Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yuck Yuck YUCKY!

FOUND ON SITE – Redbacked Jumping Spider: (Saw this little beauty as I walked back into work after lunch today. I stopped. Took a pic. Called D over. He stuck his boot out and the spider charged his boot. D said, "Should I kill it?" I said, "Yes." So then I submitted the below information for our safety bulletin board. Wanted to puke my guts out doing the research. I'm sure I will feel spider crawling up me for the rest of the night.)

Jumping spiders have excellent vision, and they are all very capable of noticing an approaching human. Some jumping spiders are very shy and will immediately seek a less exposed position. Other jumping spiders are less shy and will turn around so that they can observe the approaching human. Some are so curious that they are hard to photograph because they will jump on the camera lens to explore it, or they may jump onto a human's hand if they are not given special cause to fear it. They do not jump onto such a large object with the intention of biting. The Redbacked Jumping Spider is unusual in that it is almost totally fearless. Unless the surface they rest on is jolted somehow, they will generally not move away. The problem is that if a human takes advantage of the situation and captures the spider then the spider may get pinched or squeezed in the process, and when a spider gets hurt it may bite to protect itself. It is also possible that humans are more likely to unintentionally brush against these spiders because they are not so quick to run away as are other jumping spiders. Perhaps some children find these beautiful spiders so attractive that they attempt to capture them and take them home. If they are bitten, the pain will be at least as painful as the sting of a honey bee, and a relatively large dose of venom may be injected due to the large size of these members of the genus Phidippus. So the experience will not be pleasant, but not life threatening. The effects will gradually decrease in intensity over the course of a few days.

The males of this species have less black and brighter red coloration as compared to the females. These spiders at adulthood are typically around 3/4 of an inch in body length, so they have a lot of venom available (at least compared to most jumping spiders). However, their venom is similar to other members of this genus and does not pose a threat to human life. Probably because of the larger volume of venom involved, some people have experienced considerable discomfort when they have been bitten. The only way a jumping spider bite may be hazardous is if the person bitten is allergic to spider venom, and because of that it is extremely important to consult medical attention when bitten by a spider.

They prefer to stay in their tubular silky nests beneath debris, woods or anywhere undisturbed on the ground. Since the redback jumping spider is a sight hunter it stays in its nests during nights and when the weather is bad.


1 comment:

  1. yikes. I'm glad you submitted :)

    "I submitted" -erin augustson

    as you know - I am not afraid of spiders, nor am I afraid of punching tile. I think guys who are afraid of spiders are weak sauce.

    dan = not weak sauce. *applauds*