May 9, 2009

Aussie Invasion

Alert reader Karen sent this one in.

Bowen, Australia, has become overrun with hordes of giant bird-eating spiders. Well, maybe not hordes, but this season has seen more than its fair share of bird-eaters. These spiders are normally the size of a man's hand, and they're also normally quite shy. But something has been flushing them out into the open. Happy day.

This particular specimen was found in a public garden area wandering about. It's a whistling spider (Phlogius crassipes). That's right. It whistles as a warning (as opposed to when they're working). That whistle can be heard at two meters. Never thought that a simple whistle could make me have to change my drawers.

And just for fun, here's another Australian arachnid. Behold Lycosa bicolor, a wolf spider. She sports a trendy two-tone look and feasts on human blood.

Photo by Robert Read


April Lorier said...

A whistling spider? Oh my goodness! As a musician, I can appreciate this critter. But as a woman, I have to admit, I'm scared of it! Nature is full of wonders, isn't it?

Vanessa said...

The destruction of their homes due to building, the underground tunnels that they live in are being blasted and dug up all over Australia, is probably what has caused them to recently become more visible.
Tarantulas will normally live their entire lives only venturing a few feet from their burrows, except when males go off in search of mating, but they are being forced to relocate.
Like most tarantulas they are really not aggressive but can exhibit defensive behaviour when threatened.
Although they do not have enough venom to kill a human, it would be wise to take heed of that whistle and leave them alone.

Jaden Walker said...

Great post. I especially love that wolf spider. Its colors are stunning! :)

As for the tarantula, they're called whistling spiders, but it's more a coloquialism (not sure on the spelling, but I'm an entomology major, not an english major ;) ). I have a few and it's the same hissing sound that all tarantulas can make. And to be honest, they even sound more like a wind-up toy than a hiss. It's a normal defensive warning.

Keep the great spider posts coming! :D

Nervavels said...
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Nervavels said...

Pretty Pretty spiders! Especially that lady wolf spider... but does it really feed on human blood?

I'd love to house some of the tarantulas, but my neighbors and roommates have had it with my spider fascination.... :(

and it's colloquialism (love words....)

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