Invasion of the spiders

May 2nd, 2013 | By | Category: News

Spider in sink
Look who dropped by for dinner. Number 8 Network’s home and office has been inundated with rather big spiders – like this handsome young lass, aka Dolomedes sp.  Otherwise known as a nurseryweb spider she slowed up the dish-washing somewhat.

Earlier that morning we’d discovered a similar beauty in the (empty) bath, one on the floor, one on the wall, one in the toilet (deceased) and the fellow below, who was making for the cat’s food.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He could just about make off with the cat.  We are starting to take it personally. Big, they are. And hairy.

Not that long before we had another Spider Incident out by the woodshed. One Mr or Mrs Hexathele hochstetteri who is, I understand, related to Australian funnelwebs and more distantly to American tarantulas. This is one of our biggest native spiders.

After taking the photo, this happened.

Eeeek!

Eeeek!

Wondering why we are so blessed, we got in touch with Simon Pollard, one of New Zealand’s foremost spider experts.

He confirmed our identification regarding the Dolomedes, but it’s a male, looking a bit wet behind the spiracles, he says. The other chap on the floor, however, is Ulidon sp. (used to be called Miturga), an introduction from Australia. Commonly called ground hunting spiders, they seem to have become a lot more common in urban areas in the last decade or so.  According to our spider book, the females are plumper, with shorter legs, and tend to stay more under cover.  The males roam quite widely and are more likely to be seen.

“And they do seem to be found in large numbers in some places. Somebody showed me a photograph of about 20-40 of them under a recycling bin-sized container,” says Simon.

“They are harmless, and unlikely to bite, unless they were squashed by accident.  So, a few more house guests!”

Is anyone else in the area enjoying an influx of hairy visitors?  We’d love to know.  Oh.  And in case you’re wondering, our guests were gently escorted outside and set free to play with the cat.

Has anyone seen our cat?

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