The Bug Geek

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The Biggest Spider In Ever (Araneus gemmoides)

I was out in the yard playing fetch with the dogs, when suddenly a large, ominous shape…slowly creeping up the beige siding of my house…caught my attention.   Holy jeezum crow: the biggest fracking spider I’d ever seen.

I did what any self-respecting entomologist would do: I wrung my hands and hopped from one foot to the other, doing the Holy-Heebie-Jeebies-Icky-Icky-Spider Dance.

Erm.

I mean, I did what any self-respecting entomologist would do: I scooped it up with the two-foot-long tennis ball-launcher I was holding and walked it, arm’s length, into some sunlight, with half a mind to take some pictures.

Eh.  Heh. 

I mean…oh, I’ll just say it: it creeped me right the heck out.  You guys know I’m not a huge fan of spiders, and this was a DOOZY. 

It was cold and not moving too much, but I coaxed it onto a leaf.  It sat:

Then dangled:

Then it crawled back up, started moving towards the petiole I was holding…and suddenly the leaf was not nearly big enough. Not even REMOTELY big enough.  I scampered over to the garden and deposited it on some autumn-browned flowers:

It sat and looked spider-ey and bristle-ey.

It occurred to me that closeup photographs would probably not capture the true bulk of this impressive creature.  I needed something in the images for scale.  I tried a tennis ball…lens cap…another leaf…nothing looked quite right. 

So I did what any self-respecting entomologist would do: I ALLOWED THE GIANT SPIDER TO CRAWL ONTO MY HAND. 

My fingers are apparently trying to flee from the rest of my hand.

I quaked and thought of those giant chelicerae and swore I would never in a million billion years touch another arachnid so help me god if it bit me.  I wondered if spiders were like dogs…if they could be whipped into a snarling, vicious frenzy if they so much as caught a whiff of fear.

It walked some more.

O Halp.

And then it started thinking about walking up my sweater.

AAAK!!!

*End photo shoot*

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(No spiders were harmed in the making of this post, although the human was visibly trembling by the end.) 

(And, ok, so maybe this isn’t the biggest spider in EVER, but it is pretty darned humongous.  I need to spend a little time IDing it…anyone recognize this ferocious man-eater?)

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