Terrifying Brown Spiders Moving North with Global Warming

The shy but deadly arachnids will relocate as temperatures change.

My colleague Liz has been begging—seriously begging!—me to warn the American public about the growing threat of the terrifying and deadly brown recluse spider. Researchers have founds that the range of this extraordinarily venomous spider—a bite from which can, in some cases, kill—is expanding due to climate change, and that they'll be moving farther north to more populous parts of the country.

"The actual amount of suitable habitat of the brown recluse doesn't change dramatically in the future time slices, but what is changing is where that area is located," said Erin Saupe, a researcher from the University of Kansas.

Here's the map. The green dotted line marks current habitat. The blue masses are the areas they're expected to move to as temperatures increase.

So, really, the story here is not that the brown recluse spiders are expanding their range because of warmer temperatures, but rather that they're going to have to relocate. Which is probably welcome news to folks in Texas and Oklahoma and across the current habitats. But it's a big bummer for those of us who are up further north and wouldn't know one from a daddy long legs if it were climbing up the wall of our wood shed.

Photo (cc) by OakleyOriginals on Flickr