Spiders have spun webs at Queensland Museum

05 December 2019

Creeping into Queensland Museum this summer are a cluster of spiders, who have spun webs for Spiders – The Exhibition which opens tomorrow, Friday 6 December 2019.

As part of the exhibition, 12 live spider species will call the museum home for the next few months, including Redback, Sydney Funnel Web, Trapdoor, Huntsman and Tarantula spiders. 

Spiders – The Exhibition will give visitors a chance to come face-to-face with Australia’s amazing arachnids.

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said Spiders – The Exhibition will also feature 200 spider specimens along with leading research from museum experts displayed alongside a range of interactive and fun activities.

“Whether you are challenging a peacock spider to a dance-off, getting an up-close look at some live Australian spiders or learning more about the work of Queensland Museum arachnologists, visitors will be able to learn more about the amazing lives of spiders at Spiders – The Exhibition,” Dr Thompson said.

Minister for the Arts and Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said Spiders – The Exhibition would provide an immersive experience with fascinating exhibits and interactive displays.

“Queensland Museum has taken visitors from the depths of space with their record-breaking NASA exhibit, which finished in October, and have now come back to explore the wonders of earth with these fascinating spiders,” Minister Enoch said.

“This exhibition will allow visitors to explore all aspects of a spider’s life from their unique diet, jaws and venom, to how they have adapted, reproduced and grown in different habitats.

“Visitors will also have the change to enjoy some fun interactive displays.”

As part of the exhibition, Queensland Museum arachnologists are giving guests the opportunity to name a new species of spider through an exclusive competition.

The yet to be named species of trapdoor spider, which belongs to the genus Namea, was uncovered by Queensland Museum Principal Curator of Arachnology Dr Michael Rix at Mount Glorious, north of Brisbane.

Dr Rix said he hoped the competition would not only highlight the work taxonomists do in naming a species, but highlight just how fascinating spiders can be.

“As an arachnologist, it is incredible to be able to share my love of spiders with visitors through Spiders – The Exhibition,” Dr Rix said.

“We are fortunate to be able to display some of Queensland Museum’s research within the exhibition, including four recently described palisade trapdoor spiders, which can help give visitors an insight into the research of the taxonomists at the museum, as well as inspiration for naming the new species.”

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include the chance to challenge a colourful peacock spider to a dance-off, the opportunity to ‘hold’ a virtual wolf spider in your hand, take a peek into the insides of a spider using 3D scanning technology and step into the web of a net-casting spider for a photo.

Spiders – The Exhibition is developed and toured by the Australian Museum and Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre.

Tickets are now on sale. Visit www.spiders.qm.qld.gov.au for more information about the exhibition and the opportunity to enter the competition to name a new species of spider.