October’s creepy crawlies:
See spider photos taken on District lands

We’ve shown you snakes that can be found on St. Johns River Water Management District lands; it’s only right that we begin the month of October with a feature on spiders.

Spiders may be at the top of the list for creatures that can induce fear in otherwise calm, rational people. Movies like the1990 American comedy horror film, “Arachnophobia” haven’t helped matters.

In truth, spiders deliver many benefits to both our ecosystem and inside our homes. They feed on insects, like roaches, aphids, moths and earwigs, which help keep their populations in check. This, in turn, helps alleviate the spread of diseases and the destruction of farmland crops. What’s more, they’re actually beautiful in color and design when you take a closer look at them.

According to contributing members of Spider ID, there are 59 species of spiders in Florida, but that number can change because spiders aren’t bound by territorial lines established by humans. Occasionally, spiders can be found well outside of their known range after being intentionally or accidentally transported by humans in cars, luggage and other belongings. The good news is that of all the species found here, only two types are venomous: widow spiders and recluse spiders.

You’ll have little difficulty finding spiders on District lands. We’ve included photos of four common spiders that District staff have photographed on some of the more than 772,000 acres of land we own or manage within our 18-county jurisdiction. (We buy land in the course of our work to protect and preserve water resources. In addition, these lands protect plant and wildlife habitat and provide areas for public recreation and environmental education.)

All we ask is that you be respectful and keep your distance so that they can do their job of keeping the pest population in control. For additional information visit this site.

See our past stories

It’s fall house cleaning time for woodpecker cavities
Message from Dr. Ann Shortelle: Our Blue School Grant Program: Inspiring tomorrow’s scientists and engineers
Message from Dr. Ann Shortelle: Fall is a great time to visit a District land
Restoring a coastal wetland on the Indian River Lagoon