Habitat: Australia; specifically Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland
Status: No Conservation Concerns
Why do spiders have to be so god damn creepy? Honestly, I can handle any animal. Throw me in a tank with great whites, I’m good. Stick me in a room with hundreds of snakes – no problem. But if I have to be anywhere NEAR a spider I freak out hardcore.
It’s a good thing I don’t live in Australia because I’m not sure I could sleep at night knowing this is lurking right outside my window. It’s a Whip Spider (Argyrodes colubrinus) which disturbs me so much due to its amazing camouflaging ability. It looks EXACTLY like a twig. Males are only 13 millimeters and females are 22 mm so you would never know this is actually an arachnid… hence my overwhelming fear. You could walk right into this thing, which hangs out on two, long silky threads instead of a normal web, and not even know you’ve entered this demon’s lair.
I mean really, would you be able to spot this thing? I know wandering spiders have a rough time with this guy, since they’re a favorite food of the Whip Spider. When a wandering spider wanders in (hah!) to the sticky threads, the whip spider will descend instantaneously onto its prey. Then it uses the “comb foot” of its end segment of the last pair of legs to wrap the meal in silk. Poor wandering spider, it never even had a chance.
To top it all off, this scary spider has a rather freaky looking egg sac which you can see here:
It literally looks like the pod that those alien face sucker things hatch out of! Am I right or am I right? Egg sacs are 4 by 3 mm (0.16 by 0.12 in) in size and are suspended in the air by one long, strong silk thread. Inside lay anywhere between 40 to 50 yellow-green eggs that will one day hatch and transform into this scary spider. Scary actually isn’t strong enough of a word. Terrifying. Yes, that’s more like it.