Cool spider

We have this spider in our backyard, and she’s beautiful. My sister’s boyfriend found her today. She’s made her web on a bush near the fishpond where she can eat all the mosquitoes and flies that fly around our yard. My mother and I think she might be plotting how she might be able to catch one of the dogs.

Ah yes, one of those beauties. I’ve seen quite a few generations of this spider set up camp in the same spot, so maybe you’ll have another one next year.

In Amazon there are spiders who can catch small birds mostly hummingbirds in their web.

You’re referring to a few large species of tarantula which have been known to catch and eat birds on occasion, among other small animals. However, like all tarantulas, they do not spin webs. Rather, they catch their prey by stealth, pouncing on it and paralyzing it with their venom.

What he said, but here you go…
I am sooo going to have nightmares tonight.

Would it help if you knew that I have one of those creatures underneath my bed, right this very minute?

Don’t worry; she’s in a tightly secured cage. They make pretty good pets, if you know how to take care of them. When last I saw her, she was chomping down on a big ol’ mouse. Yummy!

Well, just thank Og we don’t have THESE BUGGERS here in the states.

Sure we do. Haven’t you been paying attention? I’ve got one underneath my bed right now. :slight_smile:

Okay, okay. So it isn’t native to the USA. :slight_smile:

Sheesh…did you not read the article?? :slight_smile:

From buttonjockey’s link:

Keeping one as a pet is not a good idea.

I love orb spideys. Their webs are truely awesome constructions. Sometimes I’ll get a web four feet in diameter on my porch. I think (no cite) they spin that zig-zag design to hide behind and fool the eyes of their prey.

Oh, I read it, and I was disappointed in what they said. As an experienced keeper, I know that they’re oversimplifying when they say these things don’t make good pets. They’re admittedly not a beginner’s species; indeed, I would only recommend them to expert-level tarantula hobbyists. However, for a knowledgeable and experienced keeper, they’re really not a problem. You may not be able to hold a Goliath birdeater, the way you would pet a poodle, a hamster or a tribble, but the same can be said of any number of large dogs. Don’t touch them with your bare hands, and don’t do anything to agitate them, and they don’t really pose a problem.

Of course, it does take a lot of nerve to get used to the idea of feeding them, or of moving them to a new cage. That’s one reason why this should only be done by highly experienced keepers.

It’s rather like saying that a Doberman pinscher doesn’t make a good pet. Many people would make such a claim, but experienced Doberman owners know better.

While buttonjockey’s link does make that claim (for reason which I dispute, as stated earlier), the link which you provided says no such thing. In fact, it explains why provides explicit instructions on how to take care of it as a pet. (For example, you don’t want to agitate the thing, since that will cause it to kick up its irritating urticating hairs. Some pet owners like to do that sort of thing with their pets, but it’s pretty darned irresponsible.)

Like I said, whether it makes a good pet is a question of degree and training. I would probably claim that rottweilers don’t make good pets, but I realize that would be a gross oversimplification. It depends on how the animal is cared for, and the degree of caution which is exercised.

I had a guest argiope last summer. It kept a web between a holly bush and the corner of my house. Every so often I’d catch a moth from around a porch light and toss it into the web. Not that the spider needed my help, but it was pretty cool to watch it zip over to the moth, wrap it up, and start chowing down.

This zig-zag pattern (it may take different shapes, depending on the species, and even the age of the individual spider) is called the stabilmentum, and is so named because earlier theories as to its purpose suggested that it served to strengthen or stabilize the web. Although its purpose is still unclear, most arachnologists now believe it serves to attract insects, perhaps because it looks like a solid place to land.

We get a big orb-weaver in our backyard every August and September, but it’s just a plain brownish-tan. I wish ours was more colorful, but hey, you takes what you can gets. :slight_smile:

Also, I don’t take out the trash at night in summer because I have walked into too many of their webs and the webs make my skin itch!

Dammit. I have trained myself never to open pet-death threads. The next task is to learn not to open any spider threads. It’s like a compulsion with me; I seem to like being completely squicked for hours.

Does anyone else feel sorry for the tiny little male spiders often seen on those webs? At least, I assumed that’s what those were - same color as the big spider in the middle but much thinner and 1/2 the leg span.

In Holland, Argiopes are trekking from the most southern province, Limburg up North. I’m subscribed to a Dutch NaturalHistory magazine and you can raelly follow it’s progress in maps. Very adaptible spider. [cue: sorrowful music, pessimistic voice-over] They will probably replace the indiginous species. [/music]

I’m fine with spiders as long as they’re not seeking my destruction and, ideally, as long as they’re not moving too fast. So, a spider at the zoo… Oh cool! The spider in my backyard… also a good thing. Brown Recluses in the garage, now we have a problem.