It’s Arachtober so I wanted to share, in case you didn’t already know, that the University of Richmond’s mascot is a spider (named WebstUR, I gather). That’s pretty cool. Not as cool as the Evergreen State Geoduck, but nonetheless pretty notable for a nation that tends to hate spiders.
But because Arachtober is about arachnid awareness, I’d like to point out that the logo the school uses is almost certainly a mite, not a spider. I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice this. The main reason it looks like a mite is that it lacks a cephalothorax (head plus thorax), something that all spiders have. Also, their mascot has legs that don’t have clear segments. iNaturalist, a website that uses an AI to recognize and identify organisms, also thinks the logo is a mite (or tick):
Given the shape of the idiosoma (body) and size of the pedipalps, I’m wondering whether the artist might have based his or her drawing on a tropical fowl mite (Ornithonyssus bursa) or something related. Below is a drawing of one of those, though the legs don’t look quite long enough to match the logo exactly.
If you have any details on how the University happened to base its logo on a mite, I’d love to hear from you.