Arachnology Course with Paula Cushing

Arachnology Course with Paula Cushing

October 1, 3, 8, and 10: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Description: Little Miss Muffet may have been afraid, but you won’t be as you learn about spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions, camel spiders, daddy longlegs, and ticks. Review the evolutionary history of arachnids, the natural history and biology of the different groups, and the medical and economic importance of these animals. Live guests may drop by for an eight-legged hello! 

Instructor: Paula Cushing, PhD, Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science 

Biography: Paula Cushing received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Florida. In 1998, she began her position as Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her research focuses on the biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and evolutionary ecology of arachnids, particularly spiders and wind scorpions, or solifuges. She has published numerous scientific articles as well as popular articles about spiders and insects. She is also very active with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology and has served as President of both these scientific societies. 


  • Tuesday, October 1 
    • Introduction to Subphylum Chelicerata, Class Arachnida 
    •  Pycnogonida and Xiphosura 
    •  Palpigradi – micro-whip scorpions 
    • Opiliones – daddy longlegs or harvestmen 
    • Acarina – mites and ticks (begin, live guests) 
  • Thursday, October 3 
    • Acarina – continued; microscope exercise 
    • Ricinulei – hooded tick-spiders 
    • Pseudoscorpiones — pseudoscorpions 
    • Solifugae – camel spiders or wind scorpions 
  • Tuesday, October 8 
    • Solifugae – continued (sex video!) 
    • Scorpiones– scorpions (live guests) 
    • Schizomida – short-tailed whip-scorpions 
  • Thursday, October 10 
    • Amblypygi – tailless whip scorpions (live guest) 
    • Thelyphonida – vinegaroon or whip scorpion (live guest) 
    • Araneae – spiders (live guests) 


  •  $150 Non-Member 
  •  $130 Member