WAKE UP and look at this spider!

It’s a handsome Aussie fella, and they named it Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson should be flattered. I’ll tuck it below the fold and when you’re ready to achieve full consciousness, read on.

Did that make you more alert? Like a jolt of espresso?

Ahh, I am jealous. I’ve been pining to see some more spiders — everything is under a blanket of snow ’round these parts — and have been planning some expeditions to exotic places like Pope and Swift and Kandiyohi counties come the thaw, which probably won’t happen until late April or May. Except for that bit about occasionally catching on fire, Australians are so lucky.


  1. chrislawson says

    Funnel-web venom is particularly toxic to primates…which is odd given they evolved on a continent that didn’t even have primates until approx. 60,000 years ago.

  2. nomadiq says

    Ooo a male – more venomous than the female. But also, kinda meh. These fellows are a dime-a-dozen in the suburbs of Sydney. I’ve had a couple run over my feet (I did have shoes on) when I was young. I’m sure I mowed down quite a few of them in my time while cutting grass (The Horror!). A friend once woke up with one in his bed (honest to god true story).

    Honestly PZ – get yourself to Australia next Southern summer. You will be in heaven.

  3. nomadiq says

    @5 – weird how god would design a creature with a venom component for no purpose. It’s almost as if intelligent design doesn’t have a designer. What would we call that? Evolution of course 😀

  4. says

    Meh, all this terror of Aussie fauna trying to kill you when the flora is orders of magnitude more responsible for human victims.

  5. says

    @9 you seem mildly distressed, or am I wrong? ;)

    Woof, that’s a “Okay, you can have all the space you want, big guy” spider. I’d give him a wide berth, simply because larger spiders can bite and it’s fairly painful. Gotta respect something that large.

  6. says

    Yes they are deadly and they can bite through a gardening glove. I had the unpleasant experience of lifting the blankets to go to bed one night and found one lurking between the sheets. I didn’t get much sleep that night. I also walked into my room one night and felt something land on my head. I removed my beanie and found something much nicer. A hunstman spider so large that he would make Dwayne the Rock look like a pygmy. They scare the life out of most people but are relatively harmless. I gently deposited that one outside.

  7. chrislawson says


    Funnel-web venom is still effective against their natural prey: insects and the occasional small frog. It’s just an accident of evolution that the venom is also neurotoxic to primates.

  8. monad says

    @5: Attack and defense are two sides in the same fight. I mean, you can also flip that to say “primates aren’t nearly so susceptible to the venom of the spiders from their own parts of the world”, and suddenly it doesn’t sound odd at all.

  9. Roi Du Voyageur says

    @12 Right after I saw the picture I picked up the closest object and beat the living FUCK out of my laptop screen. Thankfully I picked up my daughter’s favourite stuffie. Also thankfully she didn’t see me abusing said stuffie, because then hell would have shown up to be paid.

  10. davidc1 says

    Gosh dang it Doc ,you did done do lie again ,it wasn’t below the fold .
    I take it they captured it to make anti bite serum ,or whatever it is called .

  11. davidc1 says

    @13 Thanks for that ,i find it hard to get to sleep at the best of times lol.
    The first i heard of Huntsman spiders was in a nature doc ,there was a reconstruction of someone driving ,they pulled down
    the sun shade ,and a Huntsman spider dropped in the drivers lap ,they turned the car over on it’s roof .
    Next scene , a voice over saying Huntsmen are harmless ,and they showed a little girl with one crawling up her arm .
    At that point i fainted .