Crazy story which some may or may not enjoy. I'm guessing more for "not". I saved a little House Sparrow last week (see blog here) and this week it's a big a$$ spider. Although this spider is smaller than the Sparrow, he's still big in the world of spiders, especially for ones ever to be seen in Ontario. Spoiler... this one is not native to Ontario.
Friday evening I'm at work. One of the guys comes up to me and says "Rob, there's this spider on the other side of the building that you have to see!" Most know my passion for everything furry, feathered, creepy, crawly, slimy, scaly. Glad I can count on a few to help me see interesting things and in some of the most peculiar places.
So I get to the area where the spider is. I'm looking around and don't see it. I ask where it is. My bud Mark points to the floor and says it's under that coffee cup. I'm like "okaaaaaaaaaaay". I move in closer, kneel down and as I am about to lift the cup up, still not sure what to think of everything at the moment, Mark and another co-worker who are behind me, quickly back up. I'm looking at them like they are completely whacked. How big is this spider?
This is how big. At least 4 inches in diameter when stretched out.
I lift the cup and let out a big ol' "holy shit!" as I watched this monster of an arachnid suddenly sprint across the floor. It's going all over the place, trying to get away from us. Meanwhile my co-workers are trying to get away from it. I will admit that I was rather freaked out by this beast as well. Especially how fast it was moving across the floor. Mark puts on his big boy pants once again and helps me contain it under the cup, then slide some paper under the cup and tape it up. Nice and secure. No way he's getting out now.
The spider made for a bit of fun the next bit after word got out of it being here. I took the cup outside and relocated him to a large clear plastic cup with a good lid. I figure best to do this outside in case I accidentally let him go, that way he's not in the building any longer. He was sure to be squished or run over by a forklift if he remained on the loose inside. I also took him out to my truck, away from everyone.
How did he get in the building? Where did he come from?
Well, we have outside storage during the warmer months. Pallets and other necessary things for a warehouse. The spider was living out there in the mass of skids. Mark had brought some lifts of pallets in, unknowing that there was such a hairy monster within. The spider jumped out at Mark, or was probably trying to make an escape from the whole situation once inside.
We figure the spider came from a grocery store, where it came in with some produce, being shipped up from somewhere like Arizona or Texas. I worked one summer at the Ontario Food Terminal on the Queensway and saw some pretty bizarre looking creatures come in with fruits and vegetables from various parts of the world.
I kept thinking Tarantula as I looked at him but something didn't sit right about that one. Others were thinking Brown Recluse and getting pretty freaked out. No, that wasn't it either. Not that I've ever seen one but some Google searching and I was convinced (and relieved) it was not one of them.
I brought him home, to try and figure out what he is, plus take care of him with some cricket feeding. We have a good supply here because of our Gecko "Norbert" and Frog "Ash". The spider took to the cricket offerings in no time at all, like a couple minutes. He stalked the cricket, watching it move about, feeling the vibration and then it would drop down and grab it. I've witnessed this a few times since he came home with me.
Angie isn't overly impressed with him being here and he's actually living in our shed, contained, for the time being. I get that since there is much to learn about the spider. Also we have 2 young cats and one would really get obsessed with this new visitor. Ya, that be Molly.
My "baby" finger across the top.
There's been a lot of research and pleas to the world through social media on helping ID him. Gotta love social media for such things as this. Turns out he is a Huntsman Spider. I'm unsure how many varieties there are in total. Seems they originate from Australia and have made their way to the southern USA. As I mentioned earlier, he must have stowed away in some produce and ended up here in Ontario.
I've named him "Hunter" and he will be living here for a few more days until he goes to his new home. Someone we know has offered to take him in. We could release him back to the wild but it wouldn't be fair as come the fall, he would probably die at first frost. Or if someone else chanced upon him, they might stomp him flat to the ground.
So ya, crazy story, or am I the crazy one?
And yes, he is kinda poisonous. All spiders are. If a healthy adult got bit by him, they'd most likely suffer some flu like symptoms for a few days such as fever, fatigue, sore muscles and apparently could even experience some heart palpitations on top of it all. Not too much fun in my books especially as we are about to enjoy a week of vacation here at home.
I'm sorry if this creeped you out. Here's a couple cutie photos to help you forget what you just read and saw.
Merry and Molly who just celebrated their one year anniversary with us. Angie blogged about it here.
Awww, look at the cute Groundhog I saw while monitoring the nest boxes this past Sunday (that blog is coming soon).
One more, some of our Raccoon family at the back of the yard.
Say what you want, but spiders need love too. They do serve a great purpose on our planet. I hope you didn't read this before bed and have unpleasant dreams. Where is that devil emoticon?
Here's a fun video for yas, Vincent Price and Alice Cooper on the Black Widow.
This is probably the fastest blog I have ever keyed out. Gotta love being in a hurry! Cheers!