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It's too late to be at work, and while I wait for a server to patch I thought I would post this pictorial adventure for the spider lovers out there...

 

I have a lot of funnel web spiders around the house this year (that's the common American araneomorph funnel web spiders, not Australian kind). They are really fascinating because they actually develop a social structure if you leave them alone long enough. They will share webs, food, parental duty, and will even demonstrate cooperative prey capture. I have a small colony in a bush off the back porch:

 

giantfunnel1.jpg

 

They are extremely quick, and I have been trying for the longest time to get a picture of one striking it's prey -- there is about a half second window between when they leap out and when they drag the insect back into the funnel. This afternoon I thought I would give it another shot and tossed a grasshopper on the spider's 'porch' and sat with camera at the ready, but the spider was slow to emerge (no telling what it was doing in there). While we (the grashopper and I) waited, I watched a jumping spider take notice of the situation hop it's way up the bush. It chewed it's way through the web about the same time as the funnel web spider finally made her appearence.

 

A grashopper facing probably the worst odds a grasshoper can face:

 

shittyodds-sm.jpg

 

When the jumping spider pounced, the funnel web spider made no move to interfere. I am not sure why this happened, but my guess is that it has to do with the communal hunting.

 

The jumping spider with his prize:

 

jumpy-sm.jpg

 

And finally, when the jumping spider had vacated the area I decided to give it one last shot. Because the funnel web spider was sitting there watching me, I did not even wait for the spider to move. I gambled and took the picture the moment the grasshopper touched the web.

 

And it worked:

 

strike-sm.jpg

 

--adam

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Thats cool. I personally would not like to have such spiders where I can see them... it that aracniphobia thing :P I like the picture with the spider looking out of it's hole at the grass hopper the best.

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Great pix!

 

I love jumping spiders....I always wondered what life would be like if there were jumping spiders the size of Wolfhounds. :unsure:

 

Thanks for sharing those pictures. They made my day!

 

Brian

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I love jumping spiders....I always wondered what life would be like if there were jumping spiders the size of Wolfhounds. :unsure: ...Brian

 

I know I wouldn't be going ouitside much! Be thankful we have relatively low levels of oxygen in the air these days, insects and arachnids don't have lungs so their size is pretty much limited by how much oxygen can reach their cells by simple diffusion.

 

Those are great shots Adam. Spiders are fascinating even if they do eventually give me the willies! Of all the spiders the jumping ones are the ones I like the most. They seem almost intelligent and have reflexes like nobodies business!

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:angry: "Aha! Little Grasshopper! I hereby sentence you to death for the crime of...being....uh...grasshoppery and green!"

 

"But I didn't do anyth..." the grasshopper said. :blink::(

 

:angry: "SILENCE! Spiders...ATTACK!" said the Grasshopper judge.

 

 

 

-Messing with ya...actually, they are very cool pics. Thanks. -

 

- Lambert

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I like the little crab spiders the best - they're really pretty and colorful!

 

Apart from that, I really dislike spiders, but they sure are cool. And those pics are awesome.

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"But I didn't do anyth..." the grasshopper said. :blink::(

 

:ph34r: woe be to the grasshoppery thing that sets foot on me peppers :ph34r:

 

peppers.jpg

 

I mean just look at the thing... shenanigans written all over its face... and its shifty little eyes...

 

evil.jpg

Edited by AdamRidlon
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Great pix!

 

I love jumping spiders....I always wondered what life would be like if there were jumping spiders the size of Wolfhounds. :unsure:

 

Thanks for sharing those pictures. They made my day!

 

Brian

 

Adam, these are some cool pictures... and that from someone who prefers to keep some distance between him and large spiders ;)

 

 

Brian,

well... what can I say... if that be the reality: "Not without my shotgun, not without my sword." and maybe a flame-thrower when I have a bad day.

:blink::blink:

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Spiders ? They've now found , in Spain , an orb spider encased in amber .It's about 110 MILLION years old ! Amber has become very important in the study of ancient insects . They are preserved perfectly in the amber.

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I've always thought giant spiders would be a pretty neat prey to hunt.

More of a reason to hunt them as they'd be dangerous. Plus I'd bet it'd be a hell of a challenge, then can gather up the oversized webbing for making armor! =P

 

I mean they're using those genetically created spidergoats for that, so even bigger strands would be stronger =]

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Spiders ? They've now found , in Spain , an orb spider encased in amber .It's about 110 MILLION years old ! Amber has become very important in the study of ancient insects . They are preserved perfectly in the amber.

 

Here is one that I found for sale the other day when looking for examples of ancient weaponry. Little more than I would be willing to pay though: Small spider in amber

Edited by AdamRidlon
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Great pix!

 

I love jumping spiders....I always wondered what life would be like if there were jumping spiders the size of Wolfhounds. :unsure:

 

Thanks for sharing those pictures. They made my day!

 

Brian

 

Adam,

Awesome pics. They are really incredible creatures to watch. Unfortunately they are not aloud to live here in the house. The women folk are terrified of them.

 

Brian,

You ever see the movie 8 Legged Freaks? It sort of answers that question in a fun Tremors sort of way.

I made my Fiancé who screams every time she sees a spider watch it. She was laughing her a$$ off and squeezing the crap out of my hand at the same time.

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I've always thought giant spiders would be a pretty neat prey to hunt.

More of a reason to hunt them as they'd be dangerous. Plus I'd bet it'd be a hell of a challenge, then can gather up the oversized webbing for making armor! =P

 

I mean they're using those genetically created spidergoats for that, so even bigger strands would be stronger =]

 

Keep the webbing, I'd much rather have the exoskeleton to use for armour...

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True, wonder how tough that'd be.

 

From what I understand, a piece of spider silk and a piece of steel of the same diameter, the silk is stronger.

 

It's why they're genetically engineering goats with some spider DNA to make them secrete silk in their milk which can then be harvested and made into armor. They're still goats though...be funny if they had 8 legs and hung from trees haha.

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