Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Huntsman Spider - Mini-series of insect stories

Here is story number 4 in my insect mini-series



Huntsman Spider - Savusavu, Fiji



Nocturnal hunting came with its own set of rules, rewards and hazards. While she risked the dangers of the hunter becoming the hunted, she enjoyed a freedom of movement that only a webless spider could experience.

Fruit Bat - or Flying Fox in Papaya Tree, Fiji
On this particular night she had stalked a beetle up into the canopy of a papaya tree, and found herself confronted by a flying fox – or fruit bat. The bat had taken umbrage at the interloper who had disturbed it at its evening meal, causing the Huntsman to make a rapid retreat. The spider leapt, jumped and skittered down the papaya tree and took refuge on a nearby house where she had spotted some interesting activity. Moths were hurling themselves against a window in a vain attempt to reach the light within.






 She had barely positioned herself to pounce on a juicy looking specimen when she spotted a gecko approaching, no doubt with the same idea.
Now the Huntsman had a serious problem. With a potential leg span of 160mm she was the largest spider in this part of the world, but geckoes were dangerous predators. She knew the lizard would have no qualms about taking her on. Indeed, a spider of her dimensions was probably a far more attractive proposition to the gecko than a slim moth with insubstantial wings.
The Huntsman withdrew.

She needed to find a hiding place because she knew that more geckoes would arrive to feast on the moths. Her preferred choice was loose tree bark to slide and hide beneath, but with sunrise imminent she didn’t have time to leave the security of the building to go in search of something more suitable. She therefore elected to remain under the eaves of the house.
Now, if only the creature that lived within the house would stop flashing a light in her eight eyes, she might have been content to stay a while. As it was, she waited patiently for night to descend once more so that she could make good her escape.


9 comments:

  1. A novel approach this, Susan, and fascinating to read. Have you plans for all these stories you are posting?

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  2. Glad you’re enjoying these stories. I haven’t any specific plans for them at the moment. The reason I’ve started this blog is to attract interest in my writing because my ultimate goal is to write books. The first one I want to write will be a creative non-fiction book about my years in Fiji. In the meantime, stories like this will give people an idea of my writing style – and hopefully they’ll want to buy my books one day!

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  3. Good plan, Susan. I've been wondering whether my first book should be a compilation of my flash fiction.

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    1. Well, your flash fiction is very good, Lizy so you should definitely consider it!

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    2. Thanks - all I need now is time, motivation ...

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  4. My first thought on seeing your first photo was, what a pretty, little spider. Then I read on and had to stop to find a ruler. 160mm? Quite a big spider then!
    I like the way you blend fact and fiction and I think a collection of similar stories would be a great idea. There must be hundreds of guide books on Fiji, but how many focus on its wildlife - especially those creatures that most people don't even notice?

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    1. Haha - well 160mm is the largest they grow to - I can't remember exactly how big this one was... I photographed it through my bedroom window!

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  5. Fab. We have lots of spiders living round our windows.

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  6. Hi Liz - I'm fine about spiders in general, but when it comes to spiders the size of Huntsmen, I definitely prefer them to stay outside!

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