Saturday, September 10, 2011

Can you stand more spider posts?

This is the spideriest time of year, and the spiders are at their most hideous and magnificent. So I can't resist them. Yesterday morning, as I stepped out on my back porch my eye caught an insect flying across the yard, its wings illuminated against the sun. I couldn't tell what it was at that distance, but my gaze followed it as it landed...right into a spider web!Just caught her breakfastIt was a bee, and it was immediately captured by a funnel web spider. And yes, I did step out the door with my camera in my pocket. Lucky me!Retreating with her breakfastThe spider was not too interested in me hovering over her web with my camera, and she quickly turned around and hauled her prize down into her funnel-hole.

More from BugGuide:

The family of "funnel-web" spiders (family: Agelenidae) found in the United States are 99.9% harmless to people. However, there are a few genera of spiders (family: Hexathelidae) that are also called Funnel-web spiders (Genera: Atrax and Hadronyche). These spidersARE NOT related to the Agelenid spiders found in North America. Many of the hexathelid spiders are common favorites for the Discovery Channel-style "Deadliest Spider" documentaries; some the famous funnel-web spiders being the Sydney Funnelweb (Atrax robustus) and the Northern Tree Funnelweb (Hadronyche formidabilis). These funnel-web spiders are found in eastern Australia, including Tasmania, in coastal and highland forest regions - as far west as the Gulf Ranges area of South Australia. These spiders known be harmful to people, HOWEVER, as mentioned above, they are not found in the United States. For more information about Australian Funnel-Web (Hexathelidae) spiders: click here.

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