i5K: Common house spider
Common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)
Common house spider
Contact: Alistair McGregor
Researchers involved: 30
Size (or size of nearest relative): 1200 MBp
Keywords (and why important): Evolutionary branching, novel behavior, novel senses, (model organism).
This spider is the primary chelicerate model for evo/devo research in a growing number of labs worldwide. It is easy to culture, and a range of functional tools have been developed, including in situ hybridisation, embryonic and parental RNAi, and transient transformation. A number of transcriptome sequencing projects have been established.
As well as a powerful model for the evolution of development, this species has great potential for understanding other features of spider biology, including venom and silk production. Genetic material is readily available from lab cultures.