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Old 16th June 2021, 09:27 PM   #1
arthwollipot
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Content Warning: Spiders!

This is a thread for discussing all things spidery, handily gathered into a single thread that arachnophobes can conveniently ignore.

Note that we are in SMMT, not in Entertainment, so real spiders only.

Here's a fun situation to kick it off:

Gippsland covered in webs as floods force spiders to fly, wallabies to swim

Quote:
As their underground lairs are inundated, gossamer spiders are taking to the air to escape Gippsland's floodwaters.

In a process called "ballooning", the spiders throw fine webs into the wind, carrying them into the air to higher locations, often laying spectacular carpets of their webs over dryer ground.

Wellington Shire Councillor Carolyn Crossley, a "keen" birdwatcher, drove around the district to check for birds around the floodwaters.

"There was this stunning landscape that was shrouded in this silken web, gossamer web, spread across the landscape by the very busy spiders that were escaping the rising [water]," Cr Crossley said.

"It was a spectacular afternoon, the sun was shining, it was a magical experience."
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Old 16th June 2021, 11:48 PM   #2
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I had a girlfriend who was irrationally afraid of spiders. She even called me home from work to take care of a huge spider. Got home in a hurry, because she was really scared. Legs and all, it was maaaaybe the size of a quarter. Legs and all, so I just took it outside into the garden.
Anyhooo, one day she was heading to school, wearing a baseball cap. She kept itching her head. when she got to class she took off her hat and there was a smooched spider ��️ in it. I felt terrible for her but also found it hilarious
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gabeygoat View Post
I had a girlfriend who was irrationally afraid of spiders. She even called me home from work to take care of a huge spider. Got home in a hurry, because she was really scared. Legs and all, it was maaaaybe the size of a quarter. Legs and all, so I just took it outside into the garden.
Anyhooo, one day she was heading to school, wearing a baseball cap. She kept itching her head. when she got to class she took off her hat and there was a smooched spider ��️ in it. I felt terrible for her but also found it hilarious
How did she know? Did it have lipstick on its face?
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:15 AM   #4
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Yeah, I've seen your American quarters, and that's not a large spider.

Here's a photo I took... almost twenty years ago now. Wow I'm getting old.


Huntsman by Andrew Gould, on Flickr

Huntsmen are the famously big Australian spiders. If you hear someone talking about a huge spider in Australia, they're talking about a huntsman. Here's another one:


Lurking by Andrew Gould, on Flickr

This one gives you a bit of scale. The biggest huntsman spider I've seen was probably about seven inches across the legs. They're not dangerous. At all. I know one person who has been bitten by one, and it was because the spider had already had an argument with a cat, and they stepped on it with bare feet. All they got was an itchy spot.
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
This is a thread for discussing all things spidery, handily gathered into a single thread that arachnophobes can conveniently ignore.

Note that we are in SMMT, not in Entertainment, so real spiders only.

Here's a fun situation to kick it off:

Gippsland covered in webs as floods force spiders to fly, wallabies to swim
The most amazing part of that story is the how wonderful evolution is. Natural selection resulting in ballooning webs? Fantastic.
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
The most amazing part of that story is the how wonderful evolution is. Natural selection resulting in ballooning webs? Fantastic.
I know, right? Spiders are amazing.
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, I've seen your American quarters, and that's not a large spider.

Here's a photo I took... almost twenty years ago now. Wow I'm getting old.

https://live.staticflickr.com/3296/3...e55e8b66_c.jpg
Huntsman by Andrew Gould, on Flickr

Huntsmen are the famously big Australian spiders. If you hear someone talking about a huge spider in Australia, they're talking about a huntsman. Here's another one:

https://live.staticflickr.com/3443/3...e21ff3ab_c.jpg
Lurking by Andrew Gould, on Flickr

This one gives you a bit of scale. The biggest huntsman spider I've seen was probably about seven inches across the legs. They're not dangerous. At all. I know one person who has been bitten by one, and it was because the spider had already had an argument with a cat, and they stepped on it with bare feet. All they got was an itchy spot.
Thanks to "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!", broadcast in the UK and filmed in Oz, we are very familiar with your huntsman spiders.
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Old 17th June 2021, 12:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Thanks to "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!", broadcast in the UK and filmed in Oz, we are very familiar with your huntsman spiders.
Not as familiar as we are.

