28 February 2015

Black tunnelweb spider















If spiders scare you, you might want to skip this post. Otherwise, keep scrolling down to see the photograph.
















This is the most commonly encountered tunnelweb spider around here (although they're not actually all that common). I'd been looking for one to photograph for a while, so was delighted to finally find this medium-sized individual under a rock on a bank of the Pohangina. These spiders have the delightful scientific name of Porrhothele antipodiana, and although they resemble the dangerous Australian funnelwebs in the genus Atrax, they're considered harmless. No doubt a bite would hurt — they're large spiders with impressive fangs — and any bite or sting from an invertebrate with a venom carries some risk of an allergic reaction (a single bee sting can sometimes cause an anaphylactic reaction, with potentially fatal consequences), but these seem to me to be a reason for delight rather than fear.

After the photographs, I gently encouraged it back under its rock.



All content © 2014 Pete McGregor

9 comments:

Zhoen said...

Fashion spider, on a Pete Photoshoot.

Maybe I'm just contrary, but I find spiders lovely, and most insects repellent. Amazed how many I found digging out the weeds this month.

Relatively Retiring said...

Love the warning!

Elephant's Child said...

A stunning critter - who I am happy to admire from a distance.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
Frightfully beautiful...I must admit if I were lolling by the river and casually flipped over a rock to meet this bruiser I would let out a roar...

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, I find spiders lovely too, although I have an instinctive fear of them. I find most insects particularly beautiful.

RR, I know someone who, when viewing a spider photograph on this blog on an ipad, had to hold the tablet at arm's length and had difficulty touching the screen to change the photograph.

EC, these are O.K., but anything similar in your neck of the woods would make me pretty nervous.

Robb, you've no idea how well I can imagine that! (I'd come running with my camera).

AJB said...

There's a new NZ spider book out by Cor Vink which features a specimen (ID unconfirmed) that was collected in my backyard. Not that that has anything much to do with this photo...

pohanginapete said...

Andrew, I just found out about the book a day or two ago. Looks interesting, and with Bryce's photographs it should be inspiring even just to browse through.

Lisa Emerson said...

A simply astonishing photograph - but yes, we'll keep it away from a certain 11 year old!

pohanginapete said...

Lisa — a good idea. It wasn't the 11-year old I was thinking of though ;-)