What kind of spider almost killed me?
August 30, 2007 4:01 PM Subscribe
A spider landed on me in Hawaii. It was very big (almost palm sized), and black with yellow and blue splotches on it. Is it poisonous?
posted by rybreadmed to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I went on a horseback ride in Hawaii over a year ago. In particular, it was in Kona pretty much between North and South Kona by the Kealakekua Monument. As we walked along (obviously the horses did the walking), I enjoyed the flora and fauna of the Big Island. I saw spiders--big spiders. They were were big (not quite like a Buick), and black with yellow and blue splotches (UCLA colors). As we walked, I saw a spider descending on its thread. As I got closer, I thought, "That thing's going to land on me." And sure enough, it landed on my shoulder.
I felt a great sense of panic that can't even be described by using the word 'panic.' I thrashed, yelled (okay, screamed), and hit at the spider. I yelled, "Get it off me! Get it off me!" as well as a variety of expletives. I hit it off onto my leg. It crawled up my leg, and I kept hitting at it. It landed on the saddle, climbed up on my leg again, and I finally knocked it off. I lost my sunglasses during the struggle, but that's besides the point.
The trail guide asked what happened, and I told him a spider landed on me. I described it, and he said, "Oh, those? My little daughter plays with those. They're harmless."
So for a long time, I thought, "I'm such a dork. I wasn't in any danger." I recently told someone that story, and they said, "I don't know...Brightly colored spiders are usually brightly colored for a reason. You know, because they're poisonous and their colors are supposed to warn predators." We all feel pretty smart after watching the National Geographic channel, but maybe there was some truth to that.
I got to thinking that maybe the trail guide was saying that the spider was harmless to calm me down, and perhaps make me think I was over-reacting, when in fact I had been in grave danger. It wouldn't help business any if word got out that his horseback rides were potentially fatal.
So based on what happened and the description of the spider, can you help me figure out what kind of spider it was and if I was about to die?