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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:51 PM

Cities make spiders gigantic


from Grist:




People who fear extra-large spiders might want to choose to live out in the country. Because not only do spiders live in cities, they thrive and get fat there.

According to a new study, spiders living in cities are notably bigger than those living out in the bush. They love the warmth of the urban heat island effect, the abundance of delicious insects that stupidly congregate around street lamps, and the artistic and cultural opportunities that the ‘burbs and the country just can’t provide.

Ph.D. candidate Lizzy Lowe examined 222 spiders in Sydney, Australia, and in the bushland surrounding it. She looked at the spiders’ size, weight, and body fat, hopefully without giving them too many body image issues, and found that city spiders were bigger. And even within cities, the spiders that lived closest to human-made objects were larger than the rest. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://grist.org/list/cities-make-spiders-gigantic/



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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Cities make spiders gigantic (Original post)
marmar Dec 2012 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 2012 #1
Confusious Dec 2012 #10
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2012 #2
KWorth Dec 2012 #3
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #8
Control-Z Dec 2012 #14
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #17
woodsprite Dec 2012 #16
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #18
Control-Z Dec 2012 #12
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2012 #15
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #13
n2doc Dec 2012 #4
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2012 #5
quinnox Dec 2012 #6
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #7
KWorth Dec 2012 #9
DreamGypsy Dec 2012 #11
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #19

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:53 PM

1. I read somewhere that no matter where you are in the world,

you are within six feet of a spider.

And apparently, if you live in a city it's a bigger spider.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:20 PM

10. Speaking of which

I just ushered a good half inch (legs) one outside my house.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:01 PM

2. We are in the burbs of Raleigh and in our crawlspace is the biggest spider I've ever seen -

wolf spider - you never know where he/she will be, sitting on a wall somewhere...at least 3 inches diameter (including legs) - I am never happy to run into it.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:09 PM

3. Spiders creep me out.

 

We are overrun with the Black Widow spiders, they're actually beautiful spiders as spiders go, but they still give me the creeps.
We have the Wolf spiders here also and they get pretty big too.

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Response to KWorth (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:17 PM

8. Yep, we have black widows, too. Basement window wells

and garage, mostly. It pays to look before grabbing anything that has been stored in our garage. We recently had one hiding in a hollow metal part of a garden rake, where the rake was joined to the wood handle. Edit to add: we also have tarantulas, but I am not afraid of them--I like seeing them (every August/Sept), in fact.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:14 PM

14. Where?

Where do you live that has both black widow and tarantula spiders? My skin feels all crawly now. Do you also have the brown recluse? That is one seriously scary spider.

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:38 PM

17. Southwest. No recluses here that I have seen.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:17 PM

16. OK - you all talking about black widows and tarantulas make me

wanna to go call a truce with our wolf spiders. They're the worst I've ever seen in my location (northern Delaware), but they can get to 3" or slightly bigger in diameter. We have them in our basement and outside. They usually run from you, but you don't want to be reaching in anything (like a box glass pitcher to reach a stray ping-pong ball).

Last fall, I scooped a dead one up with a twig and leaf and carried it inside to inspect it under a good light and a microscope. I'm sorry, but anything that I can see it's fangs without my glasses or a magnifying glass is too darned big for me. I could take my exacto knife and and make a sound on it's fangs. UGH!!! The kids were fascinated. We identified as many various body parts as were still in tact.

If you go out on you tube and look up 'spider sounds woods', there is a video out there where these spiders are running around in the leaves making a skittering noise. We taped the audio, multiplied it, and were planning on using it for the spider part of our haunted house this Halloween. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy changed our plans

Of all the spiders I've actually seen, the kind that freaks me out the most -- big fat hairy jumping spiders!

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:44 PM

18. Wolf spiders are scarier to me than tarantulas. I have read

that tarantulas aren't venemous to people, and the ones I've seen aren't trying to come inside. We only see them for a few weeks in late summer, the males are out looking for lady-mates and they will often die crossing the roads . I always steer around them. I am afraid of black widows, they tend to pop up in unexpected places (like in door jambs, or in the aforementioned garden tools). But I had a wolf spider charge at me once. Ran right for me. I had moved into a long-vacant house, and for months they were just literally coming out of the woodwork (but mostly the crawlspace)...

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:04 PM

12. So you're sure it's not

a tarantula you have living in your crawlspace? A normal sized wolf spider looks like a baby tarantula to me - all hairy and stuff. A frightening looking spider in any case.

It is really quite nice of you to share your space with it. I would be inclined to evict the damned thing!

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Response to Control-Z (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:02 PM

15. well, the only time I run into it is when putting away or taking out garden stuff...

and we have a bit of wine down there - maybe it is a drunk wolf spider!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:10 PM

13. I had a "pet" wolf spider in my greenhouse kitchen window

It built the most beautiful web in the far corner and feasted on dumb flies that always flew there.

My boys used to bring in their friends to see "Mom's pet spider"..We would sometimes stun flies & flip them into the web just to watch it scamper up the web

I never saw it outside its web..and then one day it disappeared forever..

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:11 PM

4. That pic creeps me out

No WAY I'd let that thing crawl on me!

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Response to n2doc (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:13 PM

5. how about this? This is what our crawlspace spidey friend looks like...

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:15 PM

6. I'd take a flamethrower to that thing

 

That monster looks like it would laugh at bug spray.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:15 PM

7. Ive noticed that, too.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:19 PM

9. Now that creeps me out worse than any spider.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:26 PM

11. Australia has some really big spiders. One of my favorites ...

is the Huntsman. Let me pawk the caw...

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:47 PM

19. #1 reason I'd never move to Australia

This is me:


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