Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sun spider

On my holiday in the Karoo desert, the day before I was stung by a scorpion which had climbed into my bed:

GAH!!!!!

GAH!!!!!

I found an interesting looking spider half hidden under my pillow, which I have just managed to identify online. It gave me a bit of a shock at the time, because it was huge and hairy with big pincers:

sunspider-scary

YIKES!!!!!!!!!!

And frankly I did not want to share a pillow with it. I captured it in a container, admired it for a bit (it was terribly energetic and had very fine beautiful white hair all over its legs and body), and then released it outside a short walk away from the house.

Anyway, today I found these pictures of it, and after a bit of hunting around I’ve found out that this is not actually a spider, but a Solifugid, an order in the Arachnida class like spiders and scorpions. Those huge fangs have no venom, and although they could give a human being a nasty nip they are pretty much harmless, although they can be rather aggressive hunters. And their natural prey is…….. can you guess? Scorpions.

Sun spider

What a lovely brave scorpion-eating thing

Yet another lesson that human interference with ecosystems (even if that ecosystem happens to be your bed) will only ever backfire. Who knows, maybe if I’d just peacefully let it share my duvet it would have killed and eaten the scorpion before it stung me that night, and I wouldn’t have had such a fright from it!

Happy 7th birthday, blog!

Good lord, it really doesn’t feel like it’s 7 years old, and goodness knows it’s only got about 3 weeks worth of content, due to general neglect and general rubbishness. Poor thing.

Mirvy watching pigeons

In unrelated news, I miss my flat, and so does the cat (probably) :(

Scorpio

On my birthday (November the 5th) when I was asleep I was stung in the face by a scorpion in the Karoo National Park. It gave me a bit of a shock!

I would be perfectly happy never seeing one of these things ever again. I can’t help wondering whether it’s some sort of spooky sign that I shouldn’t be doing the conservation biology masters course I’ve signed up to next year, or maybe it’s the scorpion’s way of giving me a big scorpiony hug to say thank you for deciding to become a champion of biodiversity. Hmm…