Sunday, September 24, 2006

Look at this Cool Spider

Took the family on a hike to a great nursery today that has a hundred acres or so of wildflowers out back and you can walk around in it and let the tall weeds blow around you like, you know, waves or whatever. I love it there. On the hike we saw this spider that in real life stretched, and I'm not kidding, at least--really, I'm not making this up--three inches from, like, front left leg to back right leg, if that makes sense. I've called spiders "huge" many times in my life, but I've never seen a spider this big, ever. I think it had a baby rabbit wrapped up in a far corner of its web.

Even more amazing were its markings. This picture shows its bottom side, but on its top side, its thorax (whatever the back/bottom part is) had bright green and gold streaks all over it. Again, never seen anthing like it. If spider markings are meant as a warning, this one was saying that, if we messed with it, it would electrocute us.

At least three inches, I'm saying. Easily. I don't know how to google spiders, but I need to think about that. Maybe a search like "three inch spider indiana electric kill" would get it.

Such a great nursery. This is the same place where, last summer, I parked next to a small pickup with a nice dog in it and with a cab on which someone had written in permanent marker "stop talking sh** about other people, b****." I have a photo of it somewhere. I should look for that again.

8 comments:

Ryan said...

You should have taken it and brought it to your class.

acoolbreeze said...

Scot, I swear to you that I saw this exact same kind of spider at my parents' house last weekend. I took a pic with my dad's camera, much like the one you took. I'll send it to you when I get it. Thing was huge and you could see it's little body parts up close, and it was wild. My sister's dog knocked tail into it's web at one point and it immediately went to work making repairs. Have you figured out what kind it is yet?

Tito said...
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Mr. Hill said...

No, I haven't figured it out yet. I'm afraid to know. That's wild you saw one too--thank you for validating its immensity. If I get a good spider book from the library and solve the mystery, I'll let you know my findings.

T-Seabs said...

Oh snap, if I ask my mom she'll tell me in a second. We've had a few of those kind in our garden. I took some pictures of it one year, although none as large as you describe. I do believe you because I've seen them nearly that size myself. Maybe I'll remember the name.

T-Seabs said...

http://photos1.blogger.com/hello/45/7242/640/IMG_7510.jpg
http://photos1.blogger.com/hello/45/7242/640/IMG_7512.jpg
Actually, those pictures are from one I found in Illinois when I tried to go camping. There are either two kinds, that are something like cousins, or we've shot different genders. I managed to snap a top view and a side. Not great, but I was shooting 300mm 1.6FOVCF teleMacro hand held. I could check the rest of the EXF data, but it's probably F/4.5 and 400 or 800 ISO.
Manual focus too.

T-Seabs said...

this might be on the right track, I know it's what I found anyway:
http://www.fcps.edu/StratfordLandingES/Ecology/mpages/black_and_yellow_argiope.htm

Your's looks more like this kind, but the article I found is from Europe so maybe it's a different kind:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/press_office/bulletin/20sept02/article12.shtml

Argiope trifasciata is my final geuss. This page is from Illinois which fits our region just fine:
http://www.cirrusimage.com/spider_argiope_trifasciata.htm

Mr. Hill said...

Yeah, definitely, Argiope trifasciata is exactly what I saw. The site I read about it said that it becomes active this time of year, too.

Thanks for the research.