Saturday, 26 January 2013

White-Tailed Spider

New Zealand is fortunate in having very few poisonous creatures which are likely to be a problem for humans.  One that can cause a nasty bite however is the Australian White-Tailed Spider which was first discovered in New Zealand in 1886 and which has now become established throughout the North Island.  This evening I met the first one that I can recall seeing at close quarters and photographing.  I'm sure that if I'd photographed one before then I would have blogged about it.

Their preferred habitat is under dry bark and plants but will often be seen inside houses, where they look for shelter from the light, after hunting at night. The spider often hides in clothing, especially if it is left lying around on the floor.  Note to me: 'Keep clothes in case whilst in Tauranga!'

This one is a fairly small young one (the light bars on either side of the abdomen fade when they become adults).


12 comments:

  1. I love insects. Wear you Marigolds and as a last resort use fly killer.
    PS. Shake your boots in the morning and if you are posh your socks.
    It is a beauty.

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    1. I'm not a great lover of insects Adrian. I love photographing them. I enjoy watching them. I dislike them inhabiting my space: particularly wasps and mosquitoes and bitey spiders, oh, and midges. Ever since my first trip to Australia many years ago I have checked under toilet seats before sitting down (it being the favoured place for the very worst that Oz has to offer in bitey spiders) although generally NZ's creatures are very benign. I'd never put my feet into my boots without shaking them (the boots that is) first and the number of times spiders come out is amazing because I leave the boots on the deck outside. Great thing about wearing jandals most of the time!

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  2. I don't like spiders, even more so when they're bigger than the nail of my little finger.
    This one seems to be related to a large garden spider that we have here, which gives me the creeps.
    Keep on shaking out your boots!!

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    1. Oh I shall, Virginia, I surely shall.

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  3. Oh, good Lord! At first glance, it looked like he's standing in a laundry basket! Your laundry basket! Then I calmed down and realized that he would have to be a REALLY BIG spider to be in a laundry basket. Ha!
    When we moved to AZ I was really scared of scorpions. I never left my shoes on the floor. I had a hanging shoe holder. I highly recommend!

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    1. He was on a fly-swatter Lisa. I slept in the Australian outback on the ground without ever worrying about a scorpion. Now the idea sends shivers down my spine!

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  4. By the way, after a great photo shoot, what did you do with him? A quick squish, a fast flush? Ordinarily, I take the bugs back outside, but he obviously likes your place, and has a nasty bite...just wondering...:)

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    1. It was actually at a friend's house - she stood on him! She loves insects so that tells you something!

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  5. Now I am fully awake - and happy for living in a part of the planet with hardly any really harmful creatures out there (except for other humans, of course), AND for our freezing -5 Celsius, because it means there are not many insects around right now. Makes a change, doesn't it, since I usually moan and complain about winter all the time!

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    1. A classic case of playing the Glad Game Meike.

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  6. Sometimes you are very good at making me not at all jealous of the places you live in... Well, at least this time you gave proper warning in the title and I managed to scroll by the picture very quickly! Now I'll just try to close my eyes while sending off my comment and clicking myself away from it...

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    1. Sorry Monica. It's a wonderful place and I've never seen a white-tail at The Cottage but I admit that I don't like spiders either when they are in my space.

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