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Homing huntsmen …not a story for arachnophobes!!

April 25, 2013
Standard rain gauge and spider home

Standard rain gauge and spider home

Being the local rainfall observers for the Bureau of Meteorology can have some little hazards now and then. What may just look like a standard rain gauge pictured at left is in fact home to a family of aptly-named Social Huntsman spiders (Delena cancerides). On lifting the lid to read the gauge a few weeks ago we noticed dozens of small pale spiders living inside the gauge, together with some larger reddish-brown ones.

In deference to the feelings of one of the observers (the resident arachnophobe), the spiders were carefully relocated to some timber on the ground a few metres away. When the gauge was checked the next day, there they were – back again! This time they were relocated to a flaky-barked Yellow Box tree a bit further away, thought to be ideal habitat. But, you guessed it, the next day – homing huntsmen, albeit in reduced numbers!

So, we have now accepted the situation – the spiders have grown, are less flighty and are down to about six – and we are down to just one on rainfall-recording duty.

The Social Huntsman is endemic to Australia. It is one of 94 described species of ‘Huntsman’ spiders in the family Sparassidae. Its gregarious habit is somewhat rare in spiders. For more information on huntsman spiders from the Australian Museum click HERE.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Shaunna OGrady permalink
    April 25, 2013 8:54 am

    Nooooooo !!!! 94 species of Huntsmen??? Nooooo !!!!

    Description: Pavilion at Hume 650 KB facebook logo saved as picture

    Shaunna O’Grady

    The Pavilion Café Bar & Gallery

    @ The Hume & Hovell Cricket Ground

    PO Box 65, STRATH CREEK VIC 3658

    Hanna’s Road, STRATH CREEK

    03 5784 9221 0412 374 759 AH 03 5784 9210

    • April 25, 2013 9:13 am

      The 94 are probably not all in Strath Creek, Shaunna, so you can now rest easy!?


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