Lolling on the couch the other evening, I happened to glance up. In the low rays of the setting sun, an odd bump showed on top of one of the bracing rafters.
It was the biggest spider I have ever seen, with a very fat, light brown body. As its legs were bent around the rafter I couldn’t see how to catch it without damage.
But I kept the reading light focused on it so I could check if it was on the move — especially towards me. Needless to say, all concentration on my book was ruined.
The next day it was gone, but that night it re-appeared, underneath the rafters, and closer to my couch. It was straddling two 4 x 2 inch timbers (100mm x 50mm) so you can see that if it extended its legs it would be over 4 inches wide.
Again, I couldn’t work out how to catch it safely. I could now see it better — the body downy and dotted, like a stitched-up Kiwi fruit. The light caught an almost metallic sheen on the legs and eyes.
Next day it was gone again and I haven’t seen it since. But each evening, as my cabin grows dim, wherever I sit, I am now compelled to check above me with the torch. And keep checking.
It is obviously a resident, and probably has been so for a long time.
I’m not fond of spiders; even the thought of looking through pages of spider pictures to try to identify it gives me the creeps. So does anyone know what sort of spider this is?
14 thoughts on “The spider above”
Sounds like your Gram has a happy spider-friendly house. You are lucky to be learning about them when young and appreciating them, instead of being scared as I was when growing up. The spiders are lucky too!
I wonder if you draw as good a picture of a spider as I know you do of earthmoving machines??
I like the big fat huntsman best of all sometimes we see big stripy ones at Grams house behind pictures
Congratulations on your I.T. Huntsman friend. I had one peeping out at me from the remote socket in my car dashboard a few weeks back; made me stop very quickly and I got it out safely.
Jennie’s post (above) says hers seems to drink water. My spider book (purchase after my encounter above) says they are ‘harmless and, in fact, almost friendly’. So yours may well follow you.
And I now have one appearing daily high on on the wall near my desk. I’m cool with that now!
Hi Sharyn – I have a huntsman sitting in my DVD space on my PC.
Its been very hot in Melbourne today and this little fellow has come from the ceiling onto my computer as I have a fan behind me to keep me cool, so I think he’s also keeping cool. Ive never been scared of them, they seem to follow me around even when I have a shower he’s above me, I wouldnt even know if they bite. But I would like to know if they drink water.
Anyway I do hope you sorted out your little spider although their quite huge. They always come back – I do hate daddy long legs as they kill huntsman. Ronnie
Love the Loyal Herman/Hermione tale Trevor!
I think I too could share my cabin if I knew where to expect the spider to be. In a crowded and rather dim space like mine it’s the element of shock that I don’t want: at one landing on my pillow, or on my knees under my desk!
I’m sorry your cabin burnt down; a friend of mine at Laguna lost hers to fire too.
Hi Sharyn, Here at my place above Laguna NSW I lived with one of those banded huntsman spiders that lived in the gap between the kitchen window and the wall. It would sidle out of its hideout and supervise whenever I stood at the bench to do the washing-up. I named it Loyal Herman, as it looked pretty fierce as did Herman Goring, known by Hitler as above! Then it had hundreds of offspring and became known as Loyal Hermoine. Sadly my cabin burned down one day and I never saw her again. I hope she got out in time. Regards, Trev.
What a lovely description of the drinking spider!
Thanks for the I.D.– and the book comment. Have just bought a 2ndhand spider/insect book so hope to be better informed in future. As for getting used to them – and snakes – maybe knowledge will help, but I am not a natural!
I assume our mutual friends were Doug and Alyson, great nature lovers, bird watchers and book readers?
Hi Sharyn; I am enjoying a very hot Sunday afternoon browsing your blog with a wallaroo joey nibbling my toes and a huntsman spider decorating my ceiling. Your large friend is probably a speckled badge huntsman and will do you no harm, and a lot of good devouring other small insects including mosquitos. We had a large huntsman living in our shower recess for weeks. He/she would travel down the wall into the shower recess when we turned on the water and would quence his thirst by dipping his feet into droplets of water and placing them into his ‘mouth’. When he disappeared our showers were never quite so pleasant.
Hi Sharyn; I am enjoying a very hot Sunday afternoon browsing your blog with a wallaroo joey nibbling my toes and a huntsman spider decorating my ceiling. Your large friend is probably a speckled badge huntsman and will do you no harm, and a lot of good devouring other small insects including mosquitos. We had a large huntsman living in our shower recess for weeks. He/she would travel down the wall into the shower recess when we turned on the water and would quench his thirst by dipping his feet into droplets of water and placing them into his ‘mouth’. When he disappeared our showers were never quite so pleasant. The current visitor hasn’t checked out the bathroom yet.
We enjoyed dinner at our place last night with two of your friends from Gungal. Huntsman spiders formed part of our dinner conversation.
Enjoyed your book immensely. JF
Yes Gaye, I too learnt that trick, and do use it when they are over my bed as that’s a very low hessian ceiling. This time the spider was bent over two levels where the 4 x 2s met at an angle and it wouldn’t have worked; plus I wouldn’t have had a big enough glass and I need to see what it’s up to as I make the attempt!!
( I did put this trick in my book, for others)
And are you the Gaye with the lovely nature blogspot?
I am very interested in examining the spiders that inhabit my backyard:
BUT, I will admit to not allowing any (knowingly) to share my living quarters. Huntsman, like yours, can be removed, alive, by placing a glass or cup over the spider, and sliding a piece of thin flexible cardboard gently and slowly under the cup. Then hold the cardboard on with your hand and the spidie can be relocated to the shed or garden where he will still live quite happily.
It took a couple of attempts with me “ohhing and ahhing” like an yisterical schoolgirl, til I mastered the trick.
I am SO impressed that you can let the spider wander in your home.
Thanks for the I.D., Fleur and DWG. A friend also says definitely it’s a Huntsman. So, I’ve never seen a Huntsman before, here or anywhere. That’s an increase in both experience and knowledge, but I think I could do without it as a fellow resident!
By looking at those little dots on its back I would say that it is a Huntsman. For what’s its worth that’s my opinion. I agree that you are very brave indeed!!! I love all of the creatures, but living that close to a spider and a python is more than I could handle. Take care and until the next “thing” appears,
Hi Sharyn, It’s not a Huntsman spider is it? I think the body might be a bit big for one of them, but I thought I’d throw that in the mix! The legs look like a Huntsman though.
You’re very brave! Fleur
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