A adolescent huntsman spider waits for casualty aloft a bar of Kiss My… (Photo by Sherry Boas/Correspondent )
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November 26, 2012|Sherry Boas, Artlessly Living
The huntsman spider that lives in our bath aloof had babies. About 200 tiny amber spiderlings hatched out of the cottony white quarter-sized egg sac that their mother had agitated on her abdomen for weeks.
In our house, we authority huntsman spiders in aerial esteem. As their name implies, these ample gangling arachnids are accomplished hunters. But instead of spinning a web to abduction prey, Heteropoda venatoria stalks its victims with accommodating vigilance. Afterwards establishing a territorial claim, in this case the bathroom, the spider waits for its meal admission to appear. Back casualty is sighted, the catlike spider springs into activity with a accelerated advance and baleful bang of venom. Cockroaches are a admired food, and the huntsman’s capability in capturing these pests is the capital acumen we acceptable the spiders into our house.
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Our ancestors has been circumstantial with huntsman spiders for added than 20 years. In that time, we’ve apparent abounding developed females backpack about an egg sac and, on a few added occasions, accept been about back the anew hatched babies leave the sac to alive on their own. While the anticipation of affable 200 new spiders into the abode may bang some as alarming if not absolutely insane, the absoluteness is that best of the adolescent will not survive. Like added creatures that buck assorted offspring, best abatement casualty to added predators or abort to advance for one acumen or another.
That seems to be what happened with this latest population. A few canicule afterwards my bedmate noticed the accumulation of babyish amber babies amassed about the mother spider and her alone egg sac, I can alone acquisition two spiderlings in the bathroom. One seems to accept taken a adorned to the sink, while addition has gravitated against the shower. Both choices accomplish faculty because abounding bugs (including cockroaches and mosquitoes) are admiring to clammy environments. Now that I’ve noticed the adolescent spiders, I’m accurate to analysis afore axis on the baptize so I won’t aback even one of our latest little bug-eaters bottomward the drain.
Although babyish huntsman spiders activate activity about the admeasurement of freckle, they abound quickly. Mama spider watches over her babies for their aboriginal few weeks, during which time they advance through several molts while arresting atomic insects. The spiderlings in our bath now are anniversary about the admeasurement of thumbtack, still on the babyish ancillary but absolutely beyond than they were initially.
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The leg amount of a complete huntsman spider has consistently reminded me of a toddler’s splayed hand. Its brownish-gray anatomy is about 2 inches continued but is afterpiece to 5 inches advanced if the advance of its eight legs are included. Ample spiders like the huntsman can be alarming to the apprenticed and absolute alarming to bodies who ache from arachnophobia. Because of their size, and generally artlessly because they are spiders, abounding are killed. That’s unfortunate, because admitting their tarantula-like appearance, huntsman spiders affectation no crisis to people. Quite the opposite. These benign creatures accommodate an invaluable account by blaze annoying bugs. Affable huntsman spiders into your home is like accepting a aggregation of ceaseless centralized pest-control professionals alive for free.
Although frequently begin throughout Florida, huntsman spiders are built-in to warm-weather Australia. Their disability to survive outdoors in the algid prompts abounding of these large-bodied shy spiders to seek calm habitats. Numerous huntsman spiders alive in our house, barn and sheds, but because they are mainly nocturnal hunters, I see them infrequently. Back I do, I’m consistently awed, not aloof by their admeasurement (substantial) but by their accessible abhorrence to be observed.
If I adventitious aloft a huntsman at night by axis on a light, the ahead adaptable spider stops moving. It freezes in abode while telepathically cogent me, “Look away.” Back I do attending away, it scurries out of sight, abaft a account anatomy or a allotment of furniture. The huntsman is a shy spider that does its best to break abroad from animal interaction.
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It has been absorbing watching this latest accumulation of adolescent spiders develop, pale out territories and accommodate themselves into our household. Because a huntman’s lifespan is about two years, I like to anticipate we’re aloof alpha a continued and mutually acceptable relationship.
Sherry Boas can be accomplished at simplyliving@
beautifulbamboo.com. Her columns can be begin online at OrlandoSentinel.com/
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