Archive for the ‘Funnel Web Spiders’ Category

Keep off the grass!!!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

We’ve just launched a new product and a new design - the Funnel Web Spider Yard Sign.
Funnel web spiders patrol this property - enter at own risk!

Guaranteed to give anyone entering your property second thoughts. I was originally going to make a sign that said “This Property Now Protected by Funnel Web Spiders… they ate our guard dog”. If you prefer that, let me know

  • Measures 22″ wide x 15″ high (55.88cm x 38.10cm)
  • 10 oz. flexible vinyl is weather-resistant for outdoor use
  • Design printed on both sides
  • Sealed edges
  • Includes metal frame for ground mounting (basic assembly required)
  • $18.69

more-info.gif

The Wrong Web Address!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Catastrophe! The fields for the Albion Park races tonight have the address for this web site wrong (they left the “s” off the end of “funnelwebspiders”).

I just spoke with the race caller for tonight, Steve Hawkins. He’s going to announce the correct web address during the meeting. Thanks heaps Steve! You’re a sweatheart.

Silver Dollars Heats Brisbane 2007

Monday, October 29th, 2007

A Big Hello To People Finding Their Way Here From Albion Park Greyhound Racing!

It’s that time of year again when the Harris family sponsor the Heats and Finals of the Molly Campbell Memorial Silver Dollars at Albion Park. It’s the only race in Australia where all starters in the Final receive a trophy. Those of you in the greyhound industry will remember that our family produced the Queensland Greyhound Form Guide from 1967 to about 2000. We’ve contiinued our ties with the greyhound industry with Bill and Colin Harris owning, training and racing greyounds, and through our sponsorship of this event.

I grew up working at the Form Guide, and moved the business online in 1998. I’ve stayed working online since then in my own business, Harris Campbell Pty Ltd, building web sites for small businesses in Brisbane, selling small business software, and the occasional side project, like Funnel Web Spiders.

I hope you get a bit of a laugh looking around this site, and maybe pick up something at the Funnel Web Spiders Shop. And Good Luck at the Dogs!

Plants with funnel web fangs

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I was just trolling the net for funnel web spider info, and have a followup to a previous story about genetically engineering plants to make spider toxins. I figured that they wouldn’t be using funnel web spider venom because it was active in people.

But, according to the article, Funnel web spider insecticide, it seems that they are indeed using our friend the funnel web.

Chuck Norris the New Jack Bauer?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I’m so over Jack Bauer, particularly now that Kiefer is going to jail. I’m now leaning towards Chuck Norris as the only living human harder than a funnel web spider.

Find-a-spider guide

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Just found an incredible web site for identifying Australian spiders, particularly those found in South East Queensland. Each species has its own page, with great photos of each sex, the web and egg sacs. Check out:

These are some of the best spider photos of local spiders that you’ll ever find. Note though, that across the site, a number of the photo links either don’t work or point to the wrong picture.

More creepy-large spider webs

Friday, August 31st, 2007

If walking into a massive wall of spider webs is your personal recurring nightmare, then don’t go to Texas right now.

Officials at Lake Tawakoni State Park say the massive mosquito trap is a big attraction for some visitors, while others won’t go anywhere near it.

“At first, it was so white it looked like fairyland,” said Donna Garde, superintendent of the park about 45 miles east of Dallas.

Now imagine that it was a wall of funnel web spiders. THAT would be cool!

Actually a few years ago, I was walking at Lamington National Park. One of the pathways I was travelling along was cut into the side of a hill (OK, most of them are). So one side of the path was 1 - 1.5 metres high. On closer inspection, I noticed that all over the wall were the little silken openings of funnel web spider holes. I’m really glad I didn’t take a break and lean against that wall! (Hmmm… you know, on seconds thoughts, maybe they were trapdoor spiders…).

Jacqui milks a funnel web

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Ever wondered how they make the antivenom for funnel web spiders? It involves torturing rabbits and a cute Reptile Park employee by the name of Jacqui Adams-Maher. If you head on over to the ABC Radio article, you can HEAR her milk a spider. I know, you want to SEE it. But unfortunately it was ABC RAdio, not ABC TV that went to see her.

The article talks about how funnel web spiders can’t jump or climb up glass. I can personally attest to that. When Doug Steley and I were doing the photo shoots of the funnel web spiders for this web site, we used glass tanks and various glass setups to both view and manage the spider.

