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Virtual cross with a Tarantula


Fiona Jancey

As part of the Bush Blitz outreach programme, teachers who participate on an expedition are asked to do a live cross via the internet to their classroom while they are here. Today was the scheduled day for each teacher to do this and there was much nervous excitement hoping that the internet would work. The scientists were very giving of their time, delaying their field trips in the morning so that they could talk with a teacher’s class.

Dr Mark Harvey, curator of Arachnids from the Western Australian Museum was assigned to talk with me. We sat and worked out a plan together about what to say and then we chose which live spiders we would share with the class.

The call went really well. It was very exciting for me to see everyone and the Bushblitz organising crew were all standing to the side watching Mark and I as we chatted.
After this, Mark took all of the teachers out to two collecting sites. Firstly he showed us how to identify the burrows of Trapdoor spiders. They are so well camouflaged. However, once we had a lesson on how to identify a door, we could see them everywhere!

At the second site we were briefed by Dr Jeremy Wilson from the Queensland Museum. He showed us how to find and look for the spider he wanted to collect but he had us very confused! The spider was a Non-Jumping-Jumping Spider. Despite this confusing fact we were able to find a few hiding under rocky overhangs.

The spider hunt ended at the water’s edge near a picturesque pool which was very inviting… yet very cold for most!
The afternoon ended with us driving back to basecamp at sunset across the plains carefully looking out for cattle that live on the station and like to come out near the road at night-time.

Fun fact; Did you know that all scorpions glow in the dark when under a UV light?

Day 5 fiona jancey geographe primary school

Did you know that all scorpions glow in the dark when under a UV light

day 5 fiona jancey geographe primary school 4