Arthropod Laboratory


 Editor de Conteúdo

Lab Supervisor

Irene Knysak –
Denise Maria Candido –
Rosana Martins –
Vanessa Penna Gonçalves –​

general objective of the lab

The Arthropod Laboratory's objective is to develop scientific research and production activities with the goal of obtaining arachnid poisons for the formulation of immunobiologicals.
The research includes identification, systematic and taxonomic geographic distribution, evolutionary history, behavior, action of poisons (in collaboration with similar laboratories Butantan, by means of the financial backing for projects developed in connection with the support agencies), in situ and ex situ conservation, education, zoological, morphological and biological aspects, Public Health and Biological Control. In the vivarium it houses arachnids and myriapods (except mites) that are destined to breeding, extraction and being kept in captivity with the goal of obtaining poisons for research and for the production of immunobiologicals.

In the field of arachnid poison processing, it develops research aimed at improving of the characterization and standardization of the supplies intended for health purposes. The Arthropod Laboratory also participates in the acceptance of the arachnids and myriapods that arrive every day at Butantan, classifying them zoologically and providing technical information about them to people who consult the institute about the danger these animals pose. After being identified, the animals considered to have useful properties for health are destined to the vivarium and sent along to the sections responsible for breeding and poison extraction, research, exhibition, diffusion, education/teaching in the Institute or to in public or private education institutions, in accordance with pre-established availability. One of the Arthropod Laboratory's priorities is the trusteeship of the Scientific Collection of Arachnids and Myriapods, which contains examples of fauna from Brazil and from abroad.

The Arthropod Laboratory is a national and international point of reference in the identification of these animals.

research areas

The research areas include taxonomy of Mygalomorphae, Scorpiones, Myriapoda, as well as taxonomy and evolution of Araneae
In the vivarium, the research focuses on arachnids and myriapods that are of interest to health. New projects, such as the use of a new dietary supplement destined to the breeding of Phoneutria nigriventer in captivity, are in development. Moreover, in collaboration with other laboratories at Butantan, research is being conducted on animal poisons, as for example the study centipede poisons from the genus Scolopendra, Otostigmus and Cryptops; study of spider poisons from Loxosceles gaucho, Loxosceles laeta and Loxosceles intermedia, among others; study of the scorpion poisons from Tityusbahiensis, Tityusserrulatus, Tityusobscurus, Tityuscostatus and Rhopalurusrochai; and comparative study of the poisons of tarantula spiders kept in captivity.

Research on perfecting the methodology for poison extraction, as well as the modernization of electronic stimulators specifically used in these extractions, have been one of the laboratory's priorities as it is responsible for supplying the raw materials used for the production of immunobiologicals and research.

Field research for the collection and/or in situ study of arachnids and myriapods with the goal of conservation and preservation of the environment's species, and the survey of arachnids and myriapods in the scope of the Butantan Amazon Project are also part of the laboratory's activities.