I’m late with this as the blog was hacked somehow. Damn scammers. 🙁 So….
Picture the scene. You’re a friendly European spider going about your business in a quiet town in County Kildare, Ireland when a curious Australian man rocks up and snares you. What’s a spider to do than freak out? Your cousin, the Australian red-back, has striken fear into this antipodean’s mind. Sooner than you know it you’re been examined by zoologists in Dublin and proclaimed “harmless” by zoo director Leo Oosterweghel. Now being called “harmless” isn’t the worst thing in the world. It is however, a bit safe and boring. Inspired by this case that occurred last week, I came up with the idea for the Ozzipean Party Spider. Combining the best of European traits with Aussie sensibilities, he’s not harmless nor ‘a monster’, he just likes to have good times.
– Fine Italian flies and the odd glass of Sangria (that’s a jug of it by his “right” leg).
– Playing footie with his mates but the ball often gets stuck in webs.
– Going out for beers with Troglodiplura lowryi (aka Tom), Badumna socialis (aka Riley) and Misgolas robertsi (aka Bob).
– Ozzie builders living in Ireland. They tend to get the wrong impression.
– Hanging out at Leo Oosterweghel’s place.
– Biting people.
I actually learned a bit about spiders in Oz while researching this post. The main two to watch out for are the Sydney Funnel-web (Atrax robustus) and the Redback (Latrodectus hasselti). Are they really dangerous? Well, yes but since 1956 nobody has died from a Redback bite and since 1980 nobody from a Sydney Funnel-web bite, mainly because of the development of an anti-venom. That’s two from 240 different species so the odds of being bitten by the one of these spiders is quite low.
A massive thanks to Will Knott for the initial idea and Darren Byrne for Photoshop wizardry based on my sketch. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the Ozzipean Party Spider if I get to go Sydney. 🙂
I’d asked my contacts on Facebook and Twitter to come up with some suggestions so here they are:
Eric Lalor – Dingo-roo would be pretty fearsome. Imagine one of those feckers leaping towards you !
Darren Byrne – A Cookerburra – a flying oven
Christian Hughes – A duck-billed tree toad
Ben Kenealy – a kangarocket , all said though rockets aren’t an animal but it’d be funny