Spider of the year 2012!
January 17, 2013 2:54 PM   Subscribe

The Meta Bourneti spider is a rare slug eating spider, found throughout the UK and parts of Europe. It lives in complete darkness, and is usually found in caves. It was named European Spider of the Year in 2012. A cluster of them has been found to be living in the pitch black tombs of Highgate Cemetery
posted by bibliogrrl (48 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool! I love spiders! The slug-eating is a definately plus!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:56 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, just when you think Highgate Cemetery couldn't get any cooler...
posted by Paul Slade at 2:59 PM on January 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


european spider of the year 2012
posted by invitapriore at 3:00 PM on January 17, 2013


Oh, I see by the title of the post that you too thought that was funny. Boy, we really don't have any excuse for missing those anymore, do we?
posted by invitapriore at 3:01 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha ha, slug-eating spiders, that's so cool! There's no way I'm looking at that.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:01 PM on January 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


That thing it does with its front four legs where they look like Chthulu's mouth is just fucking awful and amazing at the same time.
posted by invitapriore at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


My friend in London tweeted about this before she headed to bed and my god, at least one of us is going to sleep well tonight.
posted by Kitteh at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2013


Why do I always look at the spider links? Whyyyyyy?? Now I'm all itchy...
posted by sarcasticah at 3:10 PM on January 17, 2013


From the article:

measuring 3cm, the largest spiders in the country

You lucky, lucky bastards.
posted by clockbound at 3:23 PM on January 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


european spider of the year 2012
posted by invitapriore at 3:00 PM on January 17


European Spider of the Year Iiiiii think it's time to go to bed.

Also, how can they announce European Spider of the Year 2013 already?? It's only January! Geez you'd think they wouldn't want to make it so transparent the whole thing is rigged.
posted by Erasmouse at 3:24 PM on January 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Alternate "European Spider of the Year" for arachnophobes: 2012 Alfa Romeo Spider. Fewer legs, fewer eyes; eats curves, not slugs.
posted by mosk at 3:28 PM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't really care for slugs, so i'm in favor of these Meta spiderlings hanging around over here in the new world, as long as i don't have to watch. Unless the spiders attack by throwing salt on the slug victims.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:29 PM on January 17, 2013


I am in favor of anything that deletes the world supply of slugs, but I am not sure that makes me in favor of spiders. Shudder. Maybe I am really in favor of salt and Raid. I am not going to click the link.
posted by Cranberry at 3:30 PM on January 17, 2013


You know who else hated spiders with an unholy passion?

Garfield, that's who.
posted by item at 3:33 PM on January 17, 2013


There are no spiders bigger than 3cm in the country? Is that a typo?
posted by odinsdream at 3:33 PM on January 17, 2013


I should clarify: I believe from the bottom of my heart that Garfield is the same as Hitler.
posted by item at 3:35 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If there were 3cm spiders in Australia we wouldn't be able to see them, because they'd be hidden under other spiders.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:39 PM on January 17, 2013 [25 favorites]


Am I the only one who likes slugs? Just the other day I found some lovely leopard slugs under some old planks; they're quite beautiful. Incidentally, the Wikipedia page for Limax maximus is one of the best pages I've encountered.
posted by pipeski at 3:46 PM on January 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I didn't mind slugs until the day I stepped out onto my deck barefoot... right onto a slug.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:47 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was spluttering that surely the common or garden or unswept-loo-corner harvestman is bigger in diameter (legs stretched out) than 3cm but it turns out that while it is an arachnid, it's not a spider. Huh. (on perusing those pictures, they are WAY CREEPIER than spiders.)
posted by Erasmouse at 3:49 PM on January 17, 2013


Highgate is the basis for Bram Stoker's Kingstead Cemetery, where Lucy Westenra was buried, and actually has been featured in a lot of Dracula films, including Taste the Blood of Dracula. So we can safely assume these spiders are either being consumed by Renfield or, in some awful way, are assisting the Bloofer Lady in biting small children.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:52 PM on January 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


No. No. No. No. No.
posted by forgetful snow at 3:53 PM on January 17, 2013


I thought the raft spider was the biggest in the UK after this plan to make the awful things more commonplace.
posted by edd at 3:58 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thing escaped from some cheesy 50s horror film:

"Aieeee! Spider! Shoot to kill!"

"No, you fool. It EATS slugs. That will only make it stronger!"
posted by yoink at 3:58 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who likes slugs?

I think David Attenborough likes them well enough. He was the one who showed us that leopard slugs are beautiful, complex, and acrobatic little fuckbunnies. Think: X-rated Cirque de Soleil. Really.
posted by maudlin at 4:03 PM on January 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


on perusing those pictures, they are WAY CREEPIER than spiders.

Oh come on, now. How is this not adorable?
posted by jokeefe at 4:15 PM on January 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am all for anything that eats slugs.
Because slugs are bastards, and take the food from my mouth (by eating it when it is the garden).

