Huntsman Spiders are very common in Australia and will often appear from seemingly nowhere.
They tend to go for a high space, away from predators ( humans and cats) and are often hunted and killed by terrified humans whose relationship with Spiders has been ruined by the films like Anachrophobia (link) and the wide spread primal fear that anything small and crawly is a great threat and must be destroyed.
I was delighted to see a Huntsman has turned up in my studio and is sitting motionless above the window.
I first spotted him at the other end of the house yesterday… they like to move around in the dark when the predators are sleeping and he walked the full length of the house during the night.
The zoom lense on my camera has captured the delicate hairs over my visitors exquisite legs. He hasn’t moved for the last couple of hours.
Some people within the diversity of Native American culture consider the Spider to be totemic and the bearer of gifts and medicine.
I wrote a previous blog entry about “Spiderwoman” here after Night-Spiders appeared in my garden a couple of summers ago and created magnificent webs night after night, unravelling them in the hours before dawn only to re-weave them again after dark….You can see the video in the blog post that I made of Night-Spider weaving with such precision and rhythm….Master weavers extraordinaire!
I have had many Huntsmen Spiders come to live in my home over the years and for a period of time there was one I called Morry who lived under the eave of my caravan and travelled thousands of miles with us during a trip around Australia… He would emerge from under the safety of the eave at night to feast on the dozens of insects that were attracted to the outdoor light on the caravan wall….He didn’t have to work hard for his tea as flying insects in the tropics are in abundance!
One day I went outside and there was Morry’s lifeless form with a ‘thread’ coming from his back with a shapeless ‘thing’ at the end, seemingly dead… I thought he must have been poisoned but a few hours later Morry re-emerged from the shapeless form at the end of the thread that he was hanging from, leaving behind a perfectly shaped, very empty Spider skin…
He was larger and darker than before and I was fascinated as to how he could have squeezed into that old skin of his!
I kept his old perfectly-shaped, empty skin in a Molly-Bushells lolly tin and occasionally would bring it out when fellow travelers visited – no doubt contributing to the wide spread anachrophobia after placing empty-Morry on the table when they weren’t looking and blowing on him to make his skin shoot across the table towards the unsuspecting guest.
I would like to apologise to anyone I terrified in the name of fun back then and to my Mother for sending Morry home in the tin that day. The silly things we do in our youth! lol
Here is a video that someone has posted of a Huntsman shedding his skin after she accidentally showered him with water whilst watering the garden.
One of the comments on the video pointed out that water assists in the shedding process…
Spiders are Mother Natures perfect creations! 8 delicate legs surrounding a perfect “8” shaped Mandala….
How lovely when one strolls into the house and sets up home for awhile…