November 02, 2012

Tis the Season

What do we do over dinner in Beirut? We share our latest tarantula pictures! What? You don’t do things like that? What's wrong with you?

The switch between summer and fall always brings about an enormous amount of tarantulas in Beirut and surroundings. Well, enormous may be a bit of an overstatement, but they do pop up quite a bit. 

I always thought tarantulas were supposed to live in rainforests or in arid deserts regions, but they thrive quite well in Beirut city as well. And in fall they come out in force. Someone told me it means that the rains are coming soon.
And they are scary. Big and hairy and creepily slow. And I mean big! As big as the palm of your hand and a bit beyond that too. There’s this urban legend that after a nuclear war, the only organisms surviving would be cockroaches. Why does it have to be roaches? Why not spiders?
I’ve had them in my mountain house, friends have had them in their apartments in Beirut, (sitting and waiting on towels in the bathroom, for example), I see them (lying belly-up) on the street while walking to work in the morning and I’ve had them crawling around on the carpet at work. It takes some time figuring out what is moving about on a beige carpet until you're practically on top of it with your nose. If only I could have recorded that scream! Once I saw one crossing the street near AUB, and for a moment I thought it was a toad, that’s how big it was!

So grossed out I am with these critters, that I have this sinister habit of having to look at them. I am not the only one. My Beirut friends and I share our findings on FB, always resulting in a plethora of comments. 

And so yesterday, over dinner, out came the smart phones and the latest discoveries were shared.  And then came the stories . . . . 


Anonymous said...

What a crappy post! What a missed chance! Zero factual information. Nothing about these spiders being members of the Theraphosidae family, or about the pedicle connecting the prosoma and the opisthosoma. Just that they are hairy and scary. Where's the lecture. GIVES US THE LECTURE!!!

Anonymous said...

no, it's only scorpions - surviving nuclear attacks...

what u have here on the picture is a male, just after or before sex, cause males doesnt live in houses, so they have to come and go, otherwise they're killed by females :)

the males are bigger, but really slower, and seem more heavy ; the females are faster, really faster.

I live in the mountains, and got the habit to capture them easily...

here, two methods : the glass (big) with a paper as cover, or, with more courage, the pressing finger, u can choose, but really no need to kill, specially the males, they're so slow, that's it's easy to capture and put away.
good luck!

and you can "domestiquer" them as they say in french : if you get to meet one living at you're place while it's small and young, use your voice and a small peace of something, with small hits next to it, it gets used to your orders, and appears only where it's permitted, and disappears on the voice, but this takes time.

it's so useful against mosquitos for example, and it really cleans the house well from any other insect :)!

Sietske said...

Zie daar, toch nog een 'lecture' voor je. And how long did it take you to figure out those anatomy parts of a spider? You do have to google for that; gives me pleasure I make you work. Today a little lecture though.

nada fadda said...

I love your blog. Thanks for rescuing the blind kitten. How is Albert doing today?