad Lepper, the expert on these structures

Plaque from the Hopewell site. The structures rectify the circumference & map 18.6-year lunar cycles

After posters we went to see the Hopewell Earthworks, a remarkable place

Web-invading theridiid eating her linyphiid web host, from a gut-content analysis by Karen Cangialosi

Anelosimus studiosus aggressively guarding her egg sac on a Q-tip, by JB Price

The scarcely-believable phase of spider ontogeny, from an embryonic staging system by EA Herrera

Remember the clock-watching Cyclosa from this morning? What she looks like in her web, by A Herrig

The thin-cuticled, dessication-prone schizomid - does it flee light?, by Sarah Jane Rose

QR to listen to airborne mating sounds of Gladicosa gulosa, by Corey Vaughn

Is chemo-photographic memory the key to scorpion homing, by Kyven Zhao

Secondary tropical forests have much more diversity, by Trish Masterson

Biotope Area Factor examples from Taiwan parks, by Yiu-chin Leu

First some highlights from the poster session, shamelessly based on sharable visual elements (not on my "votes" 4 best poster)

And now some highlights from this afternoon and evening at #arachnids14...

Also, this eve a talk on Ohio's Hopewell earthworks over dinner

That's the last talk of the morning. We have the poster session in the afternoon, watch for highlights

Jones: the factors most profoundly important to the model were male density & how fast they moved across the substrate

Jones: avg & median for seismic contact was ~10 males w/in period, vis contact a bit less. Was that enough?

Jones: each cyber-spider had its own behavioral characteristics programmed in

Jones: but hey, there's a ton of data on Schizicosa ocreata data, so we were able to use it & program little cyber-spiders

Jones: there's a growing body of evidence that females get more choosy after seeing about ~45 males in the lab; & in the field?

Jones: as we know, Bateman's principle us that females *should* be choosy, but only if there are more males out there

Next, TJ Jones, Female's visual & seismic experience with courting males during courtship, last talk of the morning

Watts: Did not actually see *any* attacks on the spiders in the field over 1600+ observations captured on video

Watts: they are more likely to attack simulated prey at night, & more likely to leave the web hub to avoid simulated predators

Watts: spiders will accept prey items at all times in 24 hr cycle, but at different rates night & day

Watts: spiders confronted w a predator in the web show a much greater variety of behaviors than in the artificial arena

Watts: this builds on last year's Spiders on the Clock, testing classic adaptive rhythm hypothesis

Next, Colton Watts, ecological implications of Cyclosa turbinata diel rhythms of foraging & antipredator behavior

Gilbert: males infected as juveniles had lower courtship vigor, less symmetrical tufts, & lower mating success

Gilbert: Males who courted for 5 minutes had lowered immune response; actively infected males had most courtship vigor

Gilbert: we know courtship is energetically taxing for males. Males exposed to pathogens have higher immune response...

Next: Rachel Gilbert, relationship between immunity & multimodal sexual signaling in wolf spiders

Mitchell: but more-rigorous tests showed no variations, so thinking may be uses in my design...

Mitchell: using less-aggressive light levels than prev studies suggested scorpions may be attracted to green light

Mitchell: been hypothesized that photosensitve elements in their tails may suggest that the scorpion is "one big eye"

Mitchell: scorpion eyes only sensitive to one type of light (1 photoreceptor type), responce to UV may just be green bouncing

Next, Jacob Mitchell, "Glowing Green," - a new test of scorpion light sensitivity & its relationship to fluorescence

Persons: males just the opposite, oriented both to Earth & coils (altho not congruent w dir of field, oddly)

Persons: females showed no signif difference in orientation either in control or treatments

Persons: field was ~5x stronger than Earth's, so canceled external field, red light to minimize visual cues #arachnids

Persons: used the cute wandering nocturnal Tigrosa helluo, and Helmholz coil for mag field

Persons: lots of animals use magnetic cues/orientation, last year there was that study on dogs facing north to poo... #arachnids

Now: Matt Persons, do wolf spiders use magnetoreception

Jakob: Will also be able to do a study w a researcher who can connect the rig to central brain of the spider

Jakob: Michael Land suggested years ago that the spiders are looking for *legs* - will be able to test that

Jakob: when ALE are masked, they stop picking up movement

We're now seeing Phiddipus audax' retinas quiet when looking at a blank screen, vs twitching when looking at a cricket

Jakob: a challenge was calibration, since spiders are not sensitive to voice commands #arachnid

Jakob: salticids have had some tracking work done, & we expanded on that, had to get a special eye tracker built

Jakob: eye tracking in non-human animals rel rare, bec few eyes move. Main invert one was in stomatopods (mantis shrimp)

Jakob: I'm in an psych dept, and eye-tracking is done a lot, to understand how people read complex sentences or respond to ads #aracnids14

We just saw an awesome short video of the tubes moving inside a see-through jumping spider that Wayne Maddison found

Jakob: main eyes have best vis acuity of any land invert. Retina only 10 degrees but the tubes move

Jakob: salticid secondary eyes have a fixed lens that's part of the cuticle, about as good as the eyes of dragonfly

First up, Beth Jakob, tracking the eyes of jumping spiders, a window into perception

Starting 2nd #arachnids14 morning session, Behavior, moderated by Jason Bond

Saturday morning, June 21

Dear all: If you see a mistake or have a question for one of the speakers at #arachnids14, give a shout to me or to the hashtag

And that's it for the morning taxo session at #arachnids14, after the break Behavior moderated by Jason Bond

Hedin: Some may argue it's a negative result for conservation biology, but I feel it needs to be based on the best evidence

Hedin: results clearly suggested 2 total species, not 4. This is supported by essentially identical palpal morphology

Hedin: genetic data best for this task, used mitochondrial & 8 rapidly evolving nuclear genes

Hedin: Highway dept came to me & asked "Is C. wartoni a species?"

