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The things you see…

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

(up close and personal)

… when you ride your bike in Florida in the summer.

Warning to aracnophobes: don’t click on this post, okay?






(Do not say I didn’t warn you)

A few days ago, I am riding along, minding my own business, when I almost put my face against this:
Banana spider 5 - smallIn case you cannot tell by the picture, that thing was easily four inches across. Since I had never seen such a thing, I proceeded to google. This is what I found.



  • Dude! I feel you.
    In June I was minding my own business in my own house when this flew in the apartment:

    Notice the pictures of it next to the tarantula.

    I hid outside and conceded the house to the thing until it left.


  • Aargh! I can’t even cope with tame European spiders!


  • I have three in the front yard and four out back they keep the bugs down and are pretty docile. They get huge but honestly I have never gotten bite by one. The bats love to eat them when they get bigger.


  • When I was around 16, I turned around to find a tarantula on my shoulder. I shook it off and it skittered under the fridge. I saw it once or twice around the house, but no one believed me that it was there!


  • Yeah, dad gets those big ol’ spiders in his yard, too. I totally understand the fright one gets from turning around and being face to face with one of those huge suckers, but they sure do make some pretty webs to look at. And as Teddy said, they cut down on the bugs, which out in the country, dad can use all the help he can get cutting down the number of mosquitos buzzing around.

    Venus, YIKES on your unexpected insect visitor. I would have vacated the premises as well until it left or someone removed it for me.

    Funny thing about insects, I had to put together a bug collection for my 2nd grader this week. He found a praying mantis, but rather than kill it for the collection, we just took a picture of him with it since they are getting harder and harder to findβ€”it helped that he already had his required ten bugs by that point as well. He’s the anti-bug (wigged out during the pic) whereas his 14y/o sister is bug crazy. Go figure.


  • I wish I could strategically set some of those bug eating suckers up around my front porch! My youngest gets these excruciatingly swollen and itchy mosquito bites.


  • Dude, that is one spectacular looking spider. LIving here in Oklahoma I’ve learned to coexist with all manner of bugs and critters. We get wolf spiders a lot here–the furry kind. And the occasional tarantula who are actually very calm nonviolent and beautiful creatures unless you piss them off.

    And yeah, what Teddy said–they eat the bugs surrounding my house, which is ok by me. Unless they invade my kitchen, then they’re toast. Heh.


  • Oh, man. I’m glad our spiders stay relatively small up here. At least the ones I’ve seen. And we don’t have snakes either.


  • maddie
    September 3
    3:19 pm


    I scream at the top of my lungs at any bug but spiders I Michael Myers after me scream.

    Even though I hate them and I’m afraid of them I do not kill them, not their fault that I’m a big old baby, and think they are ugly and freaking creepy.


  • Oh hell to the no! I thought there were freaky ass spiders here in Cali – but good Lord I’ve never seen one like that.

    I think I need a drink now. Or at least a cool cloth on my forehead….


  • Venus: holy crap, now THAT is scary!

    Teddy, once I calmed down, I took a dozen pictures (most of them blurry because the web was vibrating with the breeze from the cars on the road three feet away), because damn, the thing is gorgeous!

    (only not so much when you almost plant your FACE on it)

    Jodi, the problem with these is that, while they are not naturally aggressive towards humans, their bite is poisonous–they belong to the Black Widow family. I would imagine that a person who reacts badly to mosquito bites would be rather vulnerable to these.

    maddie: there, there…

    Wendy: hey, I’m on the other side of the continent, no cause for alarm πŸ˜‰

    Jaci, isn’t it beautiful? I wish at least one of the images with the underside had come out well–a beautiful, intense red color…


  • Mireya
    September 3
    4:29 pm

    One of the coolest things in the whole world that I’ve ever watched is baby spiders coming out of the cocoon and fly away. I’ve only seen that incredible show once in my life, and it was in suburban NY. The cocoon was in some bushes close to the house. We don’t have that sort of spiders in Puerto Rico.

    That being said, they scare me … but I get even by killing giganto spiders in Lord of the Rings Online… ;D


  • Teddy, once I calmed down, I took a dozen pictures (most of them blurry because the webs was vibrating with the breeze from the cars on the road three feet away), because damn, the thing is gorgeous!

    They have a pretty color. I only get in an argument with them when they insist a garden walkway makes a good web location. It’s like they can have the whole fence but Noooooo they have to have the walkway.


  • We get hideous, brown “giant house” spiders here with a legspan as wide as your palm. They make funnel webs outside, but come August they start to venture inside looking for mates.

    They were accidentally introduced to the Pacific Northwest around 1900. I console myself that they compete with other more bitey spiders and help keep those populations down. Doesn’t make me feel much better when I come across one hanging out on top of the legos in my kids’ toybox. Bluh.



  • We get giant wolf spiders in the house. They span your palm too.

    I hate spiders.

    Your picture is another good reason for me to not want to live in Florida. Along with the giant cockroaches many Floridians try to kid themselves into thinking are something else by calling them Palmetto bugs. πŸ˜‰


  • Kirsten–those are the spiders they used in “Arachnophobia”, lol! Creepy bastards.

    Karen–check out what was by MY front door: http://www.deetenorio.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/spider.jpg

    Scared the crap out of me. πŸ™‚


  • Dee… *cough*it’sALnotKaren’spost*cough*

    And yes, I remember when you posted that. Heh.



    *bows head in shame* I got caught up in the nasty spider. πŸ™‚ Forgot to check who posted.

    I wonder if your superbroom would kill that thing as good as it cleans my carpet? LOL!


  • Forget everything I ever said about moving to the USA. You’ve got way too many scary animals living in your corner of the world. *shudder*


  • Alexandra
    September 3
    11:19 pm

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kill it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kill it kill it kill it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Randi
    September 4
    4:24 pm

    Jody W: I planted some lemon balm outside and it does a really good job of keeping the mosquito population low, around the house. I’ve heard you can also take the leaves and rub them on your skin as a type of natural mosquito barrier. It’s not the prettiest plant-it actually looks like a tall skinny weed with big floppy leaves. But they smell great (like lemon-thus the name!) and they do, late in the summer, have these tiny white flowers. They also grow like crazy, so you have to keep on top of them. But, in my experience, it works better than those candles, to keep mosquitos away.


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