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Just to let everyone know, apparently I was quite misinformed as to the identity of the baby spiders. I had been told (a really long time ago, too) that they are "wolf spiders", which for a variety of reasons also seemed to make sense (they're greyish, and they stalk their prey instead of spinning webs to catch it). However, apparently they are not wolf spiders at all. So anyone out there who actually knows anything about wolf spiders and who was getting all twitchy can relax.

What we've got here are apparently simply commonly known as "jumping spiders"; or, "salticids" (family salticidae). This is a widespread type of spider that's quite harmless to people. They jump on their prey, yes, but they don't want to jump on YOU. (This tallies with my experience of them.) Their bite isn't toxic. The ones we have around here result in adults that are a quarter to a half-inch long, tops. The babies I've been getting are about 1/16" to 1/8".

I'd post a picture, but... in the first place, I can't find a really good picture of the type we've got around here, and in the second place, just browsing through various spider-identification websites trying to verify what these are has made me feel faint, and in the third place, I kind of doubt that any of you REALLY want an up-close look at these guys, anyway.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Jun. 5th, 2005 10:05 am (UTC)
your bravery in perusing the sites is to be commended. i don't mind spiders...but i'm not sure i'm up to many close up perfectly in focus photos. hee!

*g*
mz_bstone
Jun. 5th, 2005 10:20 am (UTC)
We get wolf spiders here:

http://www.salescene.com/garinsct.html

B
eregyrn
Jun. 5th, 2005 10:41 am (UTC)
This is the best page I found for approximately what I'm getting:

http://americanspiders.zacharoo.com/jumping/

Except they're really so small that you can't see all their shiny eyes like that, with the naked eye. Or at least I never take long enough to look. Yeek.
telepresence
Jun. 5th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
Christ, why did I click on that?
eregyrn
Jun. 5th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
I don't know, man. Why did you?

I'm telling you, these are on the edge, even for ME.
telepresence
Jun. 5th, 2005 11:35 am (UTC)
I particularly like the picture where it's clearly sitting on someone's skin.

And by like I mean *yeurgh*.
wadjet_theperv
Jun. 5th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
These lil buggers actually look very cute close up :o)
eregyrn
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
I dunno. Close-up, you can see that they're kind of furry -- which, as raqs would say, means they are trying to lull you into a false sense of security by pretending to be cute and furry like mammals. But close-up you can also see all of their shiny little alien eyes. I find them cuter when they're too small for me to see that level of detail...
nangi_akki
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
okay, now i'm confused. we have those jumping spiders here in oregon but the ones i've heard called "wolf spiders" are these really huge black spiders that tend to inhabit old houses (like ours). they also don't spin webs but they are *big* - 1/2 - 1" bodies and 2-3" with legs. dh doesn't want me to kill them since they eat other bugs etc but if i see one when he's not around i will often suck it up with the vacuum attachment.
and - harking back to yesterday since i was out of town and thus late for the party, i too remember BBBS with fondness. i even remember when robert conrad was on "battle of the network stars" and got his butt kicked by mr. kotter in the 100 yard dash.
eregyrn
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
Right, right -- that was the "correcting the earlier post" point. Jumping spiders is what I'm talking about. Wolf spiders are apparently a different thing (as Brighid posted); I don't know if we even have them here on the east coast. I was misinformed at some point in the distant past that the jumping spiders were called "wolf spiders".

Ah, Battle of the Network Stars! Talk about things they really ought to bring back... (Ouch, but - Mr. Kotter would have been both taller, and younger, at that point. Poor Robert Conrad!)
wadjet_theperv
Jun. 5th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Those are *extremely* cool :o)

Sheesh, my GF would dump me in a heartbeat if she heard me talking like this LOL
thegrrrl2002
Jun. 5th, 2005 11:36 am (UTC)
It's funny, spiders generally creep me out, too, but I adore those little jumpy ones. They're fun! And I guess they're unspiderlike enough to appeal to me. I find insects in general to be pretty interesting, and not all that icky. (with exceptions, of course). I know, I know, spiders aren't insects. I'm an obsessive taxonomist when it comes to bacteria--everything else, I merrily lump together.
eregyrn
Jun. 5th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
I think that "bugs" kind of covers it, as a non-taxonomic category that can include both insects and arthropods and anything else with too many legs that you don't like.

And yeah... that's the thing with these... they're fairly unspiderlike. Which is a good thing.
okojosan
Jun. 6th, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
I think jumping spiders are adorable. I've had several as pets. But then, I'm a freak. :D
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )