A strange topic indeed, but curiosity no less

A strange topic indeed, but curiosity no less
July 31st, 2011  

Topic: A strange topic indeed, but curiosity no less

A strange topic indeed, but curiosity no less
I have a simple question for any members here who either lived in or are residents of Austrialia...

Do you ever have run ins with large Huntsman spiders? I would post a pict but don't want to offend any one.

The reason I ask is because it's exciting enough... I mean scary enough to find an average orb weaving garden spider snatch and kill a nest of wasps one by one ouside your window. (I love living with nature sometimes hehe..damned wasps)

But to pour a large Huntsman out of your shoe, or flip on the lights in your bathroom and to find a spider as large as a small dinner plate exploring your shower must be quite the experiance.

But spiders do have uses, why I like nature sometimes, spiders can be expert exterminators, hence the golden orb weaver I haven't evicted from my window, and the large courses of meals it's been enjoying.

I also hear they (Huntsmans) are non venomous towards and reluctant to bite humans, and if handled correctly will board and explore you as part of it's habbitat as well.

So if anyone here on the milforum who has ever had any strange things like the Huntsman in particular found while in Austrialia, please do share.

I am not a fanatic, but I do find spiders like this, fascinating.....

Also key note, if you served in Australia's armed forces , and run into these thing on any sort of field excerise, please note how you found the thing (under a rock, in a piece of equiptment, box or container not geographical location, I could care less about specifics just it's natural surroundings and how it can come into contact with people).

Any and all replies welcome thanks,

Post Script....even with my fascination, you won't see me importing one anytime soon...

July 31st, 2011  
Huntsman spiders are everywhere. Only yesterday I got one out of the letter box (well I brought it in with the mail!) funniest story I can remember is being in barracks once ironing uniforms, found a big mumma huntsman, we sprayed it with starch. As soon as the starch hit there were like a million babies come off her back and ran all over the place. Good way to give you nightmares! I have never heard of them biting anyone and they are good to have around - they eat all the insects!
July 31st, 2011  
Huntsman spiders were the object of a lot of toxicology tests in the 1960s at the South Australian Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science. One of the unique problems that they had was that in trying to annoy the spiders enough to make them stand up and produce venom for study, the spiders had to be handled so roughly that they often died as a result.

The information given to me was, that they are venomous but in most people the venom produces no more pain or effect than would a bee sting. This advice is given with the understanding that there has been no evidence of other effects, but no one can be absolutely sure, as the number of persons presenting to medical help with bites is so small as to be almost unknown.

I asked about them at the SA Museum, because of the large number that I used to encounter whilst cutting firewood. As Sig Johnson says the females often carry several hundred pinhead sized(and larger) young on their backs, these live in close proximity to her until they are about 2cms (3/4") in diameter and then they seem to go their own way. Whilst cutting timber, it is not uncomon for a large piece of bark to dislodge from a Eucalypt tree and several hundred young spiders to rain down all about you. I have never known anyone to have been bitten, but that is only in my experience. Nearly every one I know regards them as harmless.

In warm weather there is hardly a week goes by when there is not one visible somewhere on the inside walls of our house.
A strange topic indeed, but curiosity no less
July 31st, 2011  
A Can of Man
Interesting stuff!
July 31st, 2011  
Apparently their cousins live in the SE USA. But - thank goodness - I've never seen one.
Tarantulas are enough for me.
July 31st, 2011  
Almost like the Golden Orb Weavers here in the U.S., often called bananna spiders.

What seperates them from a Huntsman would be is that they are primarly web bound spiders, using a traditional web usually between branches of brush or small trees to make their home.

The things are almost everywhere during the summer months and live on a yearly basis, after around the start of fall they die out leaving their egg sacs to endure the relativley mild winters, and from what I can tell it's very difficult to get one to bite you, although it does happen, but as far as I know they are not lethal or threatening on the most part to humans.

From personal experiance it's hard to piss Orb Weavers off. But as I type this very post I am looking at one that built her web on the over hang and frame of my window on my house.

It was through curiosity and research Orb Weavers in the U.S. that I discovered the Huntsman spider of Australia.

Thinking of all the times I have walked through a Long Needle Pine Tree plot and became entaglened in a Orb Weaver's web, only to appear insane to passerbys as I methodically go nuts in a attempt to remove the web and locate the spider.....

They can grow to about 4 inches at largest in diameter...

But upon seeing photos of the Huntsman, I wondered to my self the kind of surprise meetings I would be enjoying around the house if they did reside in North America.

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