A poisonous spider that usually stays away from populated areas recently appeared in buildings on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus, possibly due to vacancies linked to the pandemic, according to news reports.
The species, known as the Mediterranean recluse spider (Loxosceles rufescens), has appeared in “basements and remote areas of several buildings on the Ann Arbor campus due to a decrease in land use. buildings’, the university said in a press release February 23. More recently, several of the spiders were found in the university’s Shapiro library, prompting staff to shut down the library for two days.
The Mediterranean recluse spider is related to the poisonous brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa), but it is even more solitary.
“As the name suggests, they are reclusive and bites are extremely rare,” Anne Danielson-Francois, associate professor of biology at the University of Michigan, said in the statement. “Users browsing the library stacks are highly unlikely to encounter a wandering spider or be bitten.
The university now says the library closure was not justified because spiders pose such a low risk to humans.
“A misunderstanding of the situation led the library to…
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