Probably true, might be an underestimate

I’m still crunching numbers (heck, I’m still entering numbers and trying to sort out the analysis) of our summer spider survey, but this is actually a pretty low estimate of the numbers we’ve seen in garages.

<NdGT>But this doesn’t take into account the degree of variation, and that numbers in a clean home with few bugs will be significantly lower.</NdGT>


  1. blf says

    I just asked the spider who lives behind my video screen. After a bit of confusion, solved by converting to metric, they agreed, albeit with who is unclear. They also complimented me on the tasty selection of bugs and cats. At least I think they said “bugs”, the mildly deranged penguin had started shouting about then, something about being almost an entire metre away from the nearest cheese.

  2. jrkrideau says

    @1 blf
    After checking around my not particularly clean and tidy apartment, I think I’d go for less than a metre. I though I had a spider on my cat’s water glass (20cm from the keyboard) but it turns out the spider had departed and just left a dead fly.

  3. says

    Do they have to be alive? Because I can see one right next to the screen, but it died some time ago.
    Yes, I’m a lousy housekeeper, why do you ask?

  4. Allison says

    I would put forth a proposal to add the NdGT tag to the official HTML5 standard.

    To tag some text as what? Scientifically literate? Or sexually harassing?

  5. Sean Boyd says

    Allison @7,

    The latter, I should think. Although I took the tags in PZ’s original post to mean explaining something that is, well, kinda obvious.

  6. Duckbilled Platypus says

    So I’ve got a somewhat related question that hopefully the arachnophiles can answer. I’ve noticed more and more that spiders are indeed omnipresent, but (and this personal observation may be too anecdotal), it appears spiders have been doing very well over the past few years, I feel I’m seeing more rather than less of them each new year. I can’t quite rhyme that with the dramatic decline of (mostly airborne) insects that we are witnessing worldwide. I would have expected the depletion of food resources would lead to a decline in spider population as well (it seems birds are also in decline, despite complementary feeding in urban areas – they’re sharing some of the diet so it makes sense ) . But instead, they seem fine – especially the orb-weavers are just swarming the place.

    I realize spiders are very good at saying “oh well, didn’t catch that lunch, I guess I’ll wait another week” but they do hatch babies in ridiculous numbers. Are they munching on something I’m overlooking?