Most of us love cute, cuddly, furry little critters. These are hairy and they jump, but few of us fear something like a kitten. Arachnophobia: the irrational fear of spiders and other arachnids. If you don’t like spiders, however, it’s not irrational at all. Hairy eight-legged, eyeballs everywhere, jumping spiders . . . EEEEKKKKKKK! Here are 44 photographic reasons to run before they jump you.
Cute Creepy Crawlers
(image credits:Mundo Poco,Thomas Shahan,Brian-D,cotinis,Thomas Shahan,maldito kid)
The jumping spider family has over 5,000 known species. They jump from place to place, connected by a harness of their silk. If spiders competed amongst each other for the title of cute, these would probably win. Look closely at the spider on the bottom right; it’s even forming a heart-shape with its legs and face. If you don’t heart spiders though, and suffer from arachnophobia, fearing the very presence and sight of spiders, then you might most fear the body parts associated with spiders such as all those beady eyes and hairy legs. And yes, their ability to jump . . . on you!
(image credits:e_monk,Sam Martin,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan)
This little jumping spider can be found in North America and is called the Phidippus Mystaceus. By little, though, we mean tiny as an adult female reaches maybe one centimeter in body length. Oddly enough it is the female Phidippus Mystaceus that most carries the markings from which they got their name. She has the most pronounced “mustache” and their name means “Jumping Mustache.” To see the difference, the middle left spider is male while the bottom right spider is female.
Eyes of Salticidae
(image credits:Rundstedt B. Rovillos,bugeyed_G,macropoulos,radio4,Techuser,Lukjonis)
Salticidae is simply the name for the jumping spider family. They have eight eyes, although we tend to see only four on most. You can see the difference by looking at the hairy creature in the bottom left photo. A jumping spider’s eyes are unbelievably powerful, perhaps even into the ultraviolet range. Their superior eyesight helps these jumping spiders stalk their prey. Jumping spiders are known for their curiosity. Hold out your hand and they are liable to jump on it. Lean in close to capture the moment in macro photography and one might jump right on your forehead! Never fear, not all jumping spiders are carnivorous.
(image credits:mrnickon,Sam Martin,Sam Martin,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan)
Phidippus Audax is another jumping spider commonly found in North America. These typically black with striped-legged spiders are also known as the Daring Jumping Spider or the Bold Jumping Spider. They can jump up to 50 times their own body length. Their chelicerae, mouth parts, or what seems to the arachnophobe to be fangs, are a bright, metallic green or blue. And yes, they are used to help inject venom into their prey or whatever they perceive to be a threat.
This is a Lycosa from the genus of wolf spiders. Wolf spiders are unique in the spider species for carrying their eggs sac with them on their abdomen. Wolf spiders are crazy fast hunters; their speed making up for the fact that they don’t jump like a Salticidae jumping spider. If you have arachnophobia, then you would regard the person holding this Lycosa in their hand as either very brave or out-of-their-mind insane.
(image credits:mplonsky,hannes_mitchell,M. Shaw,mishal,James Jordan,Thomas Shahan)
Back to the hairy jumping spiders, you might notice that at the end of each leg they have hundreds of tiny hairs. In turn, each of those hairs split into hundreds of more tiny hairs. Then each of those is tipped with an “end foot.” Now when you take into consideration all of these thousands of tiny feet, you might understand how these are the true Spiderman, able to climb even glass which is pretty much an impossible feat for most spiders.
Kill It With Fire
(image credits:Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Thomas Shahan,Draiman,Lord V)
For a person who finds spiders awesome, it might be difficult to understand what a person suffering from arachnophobia sees as so terribly threatening. Well to begin with, an arachnophobe’s initial reaction to any spider above would be, “Kill it with fire! Twice!” It’s the beady little eyes, which most arachnophobes never get close enough to actually see, and then all those hairy legs, and lastly the “fangs” that practically shout to an arachnophobe, “I want to suck your blood!” Unreasonable? Perhaps. Ask another person with arachnophobia and they will surely be glad to tell you that there is nothing irrational about their fear. In fact, arachnophobes go to great lengths to ensure their homes and whereabouts are spider-free. This fear may have perhaps helped in survival long, long ago by reducing the risk of being bitten in ancestral environments.
(image credits:platycryptus,radio4,Cyrus khamak,radio4)
In actuality, the spider is our “friend.” They come into our houses, yes, but they make our houses free of flies, bugs, and other creepy crawly, hopping, or flying pests. However, the spider on the bottom right . . . OMFG! Something that big and that furry had better be a puppy, as the photographer called it, Nice Puppy. It is a Neosparassus, or Badge Huntsman spider. They can be fairly huge, with a legspan of 9.8–11.8 inches. Yes, they bite. But never fear, it’s not deadly to humans. If you are an arachnophobe, let’s hope your co-workers didn’t hear you scream!
Awww, Babbies and a Rawr!
(image credits:Moon Rhythm,Michelle from Buffalo,Leslie Kirkland)
If you didn’t run after the Nice Puppy, then maybe you can handle these spiders straight out of an arachnophobe’s nightmare. The top two female wolf spiders are toting around their babies on their backs. Cute? Not if you are an arachnophobe. In fact, you would probably run from the building if you saw it in person. Yes, they are in your house, in your building, perhaps even right behind you! The wolf spider in the bottom image is just enforcing his superiority over arachnophobes with a booming, “RAWWWRRR!!!!”