Archive for the ‘Other Spiders’ Category

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…).

Black widow spiders kill and eat their owner

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Mark Voegel was bitten by his black widows spiders (he had over 200) in his apartment in Germany recently. Then his pet lizards, snakes and tarantulas started eating his body. By the time the neighbours got the police involved (the smell, you see), he was covered in giant spider webs and had spiders living inside his body. Totally gross!

Shimmering curtains of orb spider webs

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Not something you’ll find funnel web spiders doing, and you wouldn’t want them to.

Head on over to The Age’s Spiders’ work a perfect web sight on line to see their article and photo about orb spiders. Apparently when the orb spiders are ready to leave their nest, they throw out a length of silk and let the wind take them where it will.

Can you imagine the carnage and chaos if thousands of funnel web spiders started doing that on a regular basis? How would you feel walking under those power lines (see the photo in the article) knowing there were killers waiting to pounce?

Plants with fangs

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Glenn King from the University of Queensland reckons that in the near future, plants could be genetically engineered to express spider venom as a way of fighting against crop pests. The pesticides would have no effect on mammals, and because they’re made of proteins, would breakdown naturally leaving no nasty chemical residue. Sweet!

However, I’m thinking that they’re not talking about using funnel web spider venom, because that certainly IS toxic to humans.

Spider chastity belt

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Some Germans recently did some research on spider copulation, as you do.

“Ve haff some goot news, unt some bad news”.

The bad news is that during sex 80% of the male spiders had their penis break off inside the female.

The good news is that the bit left behind acts as a plug, decreasing competion from subsequent suitors. It also means that the male spider got away in time before the female ate him!

Spider named after Anglican Diocese

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

habronestesPreviously, I told you how you can get a spider named after you. Well here’s a story about someone who did just that. It’s not too late - there are still plenty of spiders out there needing a name.

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?