Yeah, yeah, Australians are always bragging about their spiders

I know — everyone is sending me this story about the vast billowing waves of spider silk in Australia. It’s always Australia, they get all the attention because of the magnitude of the spider webs, but really, it’s fairly common behavior. I’ve seen smaller scale examples right here in the good ol’ USA.

For example, last weekend I was poking around my brother Jim’s yard down near Ocean Shores, Washington, and I opened up a small shed, and behold: the entire ceiling was one vast fluffy blanket of cobweb, dotted with little spiders everywhere. It was beautiful. It looked a lot like those Australian seas of spider silk, only smaller and less transient.

I took a picture of one of the multitude of inhabitants. I think it’s probably some species of Theridion.

Don’t think those flashy loud Australian spiders are unique to that continent — those lovely little guys are everywhere, you just have to look. Check your attic, your basement, crawlspaces in your house, your garage or toolshed. You are surrounded. The only thing special about that Australian event is that a flood forced them all into the limelight.


  1. malodious says

    “Mr Johnson said the insects would return to their usual locations once the floodwaters receded.”

  2. davidc1 says

    You have got us well trained Doc ,I was going to ,but I knew everybody else would ,so i didn’t.

  3. says

    THere’s an episode of Peppa Pig that’s censored in Australia, because Daddy Pig explains that spiders are small and harmless…

  4. nomdeplume says

    It is a reminder of how many spiders are present, mostly unseen, in the grass and herb layers of ecosystems.

  5. chrislawson says

    Now that we have a free trade deal with the UK, I look forward to dominating their spider market.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Chrislawson @ 6
    Australia will dominate their everything market. The Boris eejit was so keen on a quick deal that he threw everything under the bus. The quick agreement is now being sold as a “triumph” by Tory newspapers while tory farmers go bankrupt. Never elect a psychopath as leader of your country.

  7. chrislawson says


    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. First of all, there is no real trade deal here, just a handshake between two mendacious Agents of Rupert over lunch. Secondly, as I’m sure you know, Boris is very keen on making broad triumphant announcements that only the most feckless moron would ever believe in and then breaking his word when the time comes to face political consequences. This is the man who finally negotiated an agreement with the EU on a hard border in the Irish Sea and then immediately passed legislation violating that agreement and granting unilateral exemptions to any group he wanted to curry favour with. It’s not so much a free trade agreement as a marketing pamphlet.

  8. Lofty says

    One of my fun pastimes here in Oz is to go for a walk on dark, still nights with a good torch, shining it around and seeing all those spider eyes looking back at you from the grassy ground. From a distance they look like fragments of green glass reflecting back at you, get closer and you see the smallish (circa 20mm) spider responsible for the glittery glow.

  9. davidc1 says

    @9 If I was flying that plane ,I would have jumped ,parachute or no parachute .
    @7 My late father had a saying about farmers ,what was it now ,oh yes Fuck Farmers .
    Along with the fishermen they have finally realised how britshit has hit them where it really hurts ,their wallets .
    Food imports to the EU are said to be down 2 billion pounds this year
    And the tories lost a By-Election yesterday to the lib dems ,might be just a protest vote to do with the railway being built nearby .