Hedin: Cave spiders tend to vary cave to cave anyway ... there is no known same-cave sympatry among cave spiders

Hedin: C. wartoni is in a complex of 4 spp, described by Gertsch based on epiginal morphology

Hedin: Cicurina wartoni described from a single adult female found in a small cave, only adult ever collected

Hedin: If a species is not real, we don't want to waste scarce conservation resources to preserve it

Hedin: I'm going to argue that some species delimitations may be more important than others

Next: Marshall Hedin, Species delimitation in blind cave spiders in Texas

DiDomenico: cryptic sp formerly in S. peacheyi now S. briggsi in honor of Thomas Briggs for his dedication to opilionids

DiDomenico: another n sp named S. starretti in honor of Jim Starrett, who collected the first opilionid from this area

DiDomenico: specimen from Santa Ynez will be named S. ubicki in honor of Darrell Ubick

DiDomenico: Bayes Factor analysis delimited 13 spp, BP&P delimited 11-12 in S. sura group - 5 new ones she will describe

DiDomenico: Genetic data are well suited for species delimitation in morpho cryptic species

Next: Angela DiDomenica, Genus tree inference, genetic species delimitation & species descrip in opilionid Sitalcina sura group

Emata: ~8mya was xeric shift in Calif that created barriers to dispersion

Emata: est age of splits suggest Calicina taxa were present on Calif coast were present before formation of coastal valley

Emata: at 35mya, origin of lineage still v uncertain; major lineages in Calicina much more widespread

Emata: How did paedomorphy - retention of juvenile characters by the adult - in Calina develop, and when?

Emata: 4 well-recognized lineages of opilionids, Calicina is in Phalangodidae

Next: Kristen Emata, Molecular systematics, historical biogeograph & paedomorphic evolution of the harvestman genus Calicina

Carlson: congeneric pair strategy is very powerful. Use of next-generation sequencing in spiders is just beginning

Next: Dave Carlson, de novo assembly, characterization & comparative analysis of entelegyne spiders

Graham: taxa persisted in previously recognized Pleicstocen erefugia

Graham: we have microallopatry - big diffs w/in small geo spaces - but not pre-Pleistocene divergence

Graham: subspecies were not monophyletic, but have some strongly supported lineages

Graham: these deserts are testing grounds for reconstructing biotic assembly

Next: Matthew Graham, Phylogeography of large but little known scorpion from Mojave & Sonoran deserts

Bond: In our analysis, orbicularia not monophyletic, uloborids are sister to RTA clade

Bond: We present the first phylogenomic analysis of all spider lineages, based on transcriptome data comprising 327 loci

Bond: & in recent molecular work, some support for it, but weak

Bond: In Blackledge et al.'s work, it might look like morphology has rescued the monophyly of the orbicularia

Bond: We've had the idea that morphology isn't that informative...

First talk: Jason Bond on spider phylogenomics: history of Earth's most diverse predator lineage & orb web origins

The first session will be Systematics & Evolution, moderated by Brian Patrick

Dr William MacDonald, dean & director of OSU at Newark is giving a welcome...

Friday, June 20

Reese Center, Ohio State Univ at Newark, whence I'll be tweeting the #arachnids14 conf starting tomorrow

PS. Good people of #NewarkOH feel free to bring critters in jars for our experts to identify & discuss #arachnids14 Sun 6-9 Reese Cnt OSU

Sunday 6-9pm will be Casual Night w the Arachnids at #arachnids14 - colorful spidey-lore galore for young & old!

#arachnids14 mood pic RT Alex Wild @Myrmecos Friday Night Spider. Because you deserve one. (Tutelina elegans, male)

Hi Alex from #arachnids14 RT Alex Wild @Myrmecos Tired of all those stupid arachnophobic "Nope" memes. So I made this

Chris Buddle @CMBuddle I'm sorry I won't be there! (field work in Nunavut for me...) Have a great conference, everyone! #Arachnids14

Nina Sandlin @nsandlin And ... we're off to the spider conference (& other arachnids), yay! #arachnids14

About this document

By giving multiple highlights from almost all speakers, I have exceeded the size that can readily be handled by the Storify platform, which I had used in previous years. This is thus a custom-gathered collection of tweets; those not identified are by me. I have taken the liberty of tidying the content by correcting misspellings and filling in some missing information. If any errors or ommissions remain, please let me know and I will set them right. My contact info is here.