Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Porch Predator Post

This huntsman (huntsWOman probably) spider has chosen to hang out above the PFHQ front door this summer.

... so naturally, FC is using the back door to get in to the house.

Remember how I advised you guys to give poisonous snakes about a ten foot safety radius?

With spiders, I like about 20 feet.
Yeah, that sounds about right.

(For a size reference, the staple in the photo is a half inch at least.)

She's not a web builder, but she's incredibly fast, a cheetah of the arachnid world.

I was on my way to a haircut yesterday and this mantis was on the porch barrel as I locked the door.
So I was late for that appointment.

As I crouched down to photograph her, she suddenly disappeared from my viewfinder.

Puzzled, I pulled away from the camera to look for her and ... SHE WAS ON THE CAMERA STARING AT ME.

Crazy mantis.

Then, just to let me know who was boss, she hopped from the camera to my T-shirt and crawled up my neck to stand on my head.

I shot about 5 extended arm self-portrait type shots trying to catch her in that pose, but each time I raised my camera arm she ducked behind my head.

Oh well.

Eventually, I did get my hair cut.

If you'd like to learn about another creepy crawler, check out this post today.


Ava said...

We used to have those spiders where I grew up and they would get into our house. They're BIG ... and they can jump. I remember just trying to scare one off and it jumped and chased me off instead. Brave little things.

I saw a little baby mantis a couple of weeks ago when I was out playing street music downtown. It was so cute! It let me look at it and then it went on it's merry way.

The Florida Blogger said...

How did the barber cut your hair with the mantis on it:)

Florida Native Mom said...

I had a black snake crawl across my foot in my garage this summer. I'll take Praying Mantis on my head instead of that any day!

Octohawk said...

I like to keep spiders around to eat all the bugs I hate.. They're a little creepy, but I've never had a big problem with spiders (they don't make me scream like a baby the way roaches do).
As for the mantis- awesome! I never see those guys (girls), but I think they're such amazing little creatures.

Dani said...

Hehehe. I love a lot of things in this world, but spiders...not so much.

Kimberly said...

I've never been a creepy crawly hater, but am finding out that I really don't like them very much. Your snake post horrified me, and this one has given me goose bumps. It's the big and fast. They jump too! And with 8 eyes that see all...20 feet might not be far enough away.

And although I'm not afraid of the mantis, this one makes me brave and unafraid. Makes me think I might have something to fear! Good lord! I'm shocked you didn't throw the camera in the air and run for the hills!

I'm really not sure how many more of these critter posts I can take. It seems to be setting me into a panic vs. desensitizing me. SHIVERS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just HAD to post one more spider didn't you? Well guess what? It's too late to scare us away now! We are still moving there so get ready!!!

See ya tomorrow,

robin andrea said...

That's a very big spider. I'd definitely give her a lot of room too. Cool mantis with a very playful attitude. I like that in a bug!

LaDivaCucina said...

I LOVE that praying mantis! So cute! hey, how come some bugs are cute, like dragonflies, mantis and ladybugs but others gross us out and frighten us? Weird.

We had huge huntsman spiders in Australia and I had one that lived in my old Peugeot. One time, he decided to come out while I was driving and the people in the car to my right let me know it was crawling on my window. They were laughing! He ended up on my windscreen, so naturally, I thought, "I'll get rid of him by turning on my wipers!" HA! NO SUCH LUCK. The little bugger sat on them staring at me with contempt through my windshield as he moved back and forth. I was amazed at his tenacity.

I also had a "pet" huntsman that I would let live in the house to kill mozzies. I told him the deal: "you can stay if you don't go below the ceiling and DO NOT go down on my floor." Well, he couldn't help himself and I found him crawling up the leg of my kitchen table, it was curtains for him. I took a newspaper and.....scooted his little butt outside! (I bet you thought I was gonna kill him, didn't you?)

Ericka said...

again, we are parallel. i've had encounters with a large spider and 2 praying mantis in the last week. one mantis was on my jeep, the other two were escorted outside.

have you seen the pictures of praying mantis (what is the plural of mantis anyway? manti? mantises?) catching and eating hummingbirds? wow!

S N B said...

Thanks, FC. I can't tell you how honored I am!

R.Powers said...

Those big eyes on mantis give them a certain cuteness. I think we humans are suckers for big eyed animals ... I know I am.

I told here why I was late and she thought that was pretty cool.

They make ME scream like a baby.

Native Mom,
Didja take pictures?

We are of a same mind on that!!!

Throwing the camera occurs when I walk into a spider web at night.
You know this is a pretty crittery blog right? LOL!
I will try and find something less scaley, scittery to post about.

Damn! I found the biggest one around too! And you're STILL coming?
I have some homemade datil pepper sauce for you guys to take home.

YOU crack me up! Just when I have you figured for a hip, withit, girlygirl urbanite, you toss out tales like that!
I too find spiders to be deal breakers.
Now,... what's a mozzie?

That is pretty parallel. I do a lot of escorting outside too, whenever possible.
I haven't seen that video. I have this real bias against seeing any invertebrate get the better of a vertebrate.
For some reason, it just yanks my chain.

Hey, the honor is mine. What a clever and informative post that was.

LOL! She DID seem kinda playful.

Anonymous said...

Awwww FC,

She "hearts" you. Look at her head!


lisa said...

The mantis shot was great, I tried to get a good picture and it didn't turn out as well as yours did.

Bill said...

I like to shoot spiders, not with a camera, Spider killer2. Works every time. Except you have to really soak the big ones, sometimes you even have to run away, then come back. Yuck. You need to put warnings or something when you are going to put the giant spiders in your posts.
Did I ever tell you about my recurring spider dream? Probably going to have it tonight, thanks to you.

Thanks for sharing, sorta.


SophieMae said...

Our front door is flanked by 2 orbweavers. There's a third spider that I haven't been able to ID, as well. She kinda folded herself up when I tried to get a closer look the other day. Did you know spiders leave a bird dropping kinda gift? I noticed the plant under one of the OW's was getting whitewashed and Duller said he saw white 'stuff' falling from the web. UGH! Methinks it's about time for a relocation... only that would involve closer interaction. }:\

amarkonmywall said...

Oh, no,no,no. We do not do spiders. No. Snakes, mantis, all those other creatures- yes. This one, no. I'm cutting a wide berth around this post. Change the picture, quick.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi FC, a mozzie is Aussie speak for mosquito! And I am one of the most girlygirl tomboys you'll ever meet!

kathy a. said...

our spidies are unobtrusive. that mantis is sure a cutie!

the millipede link, though, gave me the shudders. oy. we had kind of transparent centipedes at our house in japan in the late '80's, and they are bad bad bad bad, worse than giant cockroaches. and poisonous, just what you want crawling up the baby's crib. it turns out that i have a killer instinct, sometimes.

Buford Nature said...

The spider is most likely Dolomedes tenebrosus, a fishing spider. I spotted one hunting from a tree overhanging a swamp braid of the Wekiva Spring Run in Levy County not long ago and got the identification from a group of kindly folk at It is said to be North America's largest spider.

You and I simply must stop finding the same critters so closely together in time. Really!

amarkonmywall said...

Okay- that spider better not be the first thing I see next time I check in...

sebi_2569 said...

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