Thursday, June 16, 2005

Taiwan Has Great Bugs: III

I thought I'd blog this baby I saw on the east coast last August above the port of Suao. The thing was so huge even my dumb autofocus was able to nail it. These spiders are common in Taiwan in forested and brushy areas. Does anyone out there know what they are?

Brightly colored beetles are also really common here. I snapped this on in the summer of last year on the grounds of Fooyin University in Taliao, Kaohsiung.

Afraid of spiders? Read the abstract to this paper on poisonous spiders in Taiwan:

Taiwan is located at the juncture of tropical and subtropical regions. About 300 species of spiders in Taiwan are named. Among the variety of spiders, only two kinds of spiders are reported to do serious harm to people. They are Latrodectus hasselti (red back spider) and Macrothele species (include M. gigas, M. holsti and M. taiwanensis). Tarantula which is mainly imported for petting would also do harm to people. Until now, no mortality case after spider bite was reported in Taiwan. The treatments of spider bite in Taiwan are supportive treatments. It is important to educate people not to capture the spiders with hands and be aware of the spiders especially in the dark and wet environment. If bitten by a spider, it is important to search medical support as soon as possible.

There, see? Nothing to fear.


Jason said...

I believe the big-assed spider on the top is called a banana spider. While they look like they could take your head off, they're actually non-poisonous (although anything with fangs that size best be avoided.

My first run-in with them occured on (well--OFF) the trail at Ta-Keng. My buddy and I were mucking around in one of the small streams that run in between the ridges, following it down to see where it led. The water at that time was deep enough to kinda-swim through, so we made it down quite a ways.

After going over a small drop into a small pool. If the water we were waist deep in wasn't polluted then, it certainly was after we looked up. What we saw was dozens of those beasties surrounding us on their webs, smacking their chops.

The second notable encounter can be found here, on Lanyu:

You can guess which word is about to fall out of my mouth. Later on up the same river bed I tripped, broke through a web and started dragging it behind me as the spider started crawling up my back. Fortunately there's no record of my ensuing girlish screams as I ran around ripping my clothes off.

Michael Turton said...

Here's the pic where Botel Tobago is about to pollute Taiwan's air with foul language. That is one nightmarish spider.

Anonymous said...

And that's a stink bug, right? Great spider pics all round folks.
Da-ken Scenic Area is truly a creepy crawly paradise - I love it! I've been getting slugs in my kitchen recently and I'm in an urban area in the south of the city, though my kitchen, which has a corrugated plastic roof (!), does back onto an overgrown garden. This morning I found a weird leech-like worm with a hammer-shaped head. It was hanging from the kitchen ceiling by a gooey thread and then it dropped to the floor. Any idea what it is?

Anonymous said...

Rats, i can't seem to post the Flickr link. I'll try again.
Or do a search for Naruwan's photos at the Flickr site.

Anonymous said...

Think I've cracked it. Sorry for the triple post.

Michael Turton said...

That's a slug! But I can't find anything about biological slugs in Taiwan on the Net, except for sea slugs. :(