Articles > Bird-spiders (Arachnida, Mygalomorphae) as perceived by the inhabitants of the village of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil

Bird-spiders (Arachnida, Mygalomorphae) as perceived by the inhabitants of the village of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil

Bird-spiders (Arachnida, Mygalomorphae) as perceived by the inhabitants of the village of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil
 
Eraldo M Costa Neto 1
 
1Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Department of Biology, Km 03, BR 116, 44031-460, Feira de Santana – Bahia, Brazil
Corresponding author.
Eraldo M Costa Neto: eraldont@uefs.br
Received September 22, 2006; Accepted November 13, 2006.
This paper deals with the conceptions, knowledge and attitudes of the inhabitants of the county of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, on mygalomorph spiders locally known as ‘caranguejeiras’ (bird-spiders). It is launched here a new filed within ethnozoology: ethnoarachnology, which is defined as the transdisciplinary study of the relationships between human beings and bird-spiders. Data were collected from February to June 2005 by means of open-ended interviews carried out with 30 individuals, which ages ranged from 13 to 86 years old. It was recorded some traditional knowledge regarding the following items: taxonomy, biology, habitat, ecology, seasonality, and behavior. Results show that bird-spiders are classified as "insects". The most commented aspect of the interaction between bird-spiders and inhabitants of Pedra Branca is related to their dangerousness, since they said these spiders are very venomous and can cause health problems. In general, the traditional zoological knowledge of Pedra Branca’s inhabitants concerning these spiders is coherent with the academic knowledge.
 
J Ethnobiol Ethnomedicine. 2006; 2: 50. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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