It’s the Spider Purge!


Oh, no. My daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit for a week on Friday, and my wife has decided we have to make a more baby-friendly home. Which means…THE SPIDERS MUST GO. I tell her that the spiders were here first, so maybe it’s the baby who should make accommodations. That didn’t work. The baby will need to learn to love spiders eventually, so why not start early? No go. Maybe the baby would like to learn spider-catching technique, so you’re depriving her of a learning opportunity. Nope. So Mary’s been out in the sun room, destroying a happy, loving community by scooping up spiders and their many egg sacs, and has brought them to me. At least I’ve got a nice home for them in the lab.

Look at that lovely lady! I’m seeing more of these paler morphs lately, and I don’t know if it’s seasonal, a side-effect of frequently distended abdomens during laying season, or just a particular genetic strain. I’m thinking a good project for a student this Fall will be to photographically document the pigment patterns on the spider abdomens in our colony, and try to correlate those with pigment patterns in their offspring.

They’re also beautiful, you know. Beauty is a major plus in any scientific endeavor.

Comments

  1. jrkrideau says

    Well, I think Mary is correct. The spiders belong in the lab not the the family sun room.

    Still, how are you getting your granddaughter to eat spiders if they are in the lab? Her parents might get suspicious.

    I recommend sautéed spiders with Hoisin or XO sauce if you are still working on this research project.

    If she is old enough, chop sticks are recommend. Otherwise hands or spoon should do. Grandpa should be gulping down a few to set a good example.

  2. hemidactylus says

    I think it is really cool Mary seems to be as, if not more, enthusiastic than you on your newfound spider passion. So if there must be some boundaries or buffers between the spider thing and the grandkids so be it. But maybe your grandkids will at least be socialized to be less arachnophobic than is typical in the general population. After not being able to save a beautiful little ringneck snake from prejudiced humans years ago, I arrived after the poor little thing had been fatally injured, I wish more people were socialized to respect often demonized wildlife.

    I do swat flies and have sprayed a smallish wasp nest next to my front door before (as retribution for a painful morning sting on the ear) and swatted a stout black widow looking spider crawling my wall in the recent past, so I am hardly a Jain. I do have remorse for accidentally running over a brown Cuban anole in my driveway and accidentally stepping on another (crushing it) that darted into my path before I could react within a couple weeks. Killing two anoles separately by accident made me feel horrible. Tonight at the post office an anole darted toward the door as I opened it and I took care to not accidentally injure it. Some would look at them as invasive, but at this point that ship has sailed. We have plenty of invasive geckos that are really cool, especially the parthenogenic ones. I’m not biased 🦎🦎🦎

    Geckos eat spiders. Yum yum. The horror!

  3. robro says

    I’m pretty sure there will be spiders in the sun room when the baby gets there, just not so many, so obvious, or so accessible. New spider deployment in vacant territory is amazingly fast. At least Mary respects your desire to save the spiders. I know people who would be happily spraying poison to kill off the spiders and other insects which isn’t good for the bugs or the baby.

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