1. says

    So I remember seeing one of these when I was about 7 years old. It was after my fam moved off the farm and into the “town”. Population: 3500. Anyway, scared the crap out of me so much I was scared of spiders for decades. Since then I’ve learned how spiders work. I’m not afraid any more. But that is the exact same species from when I was a kid. I always wondered what it was. I just said it was big, scary and stripy. Thanks for clearing that up PZ! Closure for something I saw over 30 years ago.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    Scientific American has an interesting-looking (teaser for a paywalled article) piece on spider vision (and, it implies, spiders on treadmills) up currently – with bonus links on that page to three other arachno-sensorium articles.

  3. brightmoon says

    I still remember that huge zinnia I leaned over to smell and not seeing the spider until my nose almost touched it . Considering that it was right on top of that zinnia flower and it’s legs were the same size . Didn’t help that I had an old sci fi book from the 1930s that mentioned giant black and yellow spiders . I’m sure they heard me yelling a mile away 😄

  4. woodsong says

    These are the same orb-weavers that used to build webs all around the edge of my mother’s veg garden when I was a small child. I thought they were fascinating. Mom explained to me one day when I was wanting to be helpful (I think I asked if she wanted me to move them out of the garden) that the spiders were helpful, and she was happy to have them there. She told me that the spiders would eat the grasshoppers, and keep them from eating her plants.

    I spent many a happy afternoon catching grasshoppers, tossing them into spiderwebs, and watching the spiders wrap them up and hang them to store for later.

    Good times!