Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nothing to do with miniatures - introducing a hairy-legged Aussie battler called 'Boris'

Having read a few posts recently replete with photos of various wildlife that have ventured close to the family home, much to the entertainment of a few bloggers, after experiencing a close encounter of my own tonight, I thought I'd share.

You will find below a photo of an arachnid I have dutifully christened 'Boris', as in Boris the Spider (as in the old Who song).  I may have been doing Boris a disservice with the name as I'm reasonably sure 'he' is a 'she'.  Either way, it matters not for, as you can see, Boris is one effin' big spider.

The pulley wheel Boris is resting on (rather a more 'en garde'  pose actually - the camera was about a foot away!) is on a weights machine in my garage and is about 6 inches  in diameter (a tad over 150mm).  When I first discovered my hairy friend, he virtually covered it.  The body is roughly about the size and length of my thumb (2 1/2 inches long and an inch wide).  In length that's about 65mm or over double the size of a Victrix grenadier, and we all know how big they are!

To demonstrate, I tend the following - part of my outstretched hand to compare Boris against.

Imagine that one running up your arm boys and girls - what a simultaneously sphincter-clenching and bladder-loosening moment that would be!

There's no false bravado here - Boris might 'arc-up' is approached too closely but he will not jump at you and Huntsmen spiders are quite harmless (unlike their equally hairy and large Wolf spider cousins).  They will give you a bite - I can attest as one female ingrate fanged me when I removed her from inside the house to a much more spider-friendly environment in a bush outside.  Last time I ever brought myself to actually handle one - now its the old piece of card and glass jar trick every time.  You may find this hard to believe but it is very beneficial environmentally to have them around - they do keep flies and other bugs down. 

Some of you will have heard the stories about Australian wildlife and while some are true, most are hugely exaggerated - I haven't ridden my pet kangaroo to work or fought off a Great White shark in the surf for ages.  But the spiders... yep, its all true.