Friday, August 9, 2013

Arachnis deathicus

Roxanne Ritchi: The spider's new.
Megamind: Spider?
Megamind: Uh... Ah yes, the spyiiiiiider. Even the smallest bite from... "arachnis deathicus"... will instantly paralyze...

I'm not a big fan of spiders. I can tolerate them long enough to kill them. That's about it. (Michele likes to rescue them and return them to the wild.)

Anyways, late one night, I found myself taking out the trash. As I was walking down the path that connects our house to the street, I caught the faint shimmering of a spiderweb. Unfortunately, it was hanging under a tree branch smack in the middle of the sidewalk at head height. I moved in for a closer look and saw an enormous spider, the size of a ping pong ball suspended in the middle. Ughhh... Lucky for it, I didn't have anything that I felt comfortable killing it with, so I dodged around it, went to the dumpster, and hightailed out of there.

The next morning, no spider. But come 10 pm, there were THREE enormous spiders, spread underneath the branch, waiting for the unwary pedestrian. This continued for several weeks, and we made a point of keeping a wide berth. Apparently, these are some type of tree-dwelling spider that cast webs every night. (Any entomologists reading this?)

A few weeks later, I finally mustered the courage to take a photo. Even with Michele's super duper zoom lens, I had to get uncomfortably close...

The next morning, I had to go up to work early to quench some reaction that would probably take out half the floor if it warmed up to room temperature. I rushed out the door and was halfway to the street when all of a sudden I had the horrible feeling of spider silk all over my face and I felt something heavy and exoskeletal bounce off the back of my head. I freaked out, ran back home and asked Michele (while she was still asleep. I woke up to a screaming husband saying something about evil spiders. No joke. Weirdest way to get woken up.)  to conduct a thorough examination and reassure me that the spider wasn't about to sink it's proboscis into my neck.

Since then, we haven't seen any more spiders. In a way, I guess they aren't evil. We sure get a lot fewer mosquitos than one would expect, but still, I wish they would do their business somewhere I couldn't see them.


  1. Can I just tell you that I could see this story playing out in my mind in Pictorial style pictures of the both of you? True story. Tiny is adorable in Pictorial form. And Matt, you have some mad ninja moves. I'm glad that I know you all.


    1. Michele, since you and I have such a great relationship, I figured that not mentioning you in the comment would go over smoothly enough.

    2. I would love to see pictorial forms of us. I think it would be quite amusing, especially this story with Matt running in like a mad man thinking a spider was eating his neck.

      And don't worry. I actually didn't notice you didn't mention me until after I read your 2nd comment.

  2. You should look up what species that is. It might be arachnis deathicus, or it might be spikicus fluffikus, a non poisonous and hug-craving variety. At least then you'd know in which direction any nightmares of them should go.

    - (Tashya's) Andrew

    1. So I tried to...but I have no clue how to tell one type from another. Do you know if a spider classification book for dummies?


  3. I just noticed something: that spider is missing a leg!

  4. Orb-Weaving Spiders ...low risk - non-aggressive

    Venom toxicity - the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds.
    Spider Identification - an adult is about 2/3 to more than 1 inch in body length - has a bulbous abdomen - often colorful - dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.
    Habitat - often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.