Sunday, May 15, 2005

Spider

My brother sent me a newspaper in which his three-year-old, my nephew, appeared on the front cover. Granted it was only a freebie local newspaper, but still. He's FAMOUS!

In the photo my nephew is blurred, but the real reason for the photo is in sharp focus. It is a large Golden Orb spider, which apparently parachuted from Australia to New Zealand when it was a spiderling and landed in my brother's garden, where it grew and grew and grew and now has an 11 cm leg span. They can grow to 24 cm, but when they turn up in NZ they generally die when winter comes along. Also, the only ones to survive the flight seem to be female, so they do not establish breeding populations.

The web of the spider in my brother's garden is two meters across, and is golden in sunlight.

My brother and nephew are now feeding bugs to the spider (although my nephew's first reaction was, "Let's spray it, Daddy!"), and my brother told me that he intends to try to keep the spider alive over the winter. He will provide it with heated accommodation.

How long do spiders live? In a few years, is my nephew going to be famous at school as the kid with the giant pet spider? Will he be able to ward off bullies by siccing his spider on them?

Also, did you know that baby spiders are called spiderlings? I didn't. My spell checker didn't, either, but I looked it up, and it's true.

9 comments:

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That is an interesting post. And it's cool he was on the cover of the newspaper. Great job.

Kim said...

ok, besides the fact that I have goosebumps racing up and down my back,I appreciated this post. I would love to see a picture of this bug, if possible, any chance they could send it to you so you could post it? Boys are so odd....

tinyhands said...

An actual chill went down my spine, despite the fact that it's more than 27C in here.

Talking Tina said...

Hmm, saw it and HOLY MONSTER BATMAN!

Mr Reasonable said...

Yikes. I shall dig my garden with Ak-47 nearby in future.

Frally said...

*shudders* Too.Many.Legs.

They are freaking amazing creatures though. I'm fascinated by spiderwebs and how fast they can build them. Congrats on having famous relatives!

Badaunt said...

Kim: a picture is at the link. They are AMAZING.

I'm rather fond of spiders (they eat mosquitoes!) and we get something similar here, only not quite as big. Giant wood spiders are apparently in the same family as the one my brother has, but they don't grow quite as large. (About 15 cm, I think.) I've encountered them several times IN THE HOUSE and they really freaked me out, because of their size and the speed at which they move. When something the size of a saucer suddenly shoots up the bookshelf beside the computer, you tend to jump, rather. Those guys are FAST. And BIG.

I wouldn't spray them, though. I'd rather have spiders than mosquitoes.

Ms Mac said...

Whoah! Good luck to him, I wouldn't have had the spider close to me anywhere near long enough to have identified at so kudos to your bro and nephew!

Lippy said...

I saw that article - can't remember if it was on telly or in the Western Leader. Anyway, it was a very impressive photo of a web that was way larger than your nephew!