Spiders Get Bad Name in Movie, Expert Says

"Arachnophobia" is bugging Dr. Michael H. Robinson, a spider expert who accuses Hollywood of spinning a web of deceit about his favorite creepy-crawly.

"It's a pity to give spiders a bad name," says Robinson, director of the National Zoo and former director of the American Arachnological Society.

"This bloody movie is making horrific allegations about spiders, and they are so important to the ecology of the world and so incredibly beneficial to mankind that I decided they need some good press," he said.

Robinson hailed spiders as nature's pest exterminator, ridding the Earth of billions of houseflies, roaches, mosquitoes and other insects every year.

Without spiders, he said, humans would be overwhelmed by winged creatures that would destroy crops and threaten to leave the planet uninhabitable.

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