I once watched a very butch wasp dragging an equally butch, but paralysed, huntsman spider to its burrow under the house I lived in at the time. It was like watching a biology textbook in action.
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Old 17th June 2021, 01:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
The most amazing part of that story is the how wonderful evolution is. Natural selection resulting in ballooning webs? Fantastic.
And spiders cooperating to survive. There's a BBC piece too.
Though perhaps cooperating spiders is something we need to think about?


Here in Dublin we're having some problems with False Widows; I ejected one from a bathroom on Tuesday and a couple of weeks ago a neighbour, with heart problems, was hospitalised after being bitten.
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Old 17th June 2021, 01:37 AM   #10
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The funny thing is that there really aren't that many Australian spiders that are very dangerous to humans. There's the Sydney Funnel Web, which is nasty and aggressive, but no-one has died from its bite since the antivenom was developed in 1981. And there's the redback, but again they are responsible for very few deaths. White-tails have a reputation for causing necrosis, but this was demonstrated to be false in 2003. Necrosis was discovered to be largely caused by infection, not venom.

That's about it. There are some spiders that'll give you a nasty, but non-fatal, bite, but a spider is more likely to cause your death by dropping into your lap as you're barrelling down the highway at 100kph.
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Old 17th June 2021, 05:04 AM   #11
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I sometimes used to post cool videos about spiders until I found that some people have a strong, visceral, negative reaction to them, I like I do with inoculation videos (very much of a problem nowadays.)

There was one where there was something that looked like a hairy ball. The cameraperson disturbed the mound, and hundreds or thousands of tiny spiders scattered. I believe it said that they were huddling together because of the cold.
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Old 17th June 2021, 07:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I sometimes used to post cool videos about spiders until I found that some people have a strong, visceral, negative reaction to them, I like I do with inoculation videos (very much of a problem nowadays.)

There was one where there was something that looked like a hairy ball. The cameraperson disturbed the mound, and hundreds or thousands of tiny spiders scattered. I believe it said that they were huddling together because of the cold.
Think that will have been baby spiders - the common garden spider lays a few hundred eggs that all hatch around the same time, the spiderlings stay huddled up for a little while. Touch them and they scatter only to come back together after a little time.
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Old 17th June 2021, 08:08 AM   #13
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On the subject of spiders, I personally find Jumping Spiders to be fascinating.
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Old 17th June 2021, 08:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
The most amazing part of that story is the how wonderful evolution is. Natural selection resulting in ballooning webs? Fantastic.
They are not really balloons. I'm disappoint.
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Old 17th June 2021, 09:31 AM   #15
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Spiders. They remind me of one of the more inexplicable bits of research. What kind of web do spiders build when under the influence of various drugs.

Who thought of doing that and why?

Google "spiders on drugs" and you will get a ton of images/videos.

A taster...
https://sequencewiz.org/2018/04/25/h...ects_the_body/
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Old 17th June 2021, 06:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I sometimes used to post cool videos about spiders until I found that some people have a strong, visceral, negative reaction to them, I like I do with inoculation videos (very much of a problem nowadays.)
Hence why I created this thread, with a clear content warning in the title, so that people who do have a strong negative reaction to them can avoid it.
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Old 18th June 2021, 03:56 AM   #17
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Amazing fact a spider: has eight knees, or forty-eight knees, depending on how you look at it.

I have never minded spiders at all. Even when I saw a huge hairy tarantula high up on the wall of a plantation house I was staying at in Trinidad. What gives me the creeps are things that fly, like moths, flies, bats or even birds if they flap their wings too close to me (I love birds otherwise). Ugh, makes me shudder all over. Likewise snakes. I cannot even look at them.

If I saw a spider in the bath I used to help it out by giving it a small ladder to climb up usually a long piece of toilet paper, then let it scuttle off on the floor.
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Old 18th June 2021, 05:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That's about it. There are some spiders that'll give you a nasty, but non-fatal, bite, but a spider is more likely to cause your death by dropping into your lap as you're barrelling down the highway at 100kph.
Does that happen often? I'm not sure I want to go to Australia.
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Old 18th June 2021, 07:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jollyroger85 View Post
On the subject of spiders, I personally find Jumping Spiders to be fascinating.

They’re one of my favs. Used to have a closeup of one as my avatar for a while.


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Old 18th June 2021, 03:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Does that happen often? I'm not sure I want to go to Australia.
It's common enough that I've seen it twice.

Huntsmen like to hide in shallow flat places, like under the bark of a tree.

The space behind the sun-visor in a car, is exactly the kind of place that they like to hide.

For my experiences:

1. Driving along Parramatta Rd in rush hour, my passenger put down the sun-visor.
Plop! A big hairy huntsman in his lap. (Hilarity ensues as the pair of us "big manly-men", fresh from the building site, argued on the side of the road, as to which one of us was going to get the spider out of the car)

2. Driving across the Hay plain, same experience, except, that time I was alone, and the spider was behind my sun-visor. The physical sensation of the spider landing in my lap was disgusting!

Fortunately it scrambled into my hand easily, and I was able to send it out the window.


I am immensely proud of the fact that I didn't crash the car on either occasion!

Note that huntsmen do a threat display when disturbed which is quite disconcerting and adds to the whole "surprise!" effect.
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Old 19th June 2021, 02:54 AM   #21
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My best friend is terribly afraid of spiders and cannot tolerate one in the room. But at a zoo, a zoo keeper had a huge bird spider on display. It moved very slowly to not at all, and I dared to hold it in my hand - in part to gross my friend out. But then she dared the same, and we were both amazed how beautiful they are up close. She suggested her fear perhaps is not of spiders as such, but of fast rushing spiders that charge at you, and since this one was so lethargic.... "oh, " the keeper volunteered, "bird spiders can run quickly, too". My friend fled the anrthropods house...
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Old 20th June 2021, 10:54 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
My best friend is terribly afraid of spiders and cannot tolerate one in the room. But at a zoo, a zoo keeper had a huge bird spider on display. It moved very slowly to not at all, and I dared to hold it in my hand - in part to gross my friend out. But then she dared the same, and we were both amazed how beautiful they are up close. She suggested her fear perhaps is not of spiders as such, but of fast rushing spiders that charge at you, and since this one was so lethargic.... "oh, " the keeper volunteered, "bird spiders can run quickly, too". My friend fled the anrthropods house...
Huntsman spiders are in fact among the fastest spiders in the world. They can really get a move on when they want to be somewhere.
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Old 21st June 2021, 02:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
It's common enough that I've seen it twice.

Huntsmen like to hide in shallow flat places, like under the bark of a tree.

The space behind the sun-visor in a car, is exactly the kind of place that they like to hide.

For my experiences:

1. Driving along Parramatta Rd in rush hour, my passenger put down the sun-visor.
Plop! A big hairy huntsman in his lap. (Hilarity ensues as the pair of us "big manly-men", fresh from the building site, argued on the side of the road, as to which one of us was going to get the spider out of the car)

2. Driving across the Hay plain, same experience, except, that time I was alone, and the spider was behind my sun-visor. The physical sensation of the spider landing in my lap was disgusting!

Fortunately it scrambled into my hand easily, and I was able to send it out the window.


I am immensely proud of the fact that I didn't crash the car on either occasion!

Note that huntsmen do a threat display when disturbed which is quite disconcerting and adds to the whole "surprise!" effect.
So before driving in Australia flush vehicle with cyanide. Good to know.
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Old 21st June 2021, 02:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Huntsman spiders are in fact among the fastest spiders in the world. They can really get a move on when they want to be somewhere.
According to google, these little big critters do 3 feet per second.

Quote:
Instead of weaving webs like most spiders, huntsman spiders actively hunt down their prey, which typically include insects and small invertebrates. They can move very quickly — up to 3 feet per second — with some species capable of doing cartwheels and backflips mid-run.
https://roaring.earth/the-huntsman/

There's a video showing a huntsman catching a cockroach, which I have declined to watch.

I can see a business opportunity here: Huntsman Spider Racing. Place your bets here. Maybe an electronic hare on the outside lane.
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Old 21st June 2021, 12:32 PM   #25
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Giant huntsman and Goliath Birdeater are the biggest spiders, but what about the little guys?

Here's a spider that apparently measures just 0.37 mm in body length, though that's for the males, which are generally smaller. I remember reading about a moss spider from Samoa in a book I borrowed from the library in kindergarten (which I never returned ) and it's smaller than "the period at the end of this sentence".
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Old 21st June 2021, 08:22 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Giant huntsman and Goliath Birdeater are the biggest spiders, but what about the little guys?

Here's a spider that apparently measures just 0.37 mm in body length, though that's for the males, which are generally smaller. I remember reading about a moss spider from Samoa in a book I borrowed from the library in kindergarten (which I never returned ) and it's smaller than "the period at the end of this sentence".
OMG!

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Old 22nd June 2021, 04:03 AM   #27
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I think the group of spiders that look like ants are astonishing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg spiderant.jpg (33.8 KB, 5 views)
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Old 22nd June 2021, 05:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Giant huntsman and Goliath Birdeater are the biggest spiders, but what about the little guys?

Here's a spider that apparently measures just 0.37 mm in body length, though that's for the males, which are generally smaller. I remember reading about a moss spider from Samoa in a book I borrowed from the library in kindergarten (which I never returned ) and it's smaller than "the period at the end of this sentence".
Smallest I've come across round here is...

House jumping spider
by SteveH, on Flickr

Only about 5mm long, but, man, could it jump - about a foot just after I got the pic.
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Old 22nd June 2021, 09:46 AM   #29
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I love those little guys, SteveAitch. They're so tiny but can leap alright.

I discovered a false widow leaving at the front of our garage. It was an ant-flying day and I saw a few ants caught in a web and a false widow about 8 inches from my face. I had a really clear, close-up view! No mistaking what it was.
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Old 22nd June 2021, 10:49 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Mr Clingford View Post
I love those little guys, SteveAitch. They're so tiny but can leap alright.

I discovered a false widow leaving at the front of our garage. It was an ant-flying day and I saw a few ants caught in a web and a false widow about 8 inches from my face. I had a really clear, close-up view! No mistaking what it was.
Is an ant-flying day anything like a dog-walking day, except for those with pet ants?
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Old 22nd June 2021, 09:17 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Mr Clingford View Post
I love those little guys, SteveAitch. They're so tiny but can leap alright.
They're smart, too! The genus Portia in particular show evidence of learning and problem solving.
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Old 23rd June 2021, 12:51 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
OMG!

God, I never though a Spider could look cute, but this one does.
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Old 23rd June 2021, 12:52 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by SteveAitch View Post
Smallest I've come across round here is...
https://live.staticflickr.com/4314/3...06e9b8b0_z.jpg
House jumping spider
by SteveH, on Flickr

Only about 5mm long, but, man, could it jump - about a foot just after I got the pic.
Of course Spider can jump incredible distances.
A irridated spider passed this ability on to Peter Parker after biting Peter...
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Old 23rd June 2021, 01:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They're smart, too! The genus Portia in particular show evidence of learning and problem solving.
That's quite remarkable behaviour.
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Old 24th June 2021, 02:52 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
They're smart, too! The genus Portia in particular show evidence of learning and problem solving.
It think that is what makes spiders relateable, as compared to other 'creepy crawlies'. They seem to have an intelligence about them.
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Old 24th June 2021, 05:13 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
God, I never though a Spider could look cute, but this one does.
That reminds me a lot of Lucas the Spider. Also very cute.
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Old 24th June 2021, 09:29 PM   #37
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What ... ? I clicked on a thread that said "Content Warning: Spiders!" and I got pictures of spiders!

I also voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party ...


ETA: Some of these spiders are actually cute.
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Old 24th June 2021, 10:38 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
What ... ? I clicked on a thread that said "Content Warning: Spiders!" and I got pictures of spiders!

I also voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party ...
I promised; I delivered.


Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
ETA: Some of these spiders are actually cute.
Especially that teeny-tiny one.
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Old 11th November 2021, 07:40 PM   #39
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'Straya!

Gargantuan funnel web nicknamed ‘Megaspider’ donated to lifesaving program

Quote:
The ‘unusually large’ and deadly spider’s fangs – so big they could bite through a human fingernail – will be milked for venom


A massive funnel web spider with fangs so long they could bite through a human fingernail has been donated to a lifesaving antivenom program at the Australian Reptile Park.

The arachnid has been named Megaspider, and the park says she is roughly twice the size of a typical funnel web spider, more comparable to a tarantula.

The 8cm funnel web spider’s 2cm fangs will be milked for venom that can be turned into antivenom.

The Australian Reptile Park on the New South Wales Central Coast is the only funnel web spider venom milking facility in the country and the antivenom produced there saves up to 300 lives a year, the park says.

Australian Reptile Park’s education officer, Michael Tate, has “never seen a funnel web spider this big”.
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Old 12th November 2021, 12:54 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Wow. Comparable to some tarantulas in size.
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