Saturday, 20 August 2016

Insect Mini-Series - HUNTSMAN SPIDER

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. 

Huntsman, Fiji

Fruit Bat, 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. 

Gecko,  Morocco
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 geckos 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 geckos 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 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.












26 comments:

  1. Ok......you actually saw this spider? I mean, you actually and calmly saw and photographed this spider? I am getting the Icks fro just seeing these pictures. I would be so freaking that people would be hearing me 3,000 miles away. By the way, I love the story!

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    1. Hi Birgit - glad you liked the story. Yes, the spider was under the eaves of my last house in Fiji. The first photograph is from my bedroom window - through the insect screen because that was the only way I could get a full body shot. The last photo was taken outside - as you can see - I couldn't get a good angle without scaring it off.
      I have to say that if this beastie had been INSIDE my house, I wouldn't have been able to calmly get close enough to photograph it! :)

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  2. A powerful piece of writing, Susan. I'd certainly rather be a gecko than a spider. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jo. Huntsman aren't indigenous to Fiji - but they've adapted well!

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  3. A powerful piece of writing, Susan. I'd certainly rather be a gecko than a spider. :)

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  4. A wonderful telling of the spider's night. sounds wise to retreat in light of the gecko and potential friends. I chuckled at the creature flashing the light. All in the name of story research. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sue. Damn that camera flash!

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  5. Excellent story - it's not every writer who can get inside the mind of a spider - or would want to!

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    1. Thanks, Liz. I enjoyed researching and writing stories about various insects I've photographed - it's good to stretch the imagination! :)

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  6. Quite a handsome spider! Non-venomous? I like bats and lizards too.

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    1. Yes, beautiful and non-venomous, Bish. I could watch the bats all day long! :)

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    2. We actually has a pet bat for a short while. Learned a lot.

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    3. Wow, Bish - now that sounds like the basis for an interesting story!

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  7. Susan, I absolutely love this set of nature stories you are weaving. Kudos.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra - lovely to hear you're enjoying my little stories. :)

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  8. Susan - you wandered over to my blog from Restless Jo's, and in responding to your comment, I accidentally deleted it! Gave me an excuse to come over to read your fun spider story. :)

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    1. Hi Susan - glad you were able to find me, despite deleting my comment on your blog! :)

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  9. Oooh, that spider gives me the creeps a bit! I completely understand their role in nature, but I still prefer that they do it further away from me.

    Absolutely fantastic story, though!

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    1. Glad you liked the story, Tracy. I was fortunate that none of these guys got inside my house as they're difficult to eject (according to neighbours) excellent sprinters and jumpers!

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  10. I admit to being a whimp when it comes to creepy crawlies. When we lived in the south chameleons often got in the house and they were sweet but spiders and snakes--um, no.

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  11. It's funny how some creatures make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up - whereas others are fine. Snakes have never worried me... but then, I've never had one in my house before! :)

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  12. Thanks for revealing yourself, spider poster. But... then there must be another offender out there as well! ;-)
    You still enjoying the last of summer... ha, ha... HA!!!

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  13. Sorry, couldn't resist leaving that comment on your blog, AJ! As for the summer... you may well laugh. This Irish weather is keeping me on my toes - never know from one day to the next what it's going to throw at me! :)

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Thank you for your comment!