ecology, biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, earth science

Although many humans don't enjoy their company, studying arachnids can tell us an incredible amount about biology, evolution and behavioral ecology. 

The Projects

Browse the participating projects

Performance-enhancing substances: How do male black widows use chemical cues to gain a competitive advantage?

For a male black widow spider, life is a series of deadly challenges. He must first make a dangerous...

Xenomorphs of the Arachnida: Whip scorpions and their acid defense.

Whip scorpions (vinegaroons) such as the North American species Mastigoproctus giganteus - an unusual arachnid...

Are male daddy-longlegs becoming "endangered?"

Most animal species have populations with equal ratios of males and females, but some have naturally biased...

Why be social? The costs and benefits of sociality in spiders

Sociality in spiders is extremely rare, but it has evolved several times. This begs the question: why be...

The pursuit of happiness: The basis of color in the happy face spider (Theridion grallator)

The Hawaiian happy face spider, T. grallator, is known for its striking color polymorphisms (variations...

Why do spiders decorate their webs?

Many spiders decorate their webs with conspicuous UV-reflecting designs, what makes them bright for some...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
Submission Deadline:
Sep 26, 2016
Campaign Launch:
Oct 05, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

Challenge grants are prizes to supplement existing crowdfunding campaigns. We will accept proposals for campaigns related to arachnids, and all the campaigns will launch together on October 3rd, 2016. The project that ends with the highest number of backers will receive an additional $500. There are two runners-up prizes of $200 each.

When will the grant be awarded?

On November 5th at 5PM PT, the prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

This request for experiments is seeking proposals from all arachnologists. Proposals studying ticks, mites, spiders, and scorpions are all eligible for the challenge.

Examples of previously successful projects:

Why are some jumping spiders so colorful?

Spiders of Yasuni: How do their physical traits determine their lifestyle?

Spiders of Yasuni: How does morphology contribute to ecological success?

The development of non-iridescent structurally colored material inspired by tarantula hairs

Why do daddy longlegs fight during mating?

Project Eligilibity

Any project working on arachnids is invited to participate. Please get in touch if you aren't sure about your idea, by emailing us at Interdisciplinary projects are more than welcome! Researchers must be based out of institutions or organizations in the US, UK, Australia, or Canada.

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