Spotlight on the Species: Arachnids

Little known fact: Sometimes jumping spiders wear water droplets for hats
Little known fact: Sometimes jumping spiders wear water droplets for hats


On Saturday, May 17, from 9:30 to 3:30, the Houston Zoo is going to celebrate some amazing arachnids with a Spotlight on the Species Event in the front plaza of the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo!  Come help us build an epic yarn spider web, play some games, and meet some of the Zoo’s spider and scorpion VIP’s.  We will have live animals present all day and will be giving you a chance to see some of the future residents of our incredible new Bug House before its grand opening!


On Saturday you might meet:

Emperor Scorpion

Emperor Scorpion
Emperor Scorpion

The Emperor Scorpion is one of the largest species of scorpion in the world.  They hail from rainforests and savannasin West Africa.  Although the Emperor Scorpion is black, it glows a bluish green color under UV light.  This scorpion can look pretty big and scary, but their sting is about the same as a bee sting.  In fact, they are more likely to pinch than sting.  Really, they’re the gentle giants of the scorpion world. 


Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tarantula:

This rare gem of a tarantula will be one of the crowning jewels of the Zoo’s new Bug House.  First discovered in the

Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tarantula
Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tarantula

town of Gooty in Southern India, they are native to an area of deciduous forest less than 40 square miles in size.  Encroachment on their incredibly specialized habitat, as well as over-collecting for the pet trade, threatens their population.  A shy, arboreal species, they hide in holes in tall trees and eat insects. Probably due to their small range and the limited availability of holes for them, this species has been observed living communally – something rare in the spider world! 


Check out the schedule below to see when you might be able to see these and our other special arachnids, and we’ll see you Saturday!

Arachnid SOS Schedule

9:30-10:00 – Family Feud – Brown Widow, Black Widow

10:00-11:00 – Spiders in Texas – Black Widow, Huntsman, Spitting Spider, Texas Brown Tarantula

11:00-12:00 – Exceptional Beauty – Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tarantula, Mexican Redleg Tarantula

12:00-1:00 – Natural Pest Control – Green Lynx Spiders, Spitting Spider

1:00-2:00 – The World’s Largest Spider Species – Goliath Birdeater Tarantula

2:00-3:00 – Scorpions – Desert Hairy Scorpion, Emperor Scorpion

3:00-3:30 – Comparing Spiders and Scorpions – Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula, Desert Hairy Scorpion

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