a spider has me excited

dirtgirl(So. Illinois)June 5, 2006

At different times over the years I have found the most incredible-looking spiders wandering about the place here. Aside from assuming they were all males by the enlarged pedipalps up front, I could never find them in my reference books except I did think they had to be a kind of trapdoor spider. A few days ago after a hard rain, I was sitting on the steps looking out at everything all freshly washed by the rain and caught sight of something reddish coming along the ground parallel to the house. I almost dismissed it as a large woodroach but something about its gait said no, so I got up and intercepted my mystery creature. TO my surprise it was the largest one of these woerd spiders yet, another male. Its legs were completely crimson colored and its head/cephalothorax were totally a rich jet-black. It had a fearsome look to it, reminding one of the heavy-set build of a desert tarantula or perhaps a fuly mature wolf spider, although this spider has a glossy, hairless look to it. I decided it was time that I gave these beautiful but unknown spiders a minute of my time and trotted in to get one of the usual holding jars I keep around for such special occasions.

The best I can tell, this was a male Sphodros rufipes, or purseweb spider (did I get that correct??) the more I read, the more fascinated I got. THe males, oddly enough, are indeed commonly spotted wandering around on the ground after a rain in search of females. That made sense! But then I read on that these are endangered wherever they are found, and I think the web sources mentioned lots of the southern states but never Illinois. More unanswered questions!!

Here is one link to a good series of photos/info on my little darling.


(I hope the link thing works....you all will be hating me if I don't get the hang of this soon)

Now I will have to get busy and search out the females!!

Here is a link that might be useful: www.whatsthatbug.com/red_legged_purseweb_spider.html

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WOW! and here i was impressed by woodlouse hunters (or at least those fangs)! thanks to my search for a pic, enature has taught me that the hunter is an introduced species.

this guy takes the prize. wikipedia calls your spider an "atypical tarantula," so i guess your reminder was a good one!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 3:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

OMG. Says that they are most commonly found in Alabama????? Honey, get the suitcases out of the attic!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 7:46AM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Fairy toadmother, that is one incredible-looking arachnid!!

I think I need to go back and stare at it some more.

Geez louise! that must be the Gaboon viper of the spider world.

Spiders have never been threatening to me, and of all the ones I have relocated, saved from the top of the car before heading off down the road, installed as bug control in my flower beds, etc.... only one time did I ever get bitten. I was putting air in my bike tire when I was a kid and inadvertently put my finger on a LARGE jumping spider, which gave me a sharp nip for my insult. I recall seeing two large red dots on my finger and thinking, wow a spider bite. And that was it. I guess if I had to choose a favorite spider, the jumpers have to be right there. They are so aware and active....and they remind me of teddy bears somehow, with all that hair, and I find their iridescent chelicerae beautiful. I guess I need help.
One winter I had a rather large unknown spider living on my hibiscus schizopetalus. She was always pretty well in the same area on the trunk, and did a lovely job keeping the insects down that were constantly hatching out of the debris in the pot, which spends the summers outdoors.

I do have to watch my step around the farm though, as the recluses have really found the environment there to their liking. A little respect will go a long way, although even the recluses fascinate me although I do not handle them. I picked up a box one day and a jet-black female was cowering in one corner. It would have been nice if I could have had her shipped off to the fellow up north doing a study at the time, but I didn't have the right container or the time really.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 1:51PM
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"I guess I need help"-- lmao! don't we all?

hunters and i have sort of come to an understanding. according to literature they are outdoors but i find them in my house along the floor. i used to kill them. i confess. something about that orange red, the size of the spider, adn those FANGS! i am not so much allergic to spider bites, but i do get some kind of local reaction. they are the size (usually, sometimes bigger) of a mosquito bite but itch until touched. once touched they hurt like crazy.

anyway, education is always the key to existence. once i finally found the name (thanks to the internet) and what they eat, we called a truce. if only they ate earwigs...maybe they do.

i love jumping spiders! those little tigers are the cutest. they also won't turn "their back" on you. :) every year we have the black ones with the white dots take up residence on the flag pole.

lol, rhizo...

Here is a link that might be useful: cool site, great pics!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 3:55AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My name is Dorie (Rhizo). I am an arachniphobe. I take it one day and one spider at a time. And I am NOT joking!

I had one of those tiny jumpers take up residence in my printer a few years ago. When I would be working at the computer, it would make the rounds of my desk acting like it was taking inventory or something. He hung around for quite a long time, and I found that I missed him when he didn't show up 'for work' one day.

I tell myself that I've come a looooong way in coping with my 'problem'. And then I see a picture like YOU guys posted and I'm back to square one all over again. ;-) You oughta warn a girl before you shove spiders in front of her, lol!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 9:25AM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

sorry bout that....

never thought about an *EXPLICIT MATERIAL* warning tagline for any of my posts before now.

Now that I think about it, I have my own scary moments: when I spot the local Jehova's Witnesses pulling into my drive and every time I find myself passing a display of freshly made Krispy Kremes (Larval hips, right Cathy??:) )


    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 11:57AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

If I saw that spider in my house, it would meet with certain death. If outside, it would live. I have never seen anything like that! I don't think I want to! I've got the heebie jeebies now! eeeewwwwww......

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 8:01PM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

I will have to dig around here and find the picture I took of a fishing spider with my foot next to it for scale.

I once saw one of these gals chase a MOUSE out of a hole. I don't think she was after the mouse, but it was still wise enough to get out of her way.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:30PM
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