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Giant Spider in Southern California

This is a discussion on Giant Spider in Southern California within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; It's always a shock when something (alive) unexpected crawls, falls or jumps on you. While ...

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  1. #1
    Diane's Avatar
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    Default Giant Spider in Southern California

    It's always a shock when something (alive) unexpected crawls, falls or jumps on you. While filling the birdfeeders last night I was horrified to feel something on my neck. I brushed it off and just about jumped out of my skin when a huge spider of a type I have not seen before fell to the pavement. I mean, it was practically as big as my hand!!

    After I got over the shock, I realized that it was probably no bigger than my fist. I used the edge of the feed bag to keep it from running off while I got a good look at it. It was a reddish brown color, it was not shiny - but I am not sure if that is because it had come from the feed bag and was covered with dust or if it had hairs.

    Upon closer inspection I saw it was only about the size of a silver dollar. I flipped it over onto it's back and saw a black mark on the thorax. It was rectangular, or perhaps slightly like the hourglass on a black widow. It was spewing out silk like crazy. Very thick sticky silk.

    Since it was on it's back I was a little braver and moved closed enough to see that the back part of the body was only about as big as a quarter. He flipped himself back over and began scurrying towards me. I headed him off with the bag.

    I let him go, but was creeped out all night. In reality, the part of the body behind the thorax was about as big around as a nickel (honest!). His body was a consistent color except for the black mark on the bottom of the thorax. Does anyone recognize this description?

    since I haven't seen one like it before, I thought it might have come in the birdseed bag, which was packed in the midwest.

  2. #2
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    I don't know what it was but I got the WILLIES just reading your post !!!!
    Cin

  3. #3
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    Absolutely sounds like the deadly brown recluse Diane. You'd better sell your house and flee because once you've got them, you've got lots of them. And you really don't want to reach behind all those seldom used objects in the shadows of your garage--or your closets--because that's where they live and breed. And one bite--just one bite--and the flesh around it starts dieing and requires plastic surgery. So please be careful!

    ;-)

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    Geez - are you kidding? I am already careful because we have so many Black Widows around... Yikes!!! I may have to break down and have the place sprayed.

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    Me thinks I hear a Halloween tease...

    Could be payback for the mouse head.

    McJulie

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    Diane,

    Spiders are not insects, while they are arthropods, so not in any of my insect field guides. And I can't find my college arthro texts that would identify your critter. This is a good overview Website that shows photos of the ones to worry about:

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/1954#id

    Let us know if you ID your guy in the lineup!

    McJulie

  7. #7
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    Am I evil for laughing the whole way through all that?

    But I really do feel for you Diane, what a horrible feeling that must have been... really...

  8. #8
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    If it is a brown recluse, then please be careful! I would start sealing my shoes, sandals and socks, and well all my clothes in airtight bags. Shake everything before wearing it, and put night lights in every dark corner.
    Now, I don't think anyone will find a description of this incredibly shrinking spider in any book, unless you go only by color and markings

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    They're messin' with ya Di...

    McJ

  10. #10
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    She is going to have to put on her Spiderman pajamas before she goes to bed.
    Cin

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