Now Seeking Spiders!

We have started collecting spiders for use in our annual Spider House! Bring us a spider for a complementary entrance to our after-hours CREEPY THINGS exhibit on October 14th and 21st.
 
We are looking for THREE species of spiders native to Kentucky. They are large outdoors spiders that spin geometric webs, and are very docile if handled with care. None of these spiders are venomous to humans.
 
The Golden Garden Spider is commonly found in gardens, sitting in the middle of her impressive web. They are our largest orb weavers in Kentucky. The abdomen is black with yellow and white markings, and the cephalothorax is silver. These spiders are easily identified by the distinct zig-zag pattern that runs down the center of the web. These spiders can be encountered during the day.
 
The Banded Orb Weaver is similar in appearance, but has thin bands of silver, yellow, and white on the abdomen instead of spots. They are also large web-makers, but are less common than the Golden Garden Spider. They are also found during the day in their webs.
 
The Spotted Orb Weaver is smaller than the two Argiope species (about the size of a nickel), but is a champion web-maker who can rival the much larger spiders for the size and beauty of their webs. They are typically seen at night, as they only deploy their webs nocturnally, retreating into hiding during the day. These spiders have round, bulbous abdomens with short hairs, and are usually brown or russet.
 
To collect these spiders, simply place a large-mouthed container beneath the spider and gently coax or tap the spider into the container. We find that large styrofoam cups from fast food and gas stations work well and very convenient!
 
Your spider can be delivered to us Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am — 5:00 pm, and you will be rewarded with a complementary admission to CREEPY THINGS.
 
Not comfortable collecting spiders? If you live in Jefferson County, we will collect the specimens for you. Just give us a call and let us know what spiders you have for us! Please note that only spiders delivered to the facility will be eligible for a free admission to our night programs.
 
 

FAQ

 
Do you want LIVE spiders?
YES! Please do not bring us squished spiders, it makes us sad.
 
Why the @#$% do you want LIVE SPIDERS?
These spiders will be featured during the month of October, at the temporary Spider House exhibit presented by Idlewild Butterfly Farm and featured at the Louisville Zoo. Visitors will be able to walk freely among the webs and view the spiders up close and personal in this truly unique experience. Details and dates to come shortly!
 
Where can I collect these spiders?
Spiders may be collected from your private property or from public-use land, such as urban parks. Specimens may not be collected from: private property that you do not own (excepting with consent of landowner), state parks, national parks, nature preserves, or wildlife refuges.
 
Do you want black widows or brown recluses?
We do not advise catching or handling either of these species, as their bites can be critical to humans. Idlewild Butterfly Farm will collect them, but they will be kept in our lab and not released into the spider house.
 
Do you want any other spiders?
We are only looking for the three large web-building spiders listed above. Please ensure you have correctly identified your spider.
Tips: These spiders will only be found in radial webs and only outdoors. All of these spiders are larger than a dime.