Category Archive 'Huntsman Spider'

25 Oct 2016

Australian Spiders Kill Mice!

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Guardian:

Australia’s litany of fearsome fauna seems to have a new entry. Added to deadly snakes, man-eating crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish comes Hermie the huntsman, a spider so unusually large and strong that it had no problem carrying a sizeable mouse up the outside of a fridge.

Hermie’s feat was captured on film by Jason Wormal, a tradesman from Coppabella in Queensland, who was heading out to work in the early hours of Monday morning when he says he received an offer from a neighbour that he couldn’t refuse.

“So I am just about to leave for work about 0030 and me neighbour says ‘You want to see something cool’ and I say ‘Hell yeah’, he wrote on Facebook.

“So we proceed to his place and he shows me this. Huntsman trying to eat a mouse.”

On the video shot by Wormal a voice can be heard off screen wondering in amazement: “What’s he gonna do with him? Man that is so cool”.

Stills taken of the spider seem to show the arachnid clutching the mouse by its head with its chelicerae while it scurries up the fridge.

Huntsman spider in Wikipedia.

27 Apr 2011

Australian Spider Story

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Robert Pickles, who is moving back to Britain, in the Telegraph, shares an Australian spider story.

One evening last year I thought I’d play a little trick on my better half, with a plastic replica of a Huntsman spider. It was about the size of a child’s hand, complete with fangs, hair and big scary eyes. While she was watching telly, I sneaked into the bedroom, placed it on her pillow and pulled the covers over the top. I ran a bath and was happily soaking away the day’s toils when I heard a high-pitched scream. A few seconds later, the bathroom door flew open.

“Robert, you’ve got to come and see this spider.”

“Spider, what spider?”

“It’s huge, you have to come and see.”

I feigned my interest. “Yeah I’ll be out in a bit.”

“No, you have to come now. It’s on the ceiling and it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen.”

“On the ceiling?” I grabbed my towel.

I had seen some big ones in the past, but this was the mother of them all. It was as big as an outspread hand. I stood mesmerised, in awe of the hairy beast. It looked quite capable of inflicting a good deal of pain before deftly chewing on fingers and limbs. Sometimes I would hear them in the shed, scuttling through the steel infrastructure like mice, which was a good indication of their weight and size. Other times they would hide behind the sun visor in the car and give me an unsuspecting fright. They have been known to drop onto driver’s laps and cause fatal accidents. By the look of this one, it had eaten quite a few mice itself. Its hairy body was a similar shape, size and colour. More worrying was the fact that, a) there had never been a Huntsman in the bedroom before, b) Ali had not yet seen the plastic one on her pillow, and c) maybe the real one had.

With smaller ones, I would catch and release them by plopping a glass or bowl over the top before sliding a piece of card underneath and throwing them out into the garden. This one needed a 12-bore to kill it and a Bobcat to take it away.

Ali explained that she had been lying on the bed reading a book. Harley was dozing between her legs. She noticed him looking upward with big white nervous eyes. When she looked up, she got the fright of her life. I’m just glad she noticed it before lights out.

When I showed her the plastic version on her pillow, she hit me. I had to agree that it wasn’t one of my better pranks, but it still perplexes me that as we had never seen a Huntsman in the bedroom before; had the real Huntsman seen the plastic spider and thought that he or she was in for a bit of hanky-panky? Ali thought I was talking nonsense, but I still think it was spooky and I’m convinced something weird happened that night.

Huntsmen spiders are representatives of the family Sparassoidea which has numerous individual species. They are very fast and do bite, but (unlike certain other Australian spiders) their bites are not lethal.

A lady finds one in her shower

21 Mar 2009

Deadly Spider Found in Tulsa Whole Food’s Bananas?

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A Brazilian wandering spider, Phoneutria spp. (8 species)

Fox News reports on the mystery of the Tulsa bananas.

One of the most deadly spiders in the world was found in the produce section of an upscale Oklahoma grocery store.

Or was it?

An employee of Whole Foods Market in Tulsa discovered what an expert said was a Brazilian wandering spider in a bunch of bananas from Honduras on Sunday and managed to catch it in a container.

The spider was given to University of Tulsa animal facilities director Terry Childs, who identified the arachnid and said that type of spider is one of the most lethal in the world.

Childs said a bite will kill a person in about 25 minutes, and while there is an antidote, he doesn’t know of any in the Tulsa area.

But a Tulsa Zoo official disputed the findings, saying his analysis through video and photos he’d seen led him to believe that it was a Huntsman spider — which is harmless to humans.

“There’s pretty definitive evidence it has been misidentified,” said Barry Downer, the zoo’s curator of aquariums and herpetology.

Downer said the spider should have been preserved for study, but he was told that the body would not be made available. …

Childs said Wednesday night that he had destroyed the spider at the urging of a university administrator because of safety concerns.

The lethality of Brazilian wandering spiders is disputed, perhaps because the spider sometimes envenomates less than fully, or not at all. The wandering spider’s venom is neurotoxic, and as an interesting side effect its bites are known to result on some occasions in Priapism.


Huntsman spider, Sparassidae family (82 genera, 1009 species)


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