Our personal zoo, hundreds of species co-exist with us in homes
Arthropods live among us. In fact, hundreds of distinct kinds were discovered in a cross-sample of U.S homes conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University, the California Academy of Sciences, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
The data was gathered by visiting 50 homes within a 30 mile radius of Raleigh, North Carolina. In each home, the researchers collected all the arthropods they came across, dead or alive.
According to a summary of the findings, "Across all 50 homes, the researchers identified no fewer than 579 different morphospecies of arthropod from 304 different families. Individual homes had, on average, about 100 morphospecies (between 32 and 211) and between 24 and 128 distinct families. The most commonly collected groups of arthropods in the homes were flies, spiders, beetles, ants and book lice. The term morphospecies is used to characterize animal types that are readily separable by morphological differences that are obvious to individuals without extensive taxonomic training."
Matt Bertone, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, said, "The vast majority of the arthropods we found in homes were not pest species. They were either peaceful cohabitants...or accidental visitors."