Also known as cane spider, Heteropoda venatoria is a species in the family Sparassidae, the huntsman spiders. It is native to the tropical regions of the world, and it is present in some subtropical areas as an introduced species. The female produces an egg sac up to about 2.5 centimeters wide and carries it with its pedipalps under its body, as we see here. Egg sacs are variable in size, usually containing over 100 eggs, with larger ones holding over 400. The spiderlings undergo their first molt while still in the sac. The spider feeds on insects, capturing them directly instead of spinning webs. It injects them with venom. The venom of this spider contains the toxin HpTX2, a potassium channel blocker. In some tropical areas the spider is considered a useful resident of households because of its efficient consumption of pest insects.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.