For Beth

Meet: the rabid wolf spider. Seriously, that's the common name. I'm a biologist, with my fortes being in entomology and herpetology -- a.k.a. the creepy crawlies. They're all kinda' cute and beautiful to me. However, I might be slightly scarred for life because of wolf spiders. One evening (back when I was in high school) when my brother and I were watching a movie we heard this scratching sound. We looked around the room a couple of times (staying on the couch) and couldn't figure it out. After a while we finally looked up and saw an enormous wolf spider (bigger than the one in the photo) stuck in the gap of our crawlspace to the attic. The scratching we heard was the spiders legs trying to wedge it's fat, hairy, body out of the attic. My brother sprayed the spider with probably a half a can of raid, turning it white and the darn thing didn't slow down. EEEEEESSSH! I think we finally squished it but I don't remember for certain.

Then, not too long after that incident, I was pulling a shirt out of my closet and started taking it off of the hanger. As I'm getting ready to put it on I notice another giant hairy wolf spider resting on my shirt. I ran to the bathroom, threw it in the tub and washed it down the drain. I has little horrifying daydreams every time I took a shower thinking that that spider would crawl up the drain while I was in there.

I've gotten past my fear somewhat. Having to pin a few of those buggers in college for my Invert. class Arthropod collection helped only slightly. Did you know that the wolf spiders in South Dakota are freeze tolerant? I should have guessed. I used to freeze my arthropods to kill them before pinning. I found that out when I pinned them and saw that after they started to thaw they would wriggle around a bit. I remedied that by soaking cotton balls in acetone and enclosing them with the arthropods as I froze them.

Ahhhh, memories... Oh, I did have a mild freak out when Rob brought this spider up from the basement in Maia's bug net as I watched it trying to escape. We did let it go in the driveway. Afterall, somebody has to eat the grasshoppers.
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  1. I must say spiders aren't my favorite either. We have tons of Wolf Spiders here in Georgia and they are huge! No joke! We also have the lovely Black Widows too. We had to have pest control come out several times because they were nesting some where around our house. And of course as you probably know little ones have no fear and love bugs. Kyle picks up everything. :)

  2. you are oh so evil! just the pic gives me the shivers...and it doesn't help that i have spider bites all over my legs from camping...ugh!
    although i am honored that i got a blog dedicated to me, too bad it's about my biggest fear, huh

  3. Ew. I am not a fan of spiders but would trade the huge KS wolf spiders for what we are rampant with down here. If you would like to photograph black widows or brown recluses I'll set you up here in Louisiana!! Have you come across the red hairy jumping spiders....I had a horrifying experience with one in KS this year last time! lol.