And did someone day leopard slugs are "quite beautiful"?
Because: no. Just no. The first time I found one (actually, the only time), was all o_O. It was so gross, and of course I had to kill it and it made the worst squish.
posted by Mezentian at 4:33 PM on January 17, 2013


You've got to respect any creature that will eat a slug. Every long once in a while I can convince one of my chickens to eat one, and it's then you realize that chickens aren't able to spit, but if they could, they'd spit that slug out every damn time.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:37 PM on January 17, 2013


Slugs. All my life. Slugs.

First there was the childhood home infestation. Barefoot mornings, stomp stomp squuissshhhhhhes fuuuuuuuck why did you chose my bare foot to die under?

First job, first pet as an adult: Rabbit. Hutch indoors. What managed to get inside AND INFEST THE FUCKING HUTCH? Slugs.

All my life.
posted by angrycat at 4:38 PM on January 17, 2013


je refuse
posted by elizardbits at 4:53 PM on January 17, 2013


I think David Attenborough likes them well enough. He was the one who showed us that leopard slugs are beautiful, complex, and acrobatic little fuckbunnies . Think: X-rated Cirque de Soleil. Really .

That is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.
posted by odinsdream at 5:44 PM on January 17, 2013


Since the UK won the Spider of the Year contest, does that mean they get to host the contest this year? Will Graham Norton make snarky comments during the broadcast?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:26 PM on January 17, 2013


But I only just got over clicking on the last link about bugs that I shouldn't have clicked on...
posted by peagood at 6:28 PM on January 17, 2013


Cirque de Soleil slugs > normal slugs > cute narrated scratching hiding spider > slug-eating spider
posted by Fig at 6:32 PM on January 17, 2013


All these bug threads make me sad.

Don't worry slugs. I got you. I feel your pain.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:48 PM on January 17, 2013


I didn't even click a single link and I want to disinfect everything and move into a bubble. Ick.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:14 PM on January 17, 2013


I loled when I read that they live in Sherwood forest, in the first link. Not really sure why that's funny, but it is.
posted by annsunny at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2013


I usually love spiders...but those are gross. they look like zombies >:P
posted by sexyrobot at 9:07 PM on January 17, 2013


I love slugs. My walk to the corner shop was three times as long during the summer than it was during the winter because I kept stopping to move them off the pavement to safety. However, those spiders are awesome, and I am entirely in favour of them. Adding Highgate in makes this a kind of excessively perfect post.

(And, annsunny: when I discovered that we were driving through Sherwood Forest for the first time I lol'd too.)
posted by Because at 1:45 AM on January 18, 2013


Highgate is the basis for Bram Stoker's Kingstead Cemetery, where Lucy Westenra was buried, and actually has been featured in a lot of Dracula films, including Taste the Blood of Dracula. So we can safely assume these spiders are either being consumed by Renfield or, in some awful way, are assisting the Bloofer Lady in biting small children.

Also the burial place of Karl Marx. Definitely London's best cemetery.
posted by atrazine at 3:51 AM on January 18, 2013


Even the pale glow of the moon could be too bright for their shy eyes

I like them even less with the sensitive emo-teen stuff added.
posted by colie at 4:01 AM on January 18, 2013


I loled when I read that they live in Sherwood forest, in the first link. Not really sure why that's funny, but it is.

Is that why spider tax-receipts have been so low? I was under the impression there was a net of tax avoidance.
posted by ersatz at 5:15 AM on January 18, 2013


3cm presumably doesn't include its leg span, just its main body. I could well believe there's no spiders with a body longer than 3cm in this country. I caught this bastard in my living room in Sheffield a few years back. The photo is taken with a macro lens, so it's not as big as it looks, but with leg span it was certainly bigger than 3cm, but the body was probably less than that.
posted by chill at 8:37 AM on January 18, 2013


"A CLUSTER of rare slug-eating spiders, believed to be 150 years old, has been found lurking in pitch-black Gothic tombs in Highgate Cemetery."

Those are some very old spiders.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:48 AM on January 18, 2013


I had lunch at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre a few weeks ago. I wish I'd known about the spiders (I probably would have tried to sneak a peek).
posted by pipeski at 8:50 AM on January 18, 2013


Slugs are wonderful! They are food for hedgehogs! And yes, those leopard slugs are pretty. I like hedgehogs.
posted by Goofyy at 9:58 AM on January 18, 2013


Slugs are wonderful! They are food for hedgehogs! And yes, those leopard slugs are pretty. I like hedgehogs.

Are they reallly? I owned a hedgehog for years, and had no idea. That would have solved my "slugs on the front steps" problem nicely.
posted by Amanojaku at 10:20 AM on January 18, 2013


Meta spiders do not attack humans and Mr Canning said the threat of spiders to the public was in general – and “even in Australia” – “greatly exaggerated”.

Mr Canning gave one of the spiders to Spider Recorder at the London Natural History Society, Edward Milner, who confirmed his suspicions after checking under a microscope.


1) I think MeFi should adopt MeSpi as site mascot for 2013.

2) Spider Recorder - worst school music lesson ever.

3) As we now know, all spiders are actually worms. So.
posted by toadflax at 11:34 AM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Liloing:...  |  Kerbal Space Program is a cart... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments