Thursday, 1 January 2009

Twelve huntsmen (spiders) hunting …

If the Cryptocheilus wasps bothered to fly into the house, they'd find an arachnid bonanza. The Snail Shell is home to at least a dozen young huntsman spiders. They hatched in the laundry a few days before Christmas and have now spread into the kitchen. Unlike the adults, they're active by day. They're also very skittish. If I get too close with the camera, off they scuttle.





You can get an idea of the size of these little cuties from the photos. The grouting between the laundry tiles is about 3 mm across. In the second picture, those ripples are brush strokes on the ceiling. (I'm not getting those painters back.) In a few moults, they'll be as big as my hand. (The spiders, that is, not the painters. Although that might explain the rubbish job they did on the ceiling.)

It's difficult to imagine that these growing spiders can find enough to eat in my spotless house. Oh, who am I kidding? There are plenty of creepy crawlies in the laundry. The real problem for them will be avoiding the daddy-long-legs (Pholcidae), those spindly killers lurking in the corners, waiting for hapless young arachnids to wander close by. It's a spider eat spider world.

7 comments:

Dave Coulter said...

Happy New Year! I hope those spiders move out before they grow up. Yikes!

Wanderin' Weeta said...

"The real problem for them will be avoiding the daddy-long-legs (Pholcidae), those spindly killers lurking in the corners, waiting for hapless young arachnids to wander close by."

That's if they don't eat each other first.

I just did a thorough spider count of my corners; from twenty-odd a few weeks ago, they're down to one, plus 3 new babies. There's nothing around to eat them, except the rest of their hatching mates.

Sherryl said...

Cute? Surely you jest?
The cutest huntsman I've seen was the one pulverised by my broom.

Snail said...

I've just had a scout around the laundry and kitchen and there's not a huntsman to be seen. I think they have practiced a spot of cannibalism and then fallen prey to something else.

And now the daddy-long-legs have disappeared so I'm concerned there might be some super-spider lurking in the corners ...

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Or the daddy-long-legs are sleeping it off after gorging on fat cannibalistic huntsmen.

If not; watch your step; you might be on the menu when the sequence gets to the super-super-super-spider.

:D

Mel said...

:S
Hope you don't find the missing spider in your laundry...

Snail said...

WW, I did find one large daddy-long-legs in the shower this morning. Perhaps it was waiting ... (I've been bitten by a huntsman spider while I was in the shower. A long and slightly daft story that I'll save for a slow news week.)

Mel, I always inspect the washing very carefully for things like spiders. I once got stung by a scorpion that was sitting on a bath towel that someone had left for too long in a laundry basket. It's made me cautious :)

I've a run of bad luck with arachnids.