1. Leslie K2 says

    I have done my part for the arachnid world this week, I’ve spared the lives of 2 very large, very menacing looking spiders. My method of capture is a fistful of facial tissues and gentle grasping of my “prey”. Then my captives are escorted outside to venture forth HGTV style looking for a new domicile. (I reside in Florida so weather is no problem for the exiles).
    Where do I pick up my brownie points?

  2. Rich Woods says

    “up to my ass in baby black widows”

    Yes, but I’m sure they’ll be very friendly. Not bitey at all.

  3. weylguy says

    Hey, toss an alligator lizard in there with them egg sacs. You won’t be up to your ass very long in baby spiders.

  4. Le Chifforobe says

    She seems to be trying to communicate with you, a la Charlotte. You want to be sure to read the fine print.

  5. raven says

    Nere is some other spider news.

    Hiker who couldn’t “feel the skin on her legs” after …

    CBS News › U.S.

    2 days ago — The hiker was bitten in the Sierra Nevada by what she thought was a spider, Inyo County search and rescue officials said.
    A hiker paralyzed by a bite in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains last week was safely rescued after she was able to relay her location just before her phone died, officials said.

    This woman was hiking in the Sierras when she was bitten by a spider while getting water in the evening. She couldn’t feel the skin on her legs or walk very well.
    She did manage to call search and rescue and was rescued.

    I read this and couldn’t figure out what kind of spider in the Sierras could do that.
    Black Widow bites are very painful but don’t cause numbness.

    It turns out she probably wasn’t bitten by a spider anyway.
    The latest reports are that she walked into a patch of stinging nettles.
    I suspect that she felt the stinging nettles and panicked.

  6. Jazzlet says

    raven @#5
    Personal experience but . . . walked across what I thought was a field of thistles (it was dark so I couldn’t see what they were) in strappy sandals, got to fence and found we couldn’t get over it, so had to walk back through the field of ‘thistles’. Realised they were actually young nettles. Despite promptly applying antihistamine cream I lost the feeling in the skin of my lower legs for a couple of days, then there was a lot of unpleasant tingling as the feeling came back. Do not recommend.

  7. eastexsteve says

    Do you think the fact the second spider was pregnant (Verdande?) when you received her was why she was more apprehensive about coming out of the original shipping containers than the first one (Urd)? The first one crawled around even gave you a handshake.

  8. StevoR says

    That spider has an awesome human :-o pareidolia on its back there,.

    Much better than a Redback’s (Latrodectus hasselti) hourglass shape.

  9. Hemidactylus says

    PZ what the hell is going on with the white circles on the apparent dorsal abdomen of the widow?

  10. says

    I asked a mechanic, and he said nobody ever asked this question, and it must be my connection with MIT, very smart. I say, “And you’re in the car and you have this tremendously powerful battery and the battery is now being rained and there’s a shark that’s approximately 10 yards over there?”

    So I said, so there’s a shark 10 yards away from the car, 10 yards or here, do I get electrocuted if the car is wet? Water goes over the battery, the car is wet. Do I stay inside the car and get electrocuted, or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted? Because I will tell you, he didn’t know the answer. He said, ‘You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question.” I said, ‘I think it’s a good question.’ I think there’s a lot of electric current coming through that rain. But you know what I’d do if there was a shark or you get electrocuted, I’ll take electrocution every single time. I’m not getting near the shark”

  11. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Hmm.. given the silky nature of the potential food on offer there I reckon that might stick in one’s throat..

  12. fishy says

    Do you think there’s any money in a game or app that simulates a spider farm?
    Asking for a friend.

  13. raven says

    Do you think there’s any money in a game or app that simulates a spider farm?
    Asking for a friend.

    They still sell Ant Farms.

    Uncle Milton Giant Ant Farm – Large Viewing Area – Care for Live Ants – Nature Learning Toy – Science DIY Toy Kit – Great Gift for Boys & Girls, Green
    Visit the Basic Fun Store

    Amazon’s Choice
    2K+ bought in past month
    $19.99 $19.99

    EDUCATIONAL AND FUN: Teach your children about the wonders of nature and the intricate workings of an ant colony. Our ant farm sparks curiosity and promotes STEM learning by allowing kids to witness firsthand how ants collaborate, communicate, and build their intricate network of tunnels.

    You can buy an Uncle Milton Ant Farm from Amazon for $19.99.

    You need to go big here.
    App? Game?
    Why not a real Spider Farm?

    I would not start with Black Widows though.

  14. StevoR says

    If you get an ant farm does it come with aphids for the ants to farm or maybe fungi for them to do so? An ant’s aphid fungi farm farm?

  15. says

    That’s wonderful! Just out of curiosity how far away are these black widow spiders from the Republican National Convention in a couple of weeks?

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