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For many years, I raised spiders at the Museum of Science, where I am a science educator. The spiders I raised were easy to rear – a cardboard box with a clear front, a little moisture to prevent them drying out and a fly or two each week. Orb Web, cobweb, funnel web, sheet web, bowl and doilly – all of these spiders provided me with hours of entertainment as I watched them spin their webs. Once the webs were in place, the spider boxes were easily transported to the Museum’s exhibit halls to the delight of the visitors.
The same containers that I used to rear my spiders can also be used to rear daddy longlegs, insects or a myriad of other creatures. As well as rearing chambers, the containers can just as easily be used for photography or experiments. The best part of the rearing chambers is that they are simple to make – taking very little time and costing practically nothing to build.
You can fill your box with moss, rocks, plants etc. to make a terrarium or you can leave it bare, depending on what you want to do with it.
For large spiders, I leave the box bare. they will make a web that is attached to the sides of the box. For smaller spiders, I will add a piece of plant or twig as a foundation for their web.
For close-up photos of insects, I will add a few plants held upright by a clothespin.
To photograph your subjects, you can remove the plastic wrap top or shoot right through the plastic wrap.
Experimenting with your subjects can be a lot of fun. Here are some examples of experiments to do with daddy longlegs, pill bugs, millipedes, flies, lady bugs or just about anything else: