Thank you for visiting the home blog of Caliso Learning, a natural science-based business celebrating the beauty and ecology of our natural environments. Our goal is to connect you and your family with nature--actually, we want you to fall in LOVE with nature!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Green Spiders

Certain spider venom is being investigated as an eco-friendly insecticide. Scientists are getting closer to field-testing insecticides that mimic the action of spider toxins. In synthetic or natural form it can, potentially, target crop destroying insects with little or no effect on non-target species (e.g. beneficial bees and insects, birds, humans, other mammals, etc.). Unlike some conventional insecticides, target insects may not become naturally resistant to this spider-venom cocktail as they do with current chemical insecticides, and the spider toxins used in the engineered virus would not end up in the food supply. Read the entire article here.

The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) gets its name from the way Lynx spiders sometimes pounce on their prey in a catlike fashion. These spiders spend their time hunting for insects in bushes and low plants. They are fast runners, but can occasionally be seen lying in wait for prey beside flowers. They build no web for prey capture, but they do release a silk dragline as they hunt among leaves. Look for a large, conspicuous spider: bright green, cream, or tan body with yellow legs that have black spiny hairs. Body length: 5/8". Common in Southern California and beyond.

One million spiders make golden silk for rare cloth. Here you’ll find a fascinating article on a golden cloth that’s worth a lot of green. It took four years and more than 1 million female golden orb spiders, known for the rich golden color of their silk (see image), to create an 11-foot by 4-foot textile—the only large piece of cloth made from natural spider silk existing in the world today. Read more…

Image © Gstrange l Dreamstime.com


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