10 Jack Bauer Gadgets

Friday, May 25th, 2007

If you’ve been reading from the beginning, you’ll know that I have a thing for Jack Bauer. Well, not a THING, as such. Just that he’s the only man as hard as a funnel web spider.

Here’s a list of 10 Gadgets Jack Bauer Can’t Live Without.

Funnel web spider DVDs?

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

I was recently asked if there are any funnel web spider DVDs or videos available. I would have thought that there’d be heaps coz funnel web spiders are totally killer! But it turns out that stills photographers have more guts than their namby-pamby moving picture brethren.

I could not find very many videos or DVDs at all (but plenty of books). The only one I could find that specifically mentioned funnel web spiders was: “Killer Instincts - Natural Born Killers“, not to be confused with the Woody Harrelson movie of the same name.

I’m pretty sure that funnel webs are featured on other Australian or “creepy animals” documentaries, but I couldn’t find anything else which specifically mentioned funnel webs. No doubt you’d find something amongst Steve Irwin’s catalog of videos, maybe his Discovery Channel stuff? I searched the Discovery Channel site but couldn’t find any - maybe you’ll have better luck.

The “Killer Instincts - Natural Born Killers” DVD sounds worth it anyway - it also includes the deadly Taipan and box jelly fish as well as other Aussie killers (it probably doesn’t include Ivan Milat though). It’s also out of print and considered a collector’s item - but pretty cheap at between $US5.75 and $US14.99!

Hello Greyhound People!

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

I’m sponsoring the first race at Albion Park in Brisbane tonight. Hello to everyone curious enough to come check out my site!

So, what happens at Funnelwebspiders.com? I have stories about funnel web spiders and spiders in general, and have some great hairy spider gear for sale. I commissioned a couple of photo shoots of a funnel web spider a while ago, and when I get those (they’re truly awesome), I’ll be adding them to the shop.

So, have a look around, check out whether you’ve been bitten by a funnel web, pass by the shop, and make sure you leave a comment on any of the stories you like - and feel free to ask questions!!

New spiders photos finally on the way!

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

My mate Doug reckons my spider photos are in the mail, so we’ll have new products at the Funnel Web Spiders shop very soon!!!

Moving to our own domain

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

This blog has been getting good traffic so I’m going to move it to its own domain, www.funnelwebspiders.com. Hopefully there won’t be too many glitches in the changeover while I set up WordPress on the new host and upload all my posts. Fingers crossed!

Myths, Misconceptions, and Superstitions About Spiders

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Rod Crawford, sensible bloke and Curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum in Seattle, USA, has put together an exhaustive list of Myths, Misconceptions and Superstitions about Spiders. His list covers:

  • General fallacies
  • Myths about identifying spiders
  • House spider myths
  • Just plain weird stories
  • Myths about dangerous spiders

A lot of the pages are about American spiders and some myths that returned soldiers from Iraq are perpetrating on their unsuspecting friends and families (pretty cool/funny though - see the camel spider articles).

His most relevant myth for this site is:

But there really are deadly spiders in Australia and Brazil

(Ours are deadlier than yours)

I agree with pretty much everything Rod has to say, except when he says that funnel web spiders can’t be considered deadly because we now have antivenom for them. The inherent deadliness of the spider doesn’t change because we have antivenom.

At any rate, I certainly won’t be playing with funnel webs or letting kids have them as pets just because we have an antidote to their potentially lethal bite.

The friendliest way to catch spiders

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

spider-catcher.jpgDon’t want spiders in your room but don’t want to kill them either? Concerned about the use of pesticides near your kids and pets? Check out the Spider Catcher!

This device was originally invented in Ireland for their genteel little critters. Then Des Harris brought the invention to Australia. He found it lacking when it came to handling our more rugged, butch and manly spiders like the huntsman and funnel web spider. So it was re-engineered for our conditions.

You can catch spiders without hurting them (there’s been supervised testing on real live animals after extensive testing on plastic spiders), then set them free in a more appropriate environment.

And if being near a spider makes you a bit queasy, there’s a long handled version that allows you to get about 1.6m (5 ft) away from the beastie.

BUT…

There is much potential for misuse of this invention. I’m concerned that squeamish terrorists, kidnappers, bullies and CIA agents may be able to use this device to intimidate and coerce their victims from a safe distance. Should the Geneva Conventions pertaining to the rights of prisoners and excluded forms of interrogation include a reference to the Spider Catcher? By making spider handling safe for the bad guys, are we contributing to the downfall of society as we know it?