Proper decorum when spotting a spider during an arachnology meeting

There’s a major added benefit to attending a virtual conference. I’ll be spending the next 5 days ‘attending’ the American Arachnological Society meeting, which really means sitting in my home office listening to voices over my headphones with images of data about spiders on my computer screen, and the advantage is that I can be distracted without disrupting the event. Last night I was tuned into Maydianne Andrade’s excellent talk about widows and sex variation, and this critter was scampering over the windowsill.

[Sorry, you know the drill: the photo is on Instagram or Patreon]

So I got up, grabbed a collecting vial, scooped it up, and snapped a couple of photos right in the middle of her talk. There were about 180 arachnologists listening to it online; imagine if they each spotted a spider during a meeting, and felt no restraint about indulging their passion right then and there. Chaos! The entire audience would be on their hands & knees, or climbing the walls!

It would be great!

Maybe not as productive information-wise, though.

Also, there was a tiny theridiid spinning a web on my microphone stand. I got it, too, but it’s so small I think I’ll need to bring it into the lab to look at it with the microscope.