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June 13th, 2006


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02:47 pm - spiders I have known
I've been spending the last few minutes looking up spiders online to try and identify the little critter I saw in the bathtub this morning. It was the size of a dime, legspan included, and admittedly spidies of that size aren't unusual around here and pretty harmless. However, this critter also had the interesting distinction of being bright red. At least, it looked quite red against the pink bathtub. (The spider also went down the draaaaaaaaain when the shower was turned on, and may angels sing it to its rest. I'd have happily captured it and let it loose somewhere else, but hey, I was about to step into the shower, and naked spider chasing just ain't in my job description.)

I'm reasonably sure I just ran into a domestic house spider, judging from the size and shape, but none of the identification guides online say anything about it showing up nice and red. Actually, the identification guides I found really didn't help much. I couldn't bring up the neat one I found a year or so ago when I needed to ID the beautiful and humongous green-and-yellow web weaver underneath my old place on Summer Street.

I did, however, find a truly gruesomely creepy spider identification chart which features all of Australia's notorious arachnids, including the Funnel-Web and everybody's favorite, the Huntsman. I don't recommend clicking on that link if you've any aversion to spiders or any aversion to anything whatsoever, because not only does the page feature larger-than-life bulbous and leggy representations of the critters, but in a brilliantly sadistic artistic decision, the spider drawings will periodically wriggle from side to side. OH HOLY NIGHT TELL ME THAT ONE DIDN'T JUST MOVE.

This spider comes hot on the eight heels of the larger quarter-sized fellow who ran up my computer monitor late Saturday night (at least, I think it was Saturday.) After reassuring myself that no, it probably wasn't a brown recluse, and it didn't have the mandibles of the hobo spider, and we don't get the huntsman spider in this hemisphere, I was able to continue my computer game playing. I did have to stop playing Half-Life 2 at that point, because I was up to the part where all those ant lion bastards come out of the sand and skrabble towards you and you don't have the bug pheromones yet to tame 'em so you end up embroiled in a huge load of carapace-bustin' action. I get skittish enough when I play HL2 and Abbie brushes up against my legs, so that was right out.

I like most spiders if they're hanging out someplace where I can see them and not feel like they're gonna say hello by crawling up my leg or biting my face. Lurking spiders and ones that are hurty when they bite, however, are right out.

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:zhym
Date:June 13th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
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'Spider Identification - size varies greatly - the male can be tiny, with the abdomen of the female growing to the size of a large pea. Red-Back Spiders do NOT always have a "red" marking.'

Yeah, thanks. That helped a lot.
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From:antikythera
Date:June 13th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
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Oooh. You need What's That Bug? Their spider pages, even if they don't help identify your individual, will help to desensitize any instinctive fear of spiders that you may have. :) There's loads of beautiful reader-submitted macrophotography.

Was your red spider translucent, and did it have a brown abdomen that was the size and shape of a Tic-Tac? There are a couple of those in my apartment, and they're called sowbug killers. Perfectly harmless unless you're a sowbug.
From:lno
Date:June 13th, 2006 07:58 pm (UTC)
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will help to desensitize any instinctive fear of spiders that you may have. :)

There is nothing on God's good earth that will desensitive my fear of spiders, other than taking off and nuking the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
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From:grumqa
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:04 pm (UTC)
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Was your monitor spider one of these?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_sac_spider

Whatever you do, don't look here: http://triffophoto3.tripod.com/tpo/id9.html unless you like extreme close-ups.
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From:johnnycanuck
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
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I've got those. I also have House Centipedes, which no loving god could have intended.
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From:grumqa
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)
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I have those too. So far I think the cat has eaten one. But they eat flies, and I'd far rather have centipedes than more damned flies.
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From:antikythera
Date:June 13th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Centipedes are as good as spiders for pest control. And theyre faster. They're my basement's answer to cheetahs.
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From:amandaruth2001
Date:June 14th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
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Actually, the pests that centipedes eat most often (if my memory serves me) are spiders. I blame by over-supply of spiders on the fact that the cat kills the centipedes. Plays with them until their legs fall off, and then leaves the body to dry out someplace where I won't find it for a day or two.
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From:antikythera
Date:June 14th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)
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A spider in my kitchen built a web across the gap between the floor drain and one of the tiles -- which is one of the places where the centipedes dive below if I surprise them in the morning. But that's the biggest spider I've ever seen in this apartment. There's another one that's slightly smaller and also nesting on a major centipede traffic route. I think they've figured something out. ^^
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From:ravenword
Date:June 13th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Urrrggghhh, house centipedes. Just their mention sends a shiver of horror down my spine.
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From:ladivinafemme
Date:June 14th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
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Yup, mine too. The ones here in Mass have NOTHING on Minnesota house centipedes.
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From:tyopsqueene
Date:June 14th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
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spiders = lovely

centipedes = *hysterical*
From:ungratefulninja
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
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I stumbled on that same identification chart a few months back while trying to identify a particularly gnarled and furry specimen wandering around my shower. Whoever set that page up is a sadistic and inventive bastard. *retroactive shudder*
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From:mybadhairlife
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
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*is not clicking on ANY Of your links!!!!!*

The proper classification for any spider that ventures into my house is Cat Food (Felinus Sustanance). I am especially happy about the time they ate the ginormous, hairy, juicy fat black spider that would have had me in P.T.S.D. for weeks if he had just run out at me from under a chair when I was all alone. Not so scary when his fat legs are hanging out of various cats' mouths like little toothpicks, lemme tell you!
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From:derspatchel
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Abbie doesn't care too much for spiders. He absolutely loves moths, however, and spends many a happy moment waiting for one on the wall to get bored and start flying around again.
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From:grumqa
Date:June 13th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
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But but but...the cute little piders!

What the heck is PTSD?
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From:mybadhairlife
Date:June 13th, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
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PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Like flashbacks to the time something huge and multilegged bit me through two layers of gardening gloves while I was weeding the rock garden and made me sick for months.

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From:grumqa
Date:June 13th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
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*wisely drops 'cute little piders' stance*

I used to hate working the garden for just that reason. I didn't so much mind that such things hung out there, so long as nobody tried to make me go invade their territory.
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From:mybadhairlife
Date:June 14th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
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Well, to be honest, the cats come a runnin' when I yell "who wants to eat a widdle 'pider???" so I can't object to the terminology!
:)
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From:grumqa
Date:June 14th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
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I had to help mine find the centipede. Never have seen them eat spiders. Can I borrow your cats?
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From:spwebdesign
Date:June 13th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
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I love how, lacking any truly frightening characteristics, they had to add this bit about one of the species: Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack.
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From:arielblue
Date:June 13th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
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I am not clicking on ANY of the links in this post OR the comments.

I like spiders just fine when they are on the OUTSIDE of the window and I am on the INSIDE of the window and the window is CLOSED.

Centipedes and millipedes, I don't like even then. There was a story about millipedes this morning on NPfreakin'R -- that's RADIO, with NO PICTURES -- and it gave me the creepy crawly heebie jeebies.
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From:amandaruth2001
Date:June 14th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
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I like garden spiders. They're big and beautiful and they STAY IN ONE PLACE and that one place is on a very clearly marked web that is OUTDOORS.

I don't see many this far north, but I don't dare try to do any web research on this. Ick. I don't like spider pictures.
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From:plumtreeblossom
Date:June 14th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
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I'd take 500 spiders over 1 centipede. Shudder....
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From:mmcirvin
Date:June 15th, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)
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