View Full Version : What spider is this?
09-12-2005, 11:01 AM
Cam someone identify the spider in the picture here (http://www.ncf.edu/PublicAffairs/Documents/moffett.htm)? That thing looks huge! What is it? Hopefully it doesn't turn up in my kitchen!
09-12-2005, 11:45 AM
By the size and leg positions, I would guess it's a tarantula (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/spiders/0017.jpg&imgrefurl=http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/spiders/Aphonopelma%2520reversum.htm&h=286&w=400&sz=66&tbnid=jNvHUC0n-oYJ:&tbnh=85&tbnw=120&hl=en&start=3&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtarantula%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG) .
09-12-2005, 11:57 AM
It's the size that gets me - I've seen tarantulas in pet-stores, but they look small compared to what's in the picture. Although it could be a perspective thing.
I'd like to know what species, habitat, venemous or not - y'know, a standard "7th-grade science book" type explanation.
09-12-2005, 01:11 PM
Tarantulas have nothing on a spider I saw in a pet store once, right by the checkout area (scared the crap out of me, it did). It was a "Goliath bird-eating tarantula". The beast's abdomen alone was about the size of a full-grown pear. I swear it could stretch its legs across a dinner plate.
The picture's not clear enough to tell if it's a Goliath, but judging by the size, it could be. The article says that the photographer has recently traveled in Venezuela and Chile, and the Goliath is native to South America. To my knowledge, though, Goliaths are not cave-dwellers.
Gary "Wombat" Robson
09-12-2005, 01:12 PM
I guess tarantula, too, but it's really tough to tell from that photo.
Pretty much all spiders are venomous. It's just that some have venom strong enough to affect humans and some don't (and some can't even bite through a human's skin).
It's an educational Web site, and they have a "contact us" link on the left. I'd email them and ask. You just might get a great answer.
09-12-2005, 02:28 PM
I'm betting that the apparent size of the spider in that picture is nothing more than a matter of camera perspective.
Check out the top picture of the "camel spiders," or solifugae, on this page (http://www.snopes.com/photos/bugs/camelspider.asp). At first glance, each one looks about a foot long, or longer, because they are shown in front of a guy's leg.
But if you look at the sleeve cuff on the right hand side of the picture, you can see that the creatures are more like four or five inches long.
09-12-2005, 02:29 PM
Well, for anyone following the thread with breathless anticipation:
A few extra minutes I turned up Mark Moffetts homepage (www.doctorbugs.com/ ) with the same picture. Apparently it's a cave tarantula. Some other google searches turn up references to "Blind Mexican cave tarantulas", but nothing too informative.
(Searching for just "cave tarantulas" turns up some kind of reference to The Transformers)
09-12-2005, 04:17 PM
I'm 99% sure I saw that photo in a Nat Geo but don't seem to have it handy (most are in storage, darn it!).
If you can find it, it's a great article! I believe when they first came across the cave tarantula, it was startled and ran up to one of the cavers and bit him while the researchers were yelling "Don't hurt it! Don't hurt it!"
Never a dull moment in the exciting world of tarantula wrangling. :)
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