Uninvited houseguest

“Hey, what’s that up in the corner on the ceiling?”

Run, get camera, shoot photo…  It’s not moving, so look it up on the internet!  The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has some good info:

Giant Crab Spider (Hetropodidae Sparassidae): One of the largest in this area, this spider has a leg span of 2 to 2¼ inches (50 to 64 mm). It is medium to light brown. It often extends its legs at right angles to its body. It can move sideways rapidly, hence the name “crab” spider. Despite its large size, it is capable of climbing fairly smooth vertical surfaces and is often seen high on walls or even ceilings of dwellings. This is one easy way to distinguish it from the wolf spider, a non-climber.

Oh, and it can bite, but it isn’t poisonous, so with a little care he can be escorted out of the house with a tupperware dish and piece of cardstock (vice being summarily killed).  Here’s a better picture from closer up, taken from the top of a barstool just before catching him and setting him free outside the front door:

We couldn’t open the back door and toss him out since one of his (slightly smaller) buddies was hanging out between the sliding door panes.  I’ve got a piece of weatherstripping foam stuffed between the panes where they’re partially open so the dog door can fit in, and Kelly wasn’t too keen on letting spider number two in while tossing spider number one out.  The smaller one is just about 2 1/2″ in leg-span, while the big one already inside was more like 3+”.  Here’s his outside buddy:

They hunt other spiders and arthropods (crickets, etc) at night, so they’re good to have around to keep black widow populations down, but they should really stay outside…

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