Sunday, November 12, 2006


For six weeks, we acquired a lodger: a zebra spider. No, not the one in the photo above. He was too small to get a decent picture of with our weedy digital camera.

When he first arrived he built a fairly smart looking web which added an attractive three dimensional quality to the window above the kitchen sink.

He's only ate once as far as I can tell - at the end of the first week he managed to lure a daddy long legs to the web and attacked it with great ferocity. There was a bit of a size difference: obviously his eyes were bigger than his belly, he had bitten off more than he could chew, etc., etc.

Still, he's looked well on it really. Occasionally he'll start doing a bit of freeform dancing while I was doing the washing up, throwing in some moves that seemed to be influenced by Ian Curtis and that Jeffrey Daniels off of Shalamar. His tastes seemed to veer towards dad rock, I'm afraid. I don't know what he would've reckoned to dubstep.

I like the way that he'd suddenly scurry back to the centre of the web like a mad woman haring out into the street to tear a strip off someone who has parked their car in front of her house.

He also used to scratch his arse with one of his back legs.

Then, around a week ago he got the wanderlust, and started climbing out of the window, then back in again. A couple of days later, he just upped and disappeared.

I still can't bring myself to get rid of his web. Just in case, like, he decides to return from his travels.

He was a violent, hot tempered little bugger but I kind of miss him.

Find out about spiders on car mirrors and, indeed, drugs, here.

I always get cobwebs on the side mirrors of my car. I'm going to start charging the spiders for the rides soon.
I like spiders.

We weren't allowed to have a pet when we were kids so my Dad graciously allowed me and my sister to name the big black spiders on the kitchen ceiling.

Mine was called Nigel (it means dark apparently) and my sister's was Elizabeth (her middle name).
We have a few daddy-longlegs still living in the downstairs lav and one in the kitchen. I've become quite attached to them.
Istvanski - well, they're obviously trying to get a free ride to somewhere, a bit like those pigeons that hop on and off tube trains. They just play the "dumb animal" card to get out of paying their way.

Spinsterella - you weren't allowed a pet, but your dad "allowed you to name the big black spiders on the ceiling"? Sounds like a heartrending Dickensian story of parent cruelty (not that I'm stirring it or anything).

Richard - well I've never had a particular fondness for them but feel a bit more empathetic after seeing that one slaughtered by the spider. Yech.
It is nice to hear some bigging up of spiders. They are rather cool aren't they? I wish I could spin a web. Just imagine just sitting there, waiting for your dinner to bounce off your bed.

I'm sorry you lost your little spider. Let's just hope he went off and found a friend.

Anthony said that he took a spider with seven legs out of the bathroom the other day and took it all the way downstairs and outside.

The next day, the spider was back in the bathroom.

How did he get back in? Or know where to go?* Now that's dedication. And with only seven legs as well.

*I think he nipped round to the shop and had his own key cut.
Molly - I think it might have been the change in the weather that caused him to take to the great outdoors, actually. Perhaps when we put the central heating on it was a bit too sub-tropical.

Trying to get spiders out of the bath is a bit of an ordeal. I tried to encourage one to get onto a bit of cardboard so I could transport it to somewhere safer and it kept jumping up and down. I had a lucky escape - suppose it was one of those ones that bite ...
You're right, Betty.
The cute little buggers don't like it too warm. He or she will be off out in the garden shagging ferociously, as it's now the mating season.
Hopefully, you'll get lots of little zebras back next year.
Betty, did you see the programme on the other day, I can't remember what it's called but the gentlemen concerned test out dangerous stuff on our behalf, in which someone suggested that daddy-longlegses could bite? Do I need to go on here? Yes, of course.

Well, they do but although their fangs are long enough to penetrate human flesh you can't actually feel them. The venom isn't dangerous to us either as it's designed to fell rather smaller creatures than an huming bean. I think they have to recognise you as something edible and able to be stored in their web, wrapped up in gossamer before they attempt to kill you. They might have a go at Dennis Wise or Chris de Burgh though.
Dive - I normally find loads of zebra spiders with accompanying webs outdoors in autumn, which is why it seemed unusual that one should set up shop indoors. Still, if he's getting plenty now - good look to him.

Richard - I'm still hoping that a venomous snake does for Chris De Burgh. What a lovely thought.
I've never seen a zebra spider in Nrn Irn, maybe we don't have them. We don't have snakes either, thanks to St. Patrick so unfortunately Chris De Burgh is safe at the moment.
Apparently it's been a good year for spiders - so I suppose it's been a bad year for arachnophobes.
I'm an arachnophile - I keep mine in a vase in the kitchen.
That's OK 'cos no one ever brings me flowers.
Realdoc - a pity I don't have a spiderwatching book with maps stating where different species live. I enjoy consulting birdwatching guide maps in that way. Sad, sad, very very sad.

Take heart: Chris De Burgh can never be more than a mile away from a willing assassin, wherever he is in the world.

Kaz - yeah, there have been a lot of spiders about. Good job I like them really.

No one ever buys me flowers either. Still, as I get hayfever and wouldn't want to be with the sort of man who thinks he can win me over with flowers and choc-litts, that's a good thing.
I had a spider who lived next to my skylight for a year. I considered it a friend. Then a bee killed it. I killed the bee.
SS (er, you don't mind being called SS do you?) - that's a tragic story. Mind you, I couldn't bring myself to kill a bee either. I like bees.
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