Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

What bugs Tasmanians?

Dr Simon Grove and some of his favourite bugs, the Christmas beetle.

Carol Raabus, What bugs Tasmanians? Dr Simon Grove on the island state’s most inquired-about insects, ABC News, 25 November 2015

“If there was one answer to the question ‘what bugs Tasmanians?’ it would be spiders,” Dr Grove said.

“We get spider inquiries all the time… it seems to be as much about a yuck factor, or a ‘I’m a bit uncertain about this, should I be scared of this? Should I be squashing this?’

“Generally the answer is no, you shouldn’t, but you do have to be wary of some spiders.”

Dr Grove is the senior curator of the Invertebrates and Zoology Unit with TMAG.

He admitted to being a bit afraid of spiders before he took on the job, based at the Rosny research facility.

These days, however, he is quite happy to spend time with the various spider specimens in the museum’s collection, as well as share his knowledge about Tasmanian spiders with the curious public.

“We get an awful lot of inquiries about [white-tailed spiders]. Mostly people know what they are but people want to know ‘are they nasty?'” he said.

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