Tag Archives: giant spiders

Holding my Holconia immanis huntsman

22 Jul

Hello all!

Life’s been absolutely crazy lately, between work, school and kids, and unfortunately that leaves little time for much else.  But I really wanted to share my video with you of me FINALLY holding my beautiful Cuddles, the Holconia immanis (or Banded) huntsman.  I’ve had her for a couple of years now, and before she passes, I wanted a chance to hold her.  I know to you arachnaphobes out there, that sounds absolutely insane.

But I love spiders, especially large ones (not the deadly ones exactly), and I guess I built up my confidence holding my Nephila species Golden Orbs.  Neither species are known to be aggressive, though they are both venomous (although they don’t possess ‘medically significant’ venom), and have very large fangs that are not a problem to see.

I started slowly, with coaxing her onto the lid of a container where she nearly walked onto my hand.  Some of you long-time readers may remember I was bitten by a large huntsman (same species) back when I lived in Byfield Rainforest.  And yes, I remember the pain. So, although I really, really wanted to hold her, I prepared myself for the worst…just in case. A few tries later and I was able to get the following video.  Enjoy!

 

Orb Spider (Nephila maculata) on my face video going viral!

1 Nov

Well, recently I did a video of my Wuelfing stick insect (juvenile) walking around on my head.  It got such a crazy response from my friends, I decided to up the ante.  Why not put my beautiful orb spider, Coraline, on my head and really freak people out?  (I blame my love for Stephen King for this love of making people’s skin crawl.) As many of you may not know, this spider, despite appearances, is actually a very docile creature.  They’re not aggressive and not ready biters, although they are venomous and fully capable of biting.  But, their venom is not considered medically significant, like say a Redback.

So, I posted this video to YouTube so I could share it with my friends on Facebook.  Then I posted it on Reddit.  Somewhere in there, it went viral…ish.  Right now it’s sitting at just under 73,000 views.   I’ve been interviewed by the local news station, local newspaper, the story has been run on everything from The Daily Mail to MTV.com.  I’m not sure how these phenomenons happen, but it’s pretty crazy that it’s my silly mug on the viral video of the minute.

So, here’s a look at the video that’s causing such a stir.  ***Remember, these spiders are venomous and should not be handled by anyone not experienced with insect and spider handling.***

#2 World’s Largest Spider

20 Jun

Now, aside from a scant few of you, most people tell me that spiders are one of their biggest fears.  I get the lecture quite often about posting so much about spiders.  But, call me crazy (and most do), my spider posts are always the ones that get the most hits.  Maybe it’s like a car accident and you just can’t help but look, I don’t know.  But the stats don’t lie.

So, in honour of the arachnophiles and arachnophobes, I thought I would do a couple of posts on the world’s largest spiders.  And I’ll start with #2 because when you see this thing, you’ll be making that cartoon gulping sound that there is actually a larger spider.  <cue violin knife attack sound>

So, without further ado, introducing

The Goliath Birdeater

goliath 5

Photo credit: tumblr user ticike

The Goliath birdeater is, as you can probably tell, part of the tarantula family.  It is recognized as one of the largest (sometimes THE largest in mass) spider on the planet.  The female of the species can have a leg span of up to 30cm (nearly a foot!), or 300mm.  It can weigh up to 200 grams or around 7 ounces.  That’s like holding the equivalent of 4 large eggs.  And it’s a spider.  Just.one.spider.

Contrary to its name, most of these guys do not consume actual birds.  Although they’re not opposed to overpowering the occasional ground-nesting chick, their diet is made up of mostly lizards, frogs and large insects.

Goliath Birdeater

Goliath Birdeater

Photo credit: John Mitchell

Now, the question I know all of you are thinking…how deadly is it?

Since these guys have fangs that (at the largest) can run up to 3.8cm, or 1.5 inches, they can break the skin.  And like most tarantulas, they do carry a venom in them.  The good news is that it’s relatively harmless, having been compared to that of a wasp’s sting.  But, judging from my experience with the Hunstman’s bite, I’d imagine with those size fangs, you’d feel it. And these guys have an added feature-urticating (hive/rash causing) hairs on their abdomen.  When the spider feels threatened, it will rub its legs on these hairs to release them.  And this species is said to have the most potent of them.

Good news: you’ll live.

Bad news: The nightmares will be frequent.

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