For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Nature's Assassins

Indian Ornamental Tarantula

August 2, 2012

If you’ve ever had fantasies—for better or for worse—about deadly scorpions, giant centipedes, and creeping tarantulas, August is the time to visit the Academy and indulge.

From Aug. 1 through 31, the living exhibit Nature’s Assassins: Bug Predators From Around the World showcases the most venomous, scary-looking invertebrates (they’re bugs, but not insects) one would ever hope to see all in one place. Far from a horror movie, it’s the real thing.

While some species may be familiar, such as the notorious black widow and brown recluse spiders, others will be new surprises, such as the Indian ornamental tarantula Poecilotheria regalis. This is an aggressive, intricately patterned creature with bright, vibrant colors on its underside that act as a warning. Its venom is deadly to its prey, but can it kill YOU?

Visitors will have the chance not only to see these creepy crawly creatures up close, but also to learn what they eat, where they live, how they are beneficial to the environment, and, yes, whether they can kill a human.

Nature’s Assassins is part of the Academy’s yearlong Bicentennial celebration and part of bug month. Don’t miss these other buggy opportunities in August: