December 9, 2010

Ready for Some Creepy Photos?

A number of years back I was bitten by a spider. Somehow it had climbed into bed with me and at first I thought it was just a mosquito. But after about the 3rd or 4th bite, I jumped up and turned on the light and there was a small red spider, that looked very much like the shape of a red-backed spider.

I phoned the ambulance service for advice, providing a description of the spider, but they had no idea what kind of arachnid it was or if it was venomous. They're rather helpful suggestion was that should I start feeling faint, or the bite area swelled up alarmingly, or I started feeling hot and sweaty or numbness, that I should phone the emergency number and get up to the hospital. As I lived on my own at the time, I thought  it might be a bit difficult if I was unconscious.

The most I got from the bite was some swelling and it was a little sore for a few days. I only just recently identified the spider as the red house spider which does inflict a bite, but not usually harmful and it IS related to the red-back spider. 

Recently JD and I spotted a rather largish spider hanging down from our clothesline. Now while I find arachnids and insects fascinating, I also find them rather unnerving. So, taking a deep breath, I got in closer and closer to the spider, hoping it wasn't going to leap out and bite me, preferably not ripping out my jugular vein.

Actually it wasn't until I saw the photos up close that I saw its fangs. Shudder!

I believe this is a common spider known as a garden orb
weaver or web spider
Don't you just love that shadow!
Up close and personal
Hope you've brushed your fangs dear! (The fangs are the dark
shiny objects behind her hairy appendages.)
Not so scary from the side-view

This is probably a garden orb weaver or web spider - not lethal. (Eriophora transmarina)

You'll note the red colouring on the head and legs at the front as well as head. 

There are many shapes and colours in these big guys with one of their distinctive features being their rather large abdomens. The females tend to be larger than the males.

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