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.



  1. **bleep** ...and I thought the spiders in my house at this time of year were big! Shudder.

  2. And that is way I say "no, thanks" to my Australian friends inviting me over! That's one mean looking thing.

    So, how are you going to base this? On a washer? Or a cartwheel?;)

  3. We get red-backs (related to black widows, for the North American readers) in the shed where I store my wargaming detritus. My wife threatens to have all my stuff fumigated, but as you say, Doc, they do keep the flies down!

  4. A mean looking spider that works out - creepy!

  5. Yikes - that's a big-*** arachnid. It also seems as if the weight machine she's resting on hasn't seen much use!

    Excellent picture of the spider

  6. I reckon I'd take out the LOTR tournament at the next con with my 'Shelob'. Still, its the small cousin of the coastal version which is covered in red hairs and can grow to the size of a dinner plate. Mercifully they seem to prefer the outdoors.

    Now I know why She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed sent me out to clear out the books we're donating - they were behind the weight machine and 'Boris' was in the way! Didn't like all the attention and he's gone somewhere else now - and I'm not too keen to find out where!

  7. Clearly heroic scale, Doc. I prefer my real world spiders in 6mm or smaller, and definitely de-fanged.