If spiders creep you out, do not read this.

Stories from the life of The Kat™, part 1.

Here in the woods there are a lot of species of wildlife under an inch long.* 

This is the story of one of them.

Back in the mid-90s when we were here only in the summer and weekends, I decided to prune the dead branches out of the spreading junipers in the front yard. Junipers are prickly suckers, so I wore heavy gloves and tried not to touch them any more than necessary. To this last end, I threw all the pruned branches onto a large sheet of cardboard so I could drag them away all at once.

After pruning for awhile, I stopped to rest and to admire my pile of branches. It was at this point that I noticed a good-sized spider (about 1" long) with an astonishingly hairy abdomen walking across the cardboard. I looked closer and poked it with my pruners.

Imagine my amazement when the hairiness of her abdomen turned out to be about a hundred baby spiders, which jumped off and ran in all directions. I immediately summoned the family to witness this wonder of nature.

Googling today taught me that this was a wolf spider, the only spider in the world that carries its babies in that manner.

Gizmodo article with photos.

This is pretty much what I saw, but in focus, without the smoosh, and without the reflections of the babies eyes.

A number of years later, I took this photo, which is probably the most stunning image I have ever captured.


Spider

Wolf spiders are also the only ones that carry their unborn/unhatched babies around in an egg sac. Like all spiders, they are venomous, but not unduly so, plus they will only bite if continually provoked. They are generally considered to be beneficial because they eat other arachnids.

And that is all you ever wanted to know about wolf spiders.

* More on this in another post.

This entry was posted in Animals, Antler Lake, Rural life, Tales of The Kat. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to If spiders creep you out, do not read this.

  1. cursingmama says:

    OMG!
    The exclamation is indeed appropriate here…
    One day many years ago when Mr. Motorcycle and I lived in a tiny house with 2 tiny children one of these monsters appeared in my basement when I was vacuuming the playroom. I am TERRIFIED of spiders (snakes, mice, rats, etc…) and tried to eliminate the beast the only way I could from my position (standing on coffee table) and threw a Luke Skywalker figure at it. The damn thing “popped” and 12 millionty spiders scattered across my basement floor. Lucky for me Gameboy was a quick thinker at 6, he grabbed the vacuum and sucked up as many as he could so his mother would not be stuck on the coffee table forever.
    I am a little ashamed to say that some kind of 100% toxic will make you grow extra legs on your ears poison was purchased that same afternoon & sprayed all over the exterior of the house. And just maybe a little inside even though it clearly said it was exterior use only.

  2. k says:

    Do the little babies climb back on?
    Cursingmama, should I tell you about the snake in my oven?

  3. gayle says:

    I like spiders. I figure they eat the things I don’t like, so I let them live and tend to their business. As long as they stay out of my face, that is. Walk on my hair or dangle by my nose, and all deals are off…

  4. Gillian V says:

    Interesting description and knowledge. Thanks

  5. tammy says:

    Dear Bob. I just completely clenched up.

  6. Chelsea says:

    I like spiders, but have become much more tolerant of those who fear them since I discovered my irrational loathing of centipedes.
    My dad had an exploding spider firework experience in the garage when I was six years old. He was sweeping and saw the spider just before the broom brushed it. His description (and his twitchy rage) marks my first memory of him making me laugh without meaning to.

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