Thinking about Xmas presents for the family, on a budget

You know, you have to love the look of joy on their faces when they open a surprise box. I imagine it would be like the Australians who opened a box intended for nesting opossums and saw this:

I know I’d be excited. Wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of Huntsman spiders here in Minnesota. We’ve got lots of Pholcus, though. I’m thinking of going down into the basement and scooping up a swarm of cellar spiders, putting them in a gift-wrapped box with a ribbon, and mailing them off to the grandkids.

How can they not be delighted?


  1. Larry says

    I’m presuming (and hoping) that the opossums hadn’t gotten into that box before those things arrived. On the other hand, this is Australia where nearly everything will sting, bite, eviscerate, or poison everything that doesn’t do the same, sometimes, even if they do. Maybe its best not to know…

  2. Wrath Panda says

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE! NopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNopeNope

    Larry @1: Not everything will sting, bite, eviscerate or poison you. Sometimes they just want to lay their eggs in you.

  3. Anton Mates says

    Might’ve a bonus from the possums’ perspective; they do eat invertebrates. Who wouldn’t want an apartment with a pre-stocked fridge?

  4. Anton Mates says

    …although now that I look at Snopes, apparently huntsman spiders have been observed eating Pygmy possums. So, not much of a bonus after all.

  5. kestrel says

    That is super fascinating that they are social and help each other out.

    If you put lots of Pholcus in a box, wouldn’t they just try to drive each other away and/or kill each other? Or are they social too? If not, could the gift go from many spiders to one battered but victorious spider?

  6. says

    Pholcids are spider hunters — I think they’ve driven out the Theridiidids from my basement. So yeah, sending a box of Pholcus to the grandkids would probably arrive as one live, well-fed Pholcus surrounded by the dead husks of numerous exsanguinated spiders.

    But that’s OK! They’d learn a life-lesson from that, too!

  7. methuseus says

    I would be excited, more in the vein of Wrath Panda’s than PZ’s, though. I might even break down and cry from my phobia. I wouldn’t try to kill them, though, since they keep down populations of organisms that are more dangerous.

  8. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    When I first looked at that picture, I thought it was a box full of mouse butts.

    Hee hee, mouse butts.

  9. Duckbilled Platypus says

    So I’ve looked them up for ab it. Apparently they like wood, which is one reason to find them there. Other than that, they look to be social animals rather than cannibalistic ones.

    In any case, if a number of those go into attack mode because “don’t touch my egg sacs!” then the sheer number of them would make them a deadly force.

    Um yeah, I’d just evacuate the family and go live somewhere else. The house is theirs now.