Missouri WildLife with Kaje: This Goofy Orange Spider I Found

I was out walking my dog Friday afternoon when I came across this fine specimen of spideryness. The first thing I noticed was that it was orange, and I mean really freaking orange. I thought that some careless government stooge had coated the poor thing with spraypaint; that’s how orange it was. It also had black and white bars on its legs, like it wandered off a Tim Burton set.

My sources say that this is a color phase of either a Shamrock Orb Weaver or a Marbled Orb Weaver. To cover my bases I will simply refer to it as the Goofy Orange Spider. (Arachnus Orangagoofinus)

Due to my inability to pinpoint her exact species, I will stick with observations that cover not only Goofy Orange Spiders, but spiders in general.

  1. Rule of thumb: In spiders, the bigger individuals are usually the females. My Goofy Orange Spider was about the size of a wolf spider, so I can say with certainty that she was a female.
  2. Do you ever want to rid yourself of your arachnophobia, get a quick rush of adrenaline, or just make people think that you’re brave? Might I recommend the art of Spider-Butt Poking? All you need is a finger, and a good-sized spider in a web. The game is simple: lightly poke the spider in the butt. It really sinks home the notion that spiders are more scared of you than you are of them. You’ll jump the first time you do it, since the spider will react quickly, but all s/he’ll do is retreat to a safer spot away from your amorous digits. Once you get used to that, you will feel like a total beastmaster. Hotties will follow. (Also! Don’t do it to an individual spider more than once! It’ll stress them out. They have enough problems without multiple gropings from a pervert thousands of times their size.)
  3. You may have heard that spiders are complete loners. This is a lie; there are some spiders that live in communal webs. Back in 2007 there was a huge nest in Texas’ Lake Tawakoni State Park that made the news. 200 yards of spiders, strewn above you in the trees. Sweet dreams.
  4. You’ve probably figured that spiders respin their webs every day, but did you know that some spiders eat their old webs first? Now you know. Amaze your friends.
  5. The biggest spider in the world is the Goliath Bird-Eater Tarantula (Therephosa blondi). The name’s not an exaggeration;  it’s not common but it happens. My friend had a smallish one for a pet, and it was about the size of a cereal bowl.
  6. A good way to make your friends think you’re an uncreative bore is to name a spider Charlotte. Ha ha ha that’s a reference to Charlotte’s Web you’re so clever ha ha ha. If I ever get a spider I’m going to name it Damocles and dangle it over people’s heads.
  7. Some spider myths that need to be debunked: Daddy Long Legs are not venomous to people, and they’re not even spiders (they’re related though). Spiders do not lay eggs in your brain or any other part of your body. Finally, there’s really no way to tell how many spiders the average person swallows in their sleep; but it’s probably none.

I hope you know more about spiders than you did before. If you already knew all this junk, please email me and tell me what the heck this Goofy Orange Spider is.


5 Responses to “Missouri WildLife with Kaje: This Goofy Orange Spider I Found”

  1. 1 Lex
    October 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Sorry about the necro, but I saw one of these myself ealier this morning, and that’s how I got to your blog (by searching ‘orange back spider’ on google). I was just walking to work and saw some orange bright spot moving by the side of the road that caught my eye. Took a few seconds to look at him closely, but sadly didn’t have a camera or camera phone on me so I had to let him go. It was a female for sure because of the size (had about 5 cm in diameter)

  2. 3 Jim
    October 17, 2011 at 5:29 am

    They are cute critters. The rather large webs which some make are effective for more than bugs – I have narrowly escaped capture while walking outside my house at night. Here’s one that found a comfortable spot on my porch (he/she is at the bottom of the page – click for a larger photo):
    [ http://heygetthis.wordpress.com/adcock-aesthetica/ ].

    Would Arachnus Orangagoofinus make a good pet? Would my cats respect it?

  3. 5 Derah VanAlfen
    August 30, 2012 at 2:08 am

    I found one of these, outside my house. I captured it in a jar, so I could study it closely. Don’t worry. I let it go back in its web after the first five minutes. But the spider I found, had two spikes on each side of its bottom. It is very similar to the one at the top other than the spikes. Please E-Mail me what the spider is called. derahv43@yahoo.com

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