Spider - Crab...?

A few nights ago my husband was working on his motorcycle in the garage... I was summoned to help with holding parts and shining a flashlight in places. It was pretty fun - especially because it was the first night where I have been outside in a T-Shirt and jeans and not felt like I was going to suffocate from inhaling humidity or had sweat running down my back. Fall is finally getting here!!! I don't want to get my hopes up, but the past few mornings have been pretty cool as well - under 60! The days still get hot - around 80 degrees, but at least we are cooling off at night. 

Well - back to my adventure with an unknown bug in the garage. My husband points under the front fender of his bike and says, "Can you reach in there in grab that?" First of all, I didn't know what I was supposed to grab with those instructions. Secondly, all I could see was what I presumed was a spider hanging on its web under there! What? The spider?! I'm not sticking my hand in there... "Oh it's dead, just get it out of there," he tells me. Really? I don't think it's dead. 

My husband proceeded to blow on the bug. Which I still say was a spider since it had a web, but I've never seen anything like it before. Granted, it was hanging upside down, so I guess one might think it was dead... but it definitely started moving and of course panic ensued. I ran to the toolbox and grabbed a square. 

The thing wasn't big, and it seemed like it's back was heavy, so I used the square to scoop it out on its back and onto the ground. That's when it flipped over - revealing something I would call a shell! It was the weirdest thing! My husband messed with it and flipped it over as we were thinking what the H? You could hear the shell click on the ground and then it'd flip itself back over and try to run away. It was almost lumbering around... its gate (if you could call it that) reminded me a bit of a camel or elephant with one of those big saddle/tent things on their back. Very very strange.

We didn't realize it was still attached to its web and when it decided to pull itself back into the bike, I kind of freaked out. Don't worry, though. I got it back down onto the floor. "Should I kill it?" my husband asked. I don't know... It seemed like it might be hard to kill. He tested squishing it with the square and sure enough that shell was hard. I ended up just balancing it on the square and carrying it out a ways from the house and dumping it. I don't know. I've never seen anything like it and I didn't really want to kill it. That shell was probably full of babies or something and I'll regret letting it go, but it even had spikes coming off of it! Have you ever seen anything like this? It's probably poisonous and we northerners just had no idea.

And yes, I definitely DROPPED my nice camera in my rush to capture this. But it's okay and I think it was worth it. I really feel like this thing is a crab. But then it's black and has legs and a body that looked like a spider. And it was only the size of my fingernail... legs, shell and all. They aren't kidding when they tell you there are crazy bugs in Louisiana.


Ann said...

I think this might be it - if it is it says it's harmless to humans but man does it look like it could do some damage!

Kyle I said...

Believe it or not, it's actually called a "Crablike Spine Orb Weaver"...literally a crablike spider. I've never seen one in real life, though...only in my bug books...hahaha. I know you're probably grossed out, but me and my nerdy scientist self is really excited that you found one!


Anonymous said...

Well - you'll be happy to know my husband discovered it again! It's built a web from the tree next to our house, down to the corner of the garage. I'm glad it's outside now, but it is pretty cool! :)

Mom (Nancy) said...

do a google image search for: "spiny back orb weaver spider". There are lots of pics of it. Strange!