November 04, 2013


Yup. T’is that time of year again; arachnid season.
With the change of weather, there’s a change of wildlife, and not a very positive one, as far as I am concerned. Don't you think it is odd, that little beady eye he's casting at me?
This beauty was found in the corner of our garage downstairs. Probably a little larger than the palm of my hand, if ever I would handle him. Which is like never. I got big hands. Needless to say I will be piff-paffing my car from top to bottom.  It is - for a change - not a tarantula. Yes yes, I have become quite the expert over the years.
A friend of mine recently exchanged her house in the hills of Doha (south of Beirut) for an apartment in urban Beirut. Apart from the lack of howling jackals in the backyard, I wonder if she misses the giant tarantulas on her bathroom towels.  
I have searched the internet, and looked for books, but so far the best information I have gotten on spiders in this place has come from commentators on my blog, like this one for instance:
That is indeed an example of Chaetopelma Olivaceum, one of the few species of Tarantula in the Middle East. Though not fatal, their venom does cause moderate pain, and like all Tarantulas in the eastern hemisphere, they are very aggressive. Its adult leg span usually reaches 10cm, but can get to be up to 14cm (October 17, 2013)
Or this one:

what u have here on the picture is a male, just after or before sex, cause males don't 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. 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. (November 4, 2012)
But this one in the garage is not a tarantula. So what is it? There’s got to be somebody in this country who’s got a thing for arachnids? Is it a tegenaria gigantean, a tegenaria agrestis,   a Cerbalus aravensis  or just a plain wolf spider?
It is a sad thing that the Israelis (although their country has not been around as long as ours, 1943 versus 1948), have managed to catalogue their spiders on the web and we haven’t. And do not give me this excuse of civil war and money. Somebody at AUB, or at the biology department of the Lebanese University,  has go to know something!?
Somebody fill me in. I cannot supply you with this particular sample. It has been - I am not afraid to say – flattened. That, I am afraid, is due to a 'genetic predisposition to behavioural traits inherent in our hunter-gatherer ancestors'.   

UPDATE: It's a huntsman. Thought they only had them in Australia, but apparently not anymore. I mailed Glen the spiderman, and he identified it as a huntsman.


Anonymous said...

This is an Israeli military spying device, the "Spyder". These spyders are purposely built to spy on Lebanese. Equipped with a special led headlight and infra red light sensors, they are able to detect Lebanese subversive elements and transmit their images to home base in Israel. They hang around in corners in a casual sprawling posture so as to be inconspicuous.

Anonymous said...

That is a Nopus DaFuqus. It's from the family of NOPE within the genus of dafuq. NEXT QUESTION.

Anonymous said...

I think it looks like a Huntsman spider - Family Sparassidae

Sietske said...

I think I go with the huntsman! It is not a Spyder (although quite creative), and the Nopus Dafuqus did not jump up in Google either.

So huntsman it is, for the moment. I had no idea we had those in Lebanon. Dead huntsman, at that.
I am going to ask this guy: