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A Spider? As a Villian?

What was I thinking?

Huntsman spider

My mother loves my face.

My sister wants to know what was wrong with me. Who creates a villain that is a SPIDER?!? But…

Spiders do look like aliens, especially alien monsters. The weirdest are the prehistoric ones found fossilized in amber—they have tails. And the tails are half as long as the spider’s bodies.

Since modern spiders are tailless, some scientists believe these ancient species are uraraneids –a group of primitive spider relatives that had tails. However, another theory is they represent an early branch of modern spiders.

Due to the hybrid feature of their tails, the new species was named Chimerarachne yingi, for chimeras— fire-breathing female monsters from Greek mythology with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. Most people will agree that spiders are frightening enough without tails, hopefully, no one will lever pull a Jurassic Park move and clone these Chimerarachne yingis.

Speaking of super scary spiders, check out the Huntsman Spider—theses creepy crawlers were my inspiration for the villain in Lost Valyr. 

Huntsman Spiders:

  • Jump— They can jump on their powerful legs. 
  • Cling— When they are picked up their cling reflex kicks in, so it’s hard to shake them off.
  • Hide—They like to hide in forests, woodpiles, mine shafts and wood shacks. 
  • Make A Lot Of Babies— The female produces as many as 200 eggs at one time.
  • Have Hairy feet—the tip of their feet is covered with a thick layer of hairs. The huntsman’s hairy feet let them grip surfaces firmly and their kills. 
  • Have Funny Legs —Their legs are twisted in a crab-like fashion.
  • Have different names—Huntsman spiders are also called giant crab spiders, wood spiders, or rain spiders.
  • Have Eight Eyes— They have eight eyes and each set consists of four eyes set in the forward direction.
  • But Not The Best Vision— The eyesight of huntsman spiders is probably not as good as that of other spiders.
  • Run Up Vertical Spaces—Huntsman spiders are the only spiders capable of running up vertical surfaces. 
  • Have Fangs—They immobilize their prey by injecting venom with powerful fangs 
  • They Like the Tropics— Huntsman spiders like warm climates. 
  • Aren’t Dangerous To Humans— Their venom is not deadly to humans, but they have a nasty bite that can cause nausea and headaches.

And they also are:

  • Fast—Crazy fast.
  • Huge—With leg spans up to 10–12 inches.
  • Colorful—They come in lots of different colors and patterns on their underside.
  • Hunters —They actively stalk their prey. They are able to take down prey two-thirds their own size.
  • Good Eaters—Their redeeming quality is that they eat cockroaches. They also feed on other insects and invertebrates including moths, weevils, and crepuscular tenebrionid beetles and though rarely they sometimes eat geckos and small skinks.
  • Known For Long Lasting Mating— They’re mating act can last for up to 10 hours.
  • Creatures Of The Night— They are almost entirely nocturnal. Huntsman spiders come out at night to catch medium-sized prey like caterpillars, moths, and cockroaches. They hunt on the ground and on tree trunks.
  • International—Huntsman spiders dwell in Australasia, Mediterranean Basin, America, Asia, and Africa. In the U.S. they can be found in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

If you find one of these alien-like giant Huntsman spiders in your home, don’t panic. Right…that’s what the experts say. They are probably roaming around looking for a mate. Seriously, again, that’s what the experts say. I don’t know how they know the spiders are out looking for love. That really seems rather personal. But anyway, the best basic advice is just to use the old glass and paper trick to get them out of your house.

So there you go, only fear the spider if you’re in space and the spider is huge, sentient and EVIL. 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

cover art

She’s a scientist in the wrong galaxy. He’s an alien in the wrong century. Can their love reset a terrifying future? If you like heart-pounding chemistry, ragtag bands of misfits, and action-packed space battles, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ rollicking romance. Tap here to preorder the book today! 

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