September 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm #704318
Some birds eat some spiders, and some spiders eat some birds. :-)
(I chose not to upload an image of a spider actually devouring a bird, but it is a fascinating – and somewhat disturbing – sight.)September 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm #704319
Stalk-like eyes? I know of only one spider genus that fits that description, and it’s so small you wouldn’t be able to detect that feature. I think what you probably saw were the pedipalps. Spiders have two modified, short legs in front in addition to the other eight. Mature males may have a bulbish apparatus on each pedipalp, which serves as a secondary sex organ. You may have witnessed a mating gone wrong, or just simple predation.September 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm #704320
Anonyme: One of my favorite stories, ever, told here highly abbreviated:
Mark Twain, hanging out in Nevada with silver prospectors, described staying in a boarding house with one large room, some 26 beds. Many of the men kept tarantulas in jars above their beds. The jars were not covered. A mild earthquake hit in the wee hours and tumbled all the jars. When they lit the lanterns, they couldn’t find a single one of those tarantulas. No one slept that night.September 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm #704321
SarahScoot: The spider in your photo looks like Theraphosa blondii; I used to have one of those. BTW, the one being ‘held’ in the photo is either dead or chilled/frozen. The Discovery Channel and other sensationalized, non-science based ‘nature’ shows love to stage and dramatize stuff like bird-eating. I don’t think it happens that often in the wild, and if it does, only baby birds would be taken. Which of course is absolutely creepy and disturbing, even I can admit that.September 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm #704322
dhg, funny story – I’ve never heard that one. Of course, I have to immediately begin dissecting the tale and looking for logic – which clearly doesn’t apply here!September 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm #704323
I just remembered a story to truly disgust you all. Apparently, the nursery tale “Little Miss Muffet” was at least partially based on fact. It’s said that Dr. Thomas Muffet, a homeopath, would make his daughter eat live spiders wrapped in soft white bread as a remedy. The spider species was Araneus, the very creature featured by the OP. I don’t know if the story is true or not – but I DO know that this species, as well as black widows (Latrodectus) is used in homeopathic medicine.September 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm #704324
The Velvet BulldogParticipant
Since we’re sharing spidey stories: I was staying in a guest house in the Himalayas in October of 2005. Went into the bathroom and something made me look up–the largest spider I have EVER seen in my life (about the size of my hand and kinda pinkish in color) was lounging at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling. I carefully backed out and went outside where one of our native Indian drivers was sitting. I went completely stupid-American on him. I said, “The biggest spider in the world is in my bathroom and SOMEONE ELSE HAS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!” He kind of giggled, went into the bathroom and put a towel over his hand; he reached up, grabbed the spider by some of its bottom legs, carried it outside and let it go. (I’m sure I heard a “thunk” when it hit the ground.) The next time one was found in a bedroom, I’m sorry to say, it met its maker.September 27, 2010 at 11:59 pm #704325
HATE. SPIDERS. SO. INCREDIBLY. MUCH.
seriously, this thread is killing me, and somehow i can’t not follow it! somebody explain this! i don’t care about whether spiders are poisonous or not, i scream and run and/or faint just seeing one… i think it’s the legs… so many legs, and they move so fast… CAN’T. HANDLE. SPIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!! :(September 28, 2010 at 12:19 am #704326
Yep, rarelyever, I know someone who books movies and he says spider movies never work. People either are not scared and thus not interested, or way too spooked to see a movie.September 28, 2010 at 12:21 am #704327
Thanks for the information, Anonyme! I only wish spiders would devour snails (mmmm-sidewalk escargot) and slugs (homeless snails, also known as Seattle sushi).September 28, 2010 at 12:30 am #704328September 28, 2010 at 12:52 am #704329
Rarelyever, believe or not I can totally sympathize! I used to be insanely arachnophobic. As dhg suggested, I could not even look at a poster advertising the movie ‘Arachnophobia’. I designed my own program to get over it, and it worked – too well. Maybe I should teach my “system” to others?September 28, 2010 at 12:53 am #704330
I intercepted this message, which Octomom was spinning into her web.
