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09 March 2005 @ 03:03 pm
Spiders are my friends  
I found three dead weevils in spider-webs.

Vacuum cleaner 12
Spiders 3
Weevils 0
 
 
 
Eliseephant on March 9th, 2005 04:07 am (UTC)
Were the Spiders named Gerry?
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 04:14 am (UTC)
Um, I'm not sure.
I didn't actually see the spider(s) in question, they are a notoriously shy lot.
Eliseephant on March 9th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)
Well I'm sure their names are Gerry. Gerry is a good name for spiders.
obscurek on March 9th, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
Australian spiders terrify me. I've seen the suburban killers documentary! I'd rather have weevils.
Mikmareth_redorb on March 9th, 2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
I dunno. Most of us down here in Melbourne cultivate as many Daddy Long Legs as possible (which apparently has the most toxic venom of any spider in the country) because they keep the insect/arachnid population down in their chosen habitats. I haven't seen any in my flat for a while, so I might have to bring a couple home from work.
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, daddy long legs eat redbacks.
Outlier Manlukeii on March 9th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
Stop perpetuating urban legends! Daddy Long Legs Spiders (known as Cellar Spiders in the Americas - as opposed to what they call Daddy Long Legs over there, which AREN'T spiders) do NOT have the most toxic venom of any spider in the country. That is a myth most likely sprung up from the fact that Daddy Long Legs tend to kill other spiders in their territory, spiders usually much more venomous than themselves. It's not because they are more venomous though, it's just because they are built to kill other spiders - long spindly legs which raises their vulnerable torso away from the fangs of their enemies.
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 10:32 pm (UTC)
They do that whole silk spinning thing, too.
Mikmareth_redorb on March 9th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Next you're going to tell me not to scare tourists with drop-bear stories.
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Watch out for that hoop-snake!
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 09:30 am (UTC)
No, wait. It's not an urban legend. (I've seen them mentioned on official-like documentaries.) BUT it's a misiterpretation. Thay aren't the most venemous spider. They have one of the most potent poisons in a very, very small quantity.
Outlier Manlukeii on March 11th, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
No. The number of tests done on these spiders to determine toxicity level of venom: 0.

In other words, none, zero, nada, not even one, zilch, zippo, a big fat nothing.

Nobody knows how poisonous they are, because no-one has bothered milking one and injecting mice with the venom. Any statement of this nature is purely conjecture, and often, as I said before, influenced by the fact that these spiders tend to eat other spiders whose venom strength is known, and often quite high. However, the ability to kill other spiders doesn't prove that this spider has a stronger venom, just that it is good at killing other spiders.

References:

http://spiders.ucr.edu/daddylonglegs.html

http://www.spiderbytes.captainspider.com/backIssues/issue1.2/page4.html

http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/bohart.asp?s=insects&f=cspider

http://www.geocities.com/brisbane_weavers/Pholcidae.htm#Does%20Daddy%20Longlegs'%20venom%20rank%20among%20the%20most%20highly%20toxic%20of%20all%20spiders
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 01:08 pm (UTC)
Ah. Well, I'll stand defeated. I admit that the documentaries didn't go into much details and mentioned it as "controversial".
Outlier Manlukeii on March 11th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
Another urban myth: 'To overcome your fears, you should learn more about them.'

I know a lot of stuff about spiders now, but I'm still afraid of them.
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
Well, there's only two species of Australian spiders that have ever killed anyone, the redback, which hasn't killed anyone since the 1950s, and the funnelweb, which isn't found this far South and besides hasn't killed anyone since antivenom was introduced in 1981.

So, it's been 24 years since the last death by spider-bite in this country, and I've never seen a redback in a suburban home anyway.

Snakes, on the other hand, kill a couple of people a year. But, again, poisonous snakes are pretty rare in inner-city suburbs.
Outlier Manlukeii on March 9th, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)
That's the Sydney Funnelweb - there are other species of funnelweb, some more deadly than the Sydney Funnelweb, but they have much less contact with humans than the Sydney Funnelweb, since they live in areas that humans DIDN'T decide to plant huge cities on.
Jacobyak_boy on March 9th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Whatever.

My point remains that nobody dies from spider bites anymore.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 09:31 am (UTC)
No. We don't die.

That doesn't mean that white tails can't be extremely bothersome.
Outlier Manlukeii on March 11th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
What's so bothersome about a white tail?

I mean, apart from the fact that they are spiders that like to creep around your house and hide in things you want to pick up with your bare hands.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC)
When they bite you and you don't even realise you've been near one until you find this painful, swelling, red spot on your arm.
Outlier Manlukeii on March 11th, 2005 01:11 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a mosquito bite! :P
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
Times ten!
Jacobyak_boy on March 11th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Damn, I was totally hoping you were going to say "rotting flesh", since that little urban legend has been debunked.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 12th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm speaking from experience here. I'm sure I would have noticed if my flesh had started rotting.
parakleta on March 12th, 2005 02:35 am (UTC)
I found a redback spider in my parents house in Canberra, when I was in highschool.
parakleta on March 12th, 2005 02:38 am (UTC)
Then again, we also had some kind of brown snake in our backyard.
Jacobyak_boy on March 12th, 2005 04:42 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Canberra doesn't count as suburbia.
Robet Éivaayvah on March 11th, 2005 09:32 am (UTC)
Hurrah for Daddy Long Legs! (There's just something pleasant about seeing a dead spider caught in one of their webs. ^_^)