Calling Spider Lovers

While we were hiking last August, 2011 we came across this large spider that is shown in the two photo’s. And I must add I am not a fan of spiders at all.

We are somewhat prepared to see a Bear on our journey’s but we were not quite ready for this 8 legged creature from the order Araneae. His length with his legs fully stretched would be in the range of 4-5 inches and the body near 2 inches. The corner of the rock where his left leg is, was measured at 2 inches. He moved quickly across the rocks as I jumped with fright (all spiders do that to me) and my first thought was, what the hell is a Tarantula doing way up here! The odd thing is that we were at 7,705 feet on the top of the Purchell Mountain Range near Golden, BC. This spider’s complete habitat was rock , there was no vegetation and really no sign of an available food source. What do spiders like this eat anyway? I have never came across a spider so big in the wild and it was quite the reward for reaching the summit!

So I have teamed up with a very famous Biologist Dr. Carin Bondar to see if we can track down the “Spiders” name, rank and serial number.

We will keep you posted!

Click here for a Closer Look.

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4 thoughts on “Calling Spider Lovers

  1. As I looked at your pictures I realized that this was a species of Wolf Spider (either Lycosidae or Padosa). These species grow to about 1 3/8″ NOT including the legs! They can be found across the world and there have been many sightings in Canadian Alpine meadows and rocky areas. They feed on insects, do not spin webs and are poisonous, although they must be provoked to bite. The Wolf Spider color ranges from brown to grey to black depending upon the environment. They are hunters and can move very rapidly across the terrain. The scientific name would run like this: Arachnida: Araneae: Lycosidae: ??Pardosa (unsure). There are many references.I googled: Wolf Spider Canada Alberta Alpine Lycosidae, and got multitude of hits…look at the Bug ID sites as they have good pictures. We love having the garden variety as they are voracious eaters and rid the area of many undesirable insects. Ours have been very light grey to black and often ste up a ‘lair’ along the sidewalk verge to attack unsuspecting (and unwanted by gardeners) prey…interesting to watch! Hope this helps!

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  2. tom evans (tom.evans@shaw.ca) wrote:
    Great photo.
    I shared a similar encounter while fishing with my dad, Cal. We were near Kamloops (Skitchine Lodge) when we noticed a lot of activity in one bay across the lake. As we rowed closer it became clear that a huge spider, like the one in JB’s photo, was in an epic battle with a large trout. We didn’t get too close, as I really did not want to have that spider climb into our little row boat with us. Ultimately, the trout must have one, but it took almost 20 minutes of battle where the trout essentially nibbled one leg off at a time, and the spider would bite back when it could! Our companions didn’t believe our story that night at the lodge – know one had ever seen a Tarantula sized spider in the area before. So I’m grateful for this photo, and hopeful that some more info on the spider comes available.

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