It’s Spider time!

 

Okay, call me mad – you certainly won’t be the first, I can assure you, and probably not the last, but I believe that, irrespective of the species, limb damage  needs a certain amount of physiotherapy.

To this end, I take Mrs Bert out of her abode a couple of times a day and with a bit of cajoling, get her to perambulate across my hand and up and down my arm.

Like any ”athlete” in training she will also get a few drops of water.

As can be seen here, she will dunk one of her pedipalps and then take a sip while giving her fangs a bit of a wash in the process.

I also stroke her damaged legs, in an effort to encourage her to move them. I am flying by the seat of my pants here, of course, but she seems to be more mobile.

Odd thing. Once I place her on my hand she seems reluctant to leave and has to be prodded off!

Oh, well, if she’s content and doesn’t bite me then I’m okay with it.

 

”Oi! Senor! You can tell the time, I presume? That’s why you’re wearing a watch, right? So where’s my dinner, then eh?”

 

 

A bit more exercise I think.

”Good grief”. What does an arachnid have to do get a meal around here?”

 

Try a bit of abseiling. And use every one of your legs if you please!

”Okay, okay. Enough already. Bloody slave driver. I’m going to see Ems. We girls must stick together!”

 

”Smooth!  Do I get my supper now?”

 

And talking of Smooth ….

Ark

Incy Wincy. Conquering a lifelong fear.

 

My friend, Mrs R, was always an arachnophobe, and was not at all interested in Mrs Bert, our perfectly harmless rescued rain spider.

She would not even come near when I first introduced her, but slowly, over the past few weeks, every time she has visited she has taken an interest.

And unbeknownst to us all, Mrs R had a secret goal: She  was determined to conquer her fear of spiders.

So yesterday, she decided the time was right. Initially she grabbed my wrist so tightly I thought the blood supply had been cut off! Then she averted her eyes while the spider very gently crawled onto her hand.

Bert is still semi-invalid so there was no super fast scurrying, but rather a very tentative exploratory dabble with her front legs.

After a few moments of trembling, she looked at the spider who had hardly moved, released her vice-like grip on my wrist and was able to pose long enough for Ems to take a photo.

Believe me, to go from pants-wetting fear to this, is quite an achievement, make no mistake.

Well Done!

Ark

Incy Wincy International Rescue.

A few weeks ago as I was walking up the path to the shed I saw this ….

2nd October

an adult Pompilid Wasp had caught a juvenile Rain Spider, and after stinging and paralyzing it, was proceeding to drag it back to its nest. Once there -if it had not done so already – it would deposit an egg in the spider, and after around 20 days the lavae would hatch and proceed to eat the still-very-much-alive  spider inside out.

If you have watched any of the Alien movies you will know what is install for the spider.

As much as I really wanted to save the spider I have learned from painful experience that once a spider is in this predicament there is usually little one can do.

At that moment, one of our cats emerged from behind the shed and the wasp flew off, leaving the paralyzed spider on the path.

Now what?

Pick it up?

Don’t interfere!

Of course, if the wasp can’t have one spider it will track down and paralyze another. That’s nature.

So I decided to leave well alone and prepared to wait for the wasp’s return. However, after ten minutes the wasp was a no show. I waited another ten and still no wasp. After twenty minutes it was a fair guess the wasp was not coming back.

So … I picked up the spider and brought it into the shed.

As unlikely the chance of survival, there was at least a chance that the wasp had not deposited its egg in the spider.

6th October

After a day or two he seemed to respond a little but there was still serious paralysis caused by the venom and especially on his right side.

Here you can just see the spider is moulting, shedding for the first of several times. There is sign of recovery, but there is still chance the wasp may have laid its egg.

 

The extant of the damage eventually caused the spider to shed its right back leg, and the remaining three legs on this side are still not functioning properly.

However, this weekend sees the 24th day since the wasp attack and although looking a little thin,  and still not managing to eat yet, the spider is at ,least taking a little daily water and seems to be gamely hanging in there,

and, I am happy to report even tried to bite me yesterday, which I consider a  good sign.

Whether he will fully recover, remains to be seen.

Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time means one gets to play International Rescue.

 

Ark

 

Hunter Killer on the Loose! Not for the faint hearted.

Upon our return from walking the dogs this afternoon, Ems pointed to a pompilid wasp on the driveway and said, “Careful!”

However, at that stage she had not noticed the Rain Spider. When I saw it I pointed it out. Upon further investigation it was obvious the wasp had already stung her.

I have tried to save a Rain Spider before but to no avail once I realized the wasp had already deposited her egg on the paralyzed arachnid.

I have seen the Pompilid Wasps hunting on a few occasions and although  I have a soft spot for the spider I now leave nature do its thing.

Sorry for the poor quality of photos, it was almost dusk and I had to rush to my office to fetch the camera and the wasp worked quickly to drag its prey to a hole in the stone wall next to the driveway.

Try not to have nightmares

 

Ark

 

Incy Wincy – For Roda.

This series of photographs was taken last March.

Strictly speaking it isn’t a web but rather a nest, constructed among the Jasmine against the garden shed – and full of babies, hence Mummy Rain Spider, who is normally quite docile is very protective, as you can see!

some idea

To give some idea of size … here is a juvenile I found in my office.

Pop over to Roda’s spot. She has several smashing photos of Spider Webs.