“Spiders of West Seattle, cease, for a moment, your spinning, mating-dancing, leg-wiggling, egg-laying, and mate-devouring. I have acquired secret intelligence that our very lives are in danger. Weapons of mass destruction, no less than bristling brooms and shocking electrical rackets, threaten our peaceful yet repulsive existence. We cannot rely on the quaint sentimentality of Charlotte’s Web, or the inevitable puns about Web sites, to spare us. Our only weapon is fear itself.”September 28, 2010 at 1:05 am #704331September 28, 2010 at 2:48 am #704332
Allie understands: Spiders Are ScarySeptember 28, 2010 at 3:04 am #704333September 28, 2010 at 4:12 am #704334September 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm #704335
There is a spider living in the side mirror on our truck. I think this is the new breed of spiders, who are so smart they string their webs and go wrangle some bugs, instead of waiting for the bugs to fly into their web. Brilliant.September 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm #704336
I don’t care what any expert says…there are a lot more spiders out and about this year…they’ve got webs strung from the power lines along my driveway down to the fence and shrubs which I haven’t seen in the 9 years I’ve had the house. When I got into my car this morning I realized one was strung from the carport to my car. Not sure if the spider managed to stay with the carport or if s/he went for a drive.
I am armed with a fly swatter which travels from house to car to house every day.
Speaking of the movie Arachnophobia…they imported spiders from New Zealand…Avondale spiders they were called…large (very!) but harmless. About 20 years ago I used to live in the next neighborhood over from Avondale…and yes…I found one of those suckers in my house. Yeek!September 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm #704337
They have covered my front porch
they have covered my back porch
they have covered the entrance to the patio
they have covered the entrance to the greenhouse
they have covered the mailbox and the front gate
they have covered the back gate
but when they invaded my car i declared war.
i leave my home armed and dangerous breaking webs with a vengeance and still they rebuild.
soon i will be goaded into violence.September 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm #704338
It’s a daily battle out there, but did anyone else find the forum thread from 2 years ago saying the same thing about “it’s so much worse this year”? I think most people hate/fear spiders so much that their perceptions are skewed. I just hope it’s over soon. My other question is – where do they go when they go “away”?September 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm #704339
Ever been bitten by a spider? A bad spider? I have! More than once! I have the scars to prove it. Had to get 2 shots (1 in each “cheek”) of some glowing green stuff. I HATE SPIDERS. Blaugh.September 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm #704340
what’s this program you’re speaking of? i’d love to get rid of my fear of spiders – i tried psychotherapy, hypnotherapy (unfortunately, we found out pretty quick that i’m one of the *lucky* people who cannot be hypnotized – ugh!), exposure therapy (never doing THAT crap again!!!), and trying to find the “beauty” in these critters on my own. nothing helped, and the exposure thing gave me nightmares and inexplicable episodes of screaming fits whenever something touched me unexpectedly for a LONG time.
if you’ve got the remedy i’m willing to pay premium $$ for it!!!September 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm #704341
they seem to have disappeared from their webs since i posted…
psychological warfare may be effective enough.
anonyme.. where did you say they go now??????
and where and when do those young hatch?September 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm #704342
They’ll continue to pop out now & then when the sun comes out, even in winter. However, the really huge ones are now laying their egg sacs, then dying. The immature ones will overwinter in leaf litter and vegetation. The young of this species usually hatch out in spring, but they’re so tiny you don’t notice them until later in the year.
Rarelyever, I created my own program. It began with reading and learning about spiders. At first I couldn’t even look at a drawing of a circle with eight legs coming out of it. When my BFF got a tarantula, I couldn’t enter his home. Finally, I could be in the same room & eventually got curious enough for a closer look. I actually think tarantulas are less scary than house spiders – they look more like small animals, which is what they are.
In retrospect, reading was the most important aspect of my desensitization. Knowledge does truly vanquish fear. The programs you describe don’t sound very helpful, especially the tickling stuff.
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