Citizen Science Manager Lila Higgins is tracking the latest and greatest developments in the Museum’s new outdoor habitat, the Nature Gardens!
View Lila's blog
L.A. is more wild than you think! Come celebrate the transformation of NHM into an indoor-outdoor Museum!
Check out our permanent Insect Zoo exhibit! We have bugs all year round.
When you give to the Museum, you support our scientists' research on the planet's biodiversity. You are also creating tomorrow's scientists. Our teacher resources make each field trip a learning experience, our education outreach brings the science of discovery to schools all over L.A.
Our open-air Spider Pavilion, under a white tent on the Museum's South Lawn, is a place where visitors can marvel at hundreds of spiders spinning their intricate webs. This year’s Pavilion will showcase, in its redesigned anteroom exhibit, several tarantulas and eight-eyed jumping spiders like this one!
The Pavilion's collection of colorful eight-legged creatures includes more than 300 arachnid inhabitants, such as golden silk spiders, Nephila clavipes, whose web of yellow threads can reach six feet wide and whose silk is as strong as steel. Pavilion-goers will also be captivated by spiky orb-weavers Gasteracantha geminata and the day-glo-colored orchard spiders Leucauge venusta.
The Museum's Gallery Interpreters regularly monitor the creatures' webs to make sure there’s ample space between branches to provide optimal web-spinning options. Those blue-shirted staff members will be on hand to explain the intricate web architecture and engineering, and provide more details about spiders that are spinning around neighborhoods, near and far, this fall.
Before you enter the Spider Pavilion, spend some quality time in the programming area, which is designed to acclimate you to the spider exhibit experience. Learn about spiders and see cases containing special rarely displayed specimens from the Museum’s living collections. Also, take a look at when we've scheduled some our special spider programs and activities that will help to engage the visitor with the exhibit. We've selected some of our favorite pictures over the years to share with you.
See Some Pictures of What It's Like Inside
Examine our free-range spiders in a comfortable, safe, and immersive environment. Our knowledgeable staff is there to guide your experience. Go ahead, ask lots of questions and find out everything you want to know. There is a great deal to learn about these wonderful animals, and you may be surprised at how much false information about spiders has been buzzing around in your head.
This is the largest species of orb weaving spider in the world. Although it is the size of a chocolate chip cookie, it is not in any way dangerous to humans and can be easily approached. The webs that this species constructs are equally impressive. They can measure up to ten feet across and are strong enough to catch a small bird.
This is the largest species of orb weaving spider found in the US. Common in many of the Gulf states, this species can produce webs that are up to three feet in diameter. The silk that they use is one of the strongest biological fibers known to man – five times the tensile strength of steel.
Common in gardens and parks throughout the U.S., these spiders are not generally noticed because they tend not to sit out on the webs they produce. They prefer to build silken retreats near their webs and only dart out from them when prey is detected.
These spiders are the most commonly seen orb weavers in the Los Angeles area. At certain times of year, especially the fall months, they can be incredibly numerous. They are not at all dangerous to people and can be easily handled, but prefer not to be removed from the webs that they produce.