New Live Spider Exhibit Opens at Florida Museum

Go on an arachnid adventure at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new Spiders Alive! exhibit, opening January 28th.

With more than a dozen live species from around the world, this exciting exhibition dives into the world of spiders, scorpions and their relatives, and informs visitors about the unique traits and characteristics of this diverse group of animals known as arachnids.

“When visitors have a chance to view living animals, they get a different perspective of them than they would through a picture or even by watching a video,” said Julie Waters, the Florida Museum’s exhibit coordinator. “The exhibit gives visitors a chance to observe spiders and other arachnids that they wouldn’t see otherwise and may change the perceptions they have of them.”

Featured animals are as follows:

  • Mexican Red Knee
  • Jumping Spider
  • Asian Forest Scorpion
  • Brazilian Red and White Tarantula
  • Huntsman Spider
  • Desert Hairy Scorpion
  • Indian Ornamental Tarantula
  • Tailless Whip Scorpion
  • Gooty Safire Metallica Tarantula
  • Wolf Spider
  • Giant Vinegaroon
  • Goliath Bird Eater
  • Orb Weaver
  • Southern House Spider
  • Fishing Spider
  • Southern Black Widow

A massive replica of a golden orb-web spider and web overlooks the exhibit while large touchable models reveal a closer look at spider anatomy and their differences from insects. Rare fossils display species from the past, including one in limestone that’s 100 million years old and a spider in tree resin that’s 20 million years old.

crowd in large exhibit with web and spider on ceiling at spiders alive exhibit at the florida museum gainesville

Videos in the exhibit’s theater showcase a variety of unique arachnid behaviors, such as a diving bell spider living under water and a southern black widow spinning silk. Panels in the exhibit reveal details about ancient spiders, conservation, venom and more.

“While the fear of spiders is fairly common, I hope the exhibit helps those visitors realize that most spiders are small, shy and harmless, living hidden from view,” Waters said.

Admission to Spiders Alive! is $8 for adults; $7.50 for Florida residents, seniors and non-University of Florida college students; $5.50 for ages 3 to 17; and free to museum members and UF students with a valid Gator 1 Card. Complete admission pricing is available online. The Florida Museum will display the exhibit through September 4, 2023.

Spiders Alive! is owned and operated by Peeling Productions, and produced by the American Museum of Natural History and sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, University of Florida Student Government and the Florida Division of Arts and Culture.

For more information, visit the exhibit’s page.