Some of you are gonna hate me for this image


But it’s almost Hallowe’en, so I get to revel in spiders for a while.

Below the fold is a photo of what looks like a gigantic spider filling a room, surrounded by a swarm of its babies.

The good news for you arachnophobes is that it’s a trick of perspective — it’s actually photographed in a smaller enclosed space.

The bad news is that the space was under the photographer’s bed.

The badder news is that it is a Brazilian wandering spider, one of the most venomous spiders known.

Also, the photo was posted on The Weather Channel’s page. You never know what you might see when you go to check the weather for a picnic.

Sweet dreams!


Oooh! Oooh! Here’s the photographer’s page, and he includes several closeup photos of that beauty. He writes:

While I was very happy to find this spider, I was a bit reluctant to sleep above one of the world’s most venomous spiders. I had a series of unfortunate events lately, and I did not want to add that kind of story to my résumé. I debated whether I should take the adult spider out of the room. I did not like the thought of separating the mother from her babies, but spiderlings are known to be independent right after their first molt, and most of them end up being cannibalized by their siblings anyway. In addition, there are several reports stating that Phoneutria females guarding an egg sac are a bit more toxic than females without egg sacs. For these reasons I decided to gently direct the spider into a container without aggravating it, and then release it into the rainforest.

Surprisingly, the spider was not aggressive during this short transfer. In fact, it was one of the most docile spiders I have seen. It is possible that it was relaxed from feeding, though. When I took a step back, the spider immediately erected its body and lifted its front legs, revealing beautiful aposematic coloration on its underside. It stayed like this for some time, allowing me to get a little closer and to experiment with photography. I started to get used to its behavior and got closer with my camera until I almost touched the spider with the front element of the lens. It seemed that the spider couldn’t care less for this. Then it scared me to death when it decided to climb on the lens.

I empathize. I would be ecstatic if I found one of those under my bed.

Comments

  1. snarkrates says

    I’ll be in Brazil in two weeks–but unfortunately, probably not the area where these beauties are found. Wish I could bring one back for you, but I suspect TSA would not view this kindly.

  2. bobbrady says

    Possibly the biggest house spider I’ve ever seen has take up residence in my shed. Well, I say “my” shed. If i had to arm wrestle for it i dont think I’d win. The recent rain here in the UK has driven some cracking beasties into our house as well. I’d send pics but my phone camera is garbage.

  3. PaulBC says

    Interesting idea for a zoom background. A few months into the pandemic, I took a picture of the cut-away inside of a cardboard box with a day count on the wall (like the cartoon cliche of being in prison) and some miniaturized wall art. I thought it was clever, but it wasn’t nearly as good a perspective trick as that photo.

    I’m afraid some people might find it disturbing, so I guess I’ll pass. (I also notice a lot of people are preferring a blurred real background to fake backgrounds lately.)

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    So now the Brazilian photographer’s bed has hundreds of bereaved supervenomous spiderling orphans beneath it, raging for revenge?

    Buy some of his prints – they’ll be famous collectors’ items once the video of his demise goes viral!

  5. davidc1 says

    Pah ,I told you about this some time ago .
    @1 For feck sake ,stop it ,just stop it now .As for you Doc ,quit encouraging him .
    Loved the TSA security theater comment .
    @4 Same here ,don’t mind the Cave spiders ,it’s the bloody big bastard house spiders I hate ,but to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of them since I got my cats .
    Have you heard of a book by Michael Chinery ,The Natural History of The Garden ?
    In it he says another name for BBBH spiders is Cardinal spiders ,because Cardinal Wolsey while living at Hampton Court was scared witless of them .

  6. lochaber says

    David C Brayton@9>

    the first two pairs of legs are nestled together, making it look like a single pair.

  7. wzrd1 says

    Regardless of coolness, I’d be contacting state and federal authorities of a discovered invasive species. Have we learned nothing yet?!

    That said, I did deal eventually with envenomation by a hobo spider, still have a quarter sized depression on one calf from it and it was within its habitat zone. Also ran into true black widows and brown recluses, reported both infestations and was reassured that neither has yet to figure out how to survive our winters. The price of military life…
    Give warming time, they’ll be endemic throughout most of the US and likely extinct in their current home range.
    But, I do have a fine number of cobweb spiders from our region that are cohabitating with us. They’re wonderful at culling the local housing’s roach and bedbug population.
    Which reminds me, time to mix up another culture of mold that prefers bedbugs, they’ve quite recently re-surged – with a surprising number of hatchlings and full adults. The mold typically takes a month to cull them, got other mechanical methods to keep them off of the bed and furniture.

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