October 2nd, 2007


lucy joins the family!

so, i've been wanting a particular spider for awhile, after uncle jeremy showed me a picture of a fat, furry, little cow of a spider with the beadiest black eyes and little black tufts of hair that looked like mini-horns. spiderlab didn't have a specimen (affectionately named lucy) at that point so i couldn't adopt one, but jeremy said he'd keep an eye out for me if someone brings one in.

last thursday, i received a very exciting email from a friend, john - a fellow spider enthusiast. he'd found me my lucy after being out in the fields for research work for almost 2 weeks, and would put her in the mail since he was leaving for a flight in a few hours and would have no time to meet up. i was super happy. and super worried. but more happy than worried since john was very sure she would be fine in the mail.

friday passed really slowly for me. the hours dragged. i kept my ears peeled for the postman at the door. nothing and no one came.

saturday morning i set the alarm for 8am and sprang out of bed to guard my door. for a nocturnal person who sometimes sleeps at 8am, this was quite a feat. i managed to go to bed at 4am the night before, so i had 4 hours of energy. i snoozed on the couch right in front of the door... till 1pm. still nothing. i began to worry - saturday is a half-day and not getting lucy that day would mean two extra days of torture for her in the hands of singpost.

just as i was thinking about how she was suffering, the door bell rang with a vengeance!


i flung open the door to see a very happy postman grinning at me.

"this is yours! guess what it is?"

i was so happy to see him, i was grinning back at him.

"oh, i already know what it is! i've been waiting for it!"

"nowadays a lot of people shop online, hor?"

didn't want to tell him the package was alive in case he shakes it, like most people are likely to do as an automated response. so i just kept grinning and quickly signed the slip. then carefully took the (very large) brown paper package from him. i love brown paper packages! good things come in them!

couldn't get to my room fast enough. couldn't cut it all open fast enough. but still managed it all without creating rude and sudden earthquakes to the precious little life within. wow, the package was amazingly wrapped! no wonder john was so sure she would be fine. there were 5 layers of protection - he really knew what he was doing!

meet my beautiful girl, my little queen, lucy. :)

she was snuggled in a cocoon of tissue paper. it looked so comfy and cool, like a little white cavern. she must have been sleeping the whole way because jumping spiders sleep at night - she probably thought it was a really long night of about 36 hours. in fact, she was so soundly asleep, she didn't even budge as i opened the cap and looked at her bum. her face was buried in the tissue and she didn't even bother to look at me.

that wasn't quite the reaction i was expecting but it wasn't a bad thing. :) i slowly pulled the entire tissue cocoon out of the canister and unraveled it very very carefully. she still didn't want to take her face out of her pillow. i felt like a mother dragging her kid out of bed to go to school in the morning while the kid clings to her pillow and buries her face in it. finally, i patted her on her bum and she looked at me.

i couldn't quite believe that my lucy was sitting right there looking at me. she is so incredibly cute! i wanted to pat her but i didn't want to freak her out. so i tried to get her into her spideyjar. she didn't want to leave her tissue bed. i tried all sorts of maneuvers and none worked. finally i prodded her bum and she took one step. prod again, one more step. prod, step, prod, step, prod step... into her jar. just when i was about to go AWWWW at how cute and funny it was, she suddenly went SPROING right to the end of the jar and landed with a very heavy thud! i jumped in my chair and quickly capped the jar!

she seems very sweet and docile, and a lot less jittery than munster and the bubs, but she is definitely much stronger and jumps much further than they can. she's maybe about 8 times of munster's size? she startles a lot less than munster, sonic and the bubs - i'm wondering whether it's because she can see much clearer, she sees that i'm clearly a human and not a predator that she recognises (bird, snake, iguana, whatever), and thus, doesn't freak out? while munster and the rest may see more vague shapes and hence are constantly worried that these looming shapes may turn out to be one of the above predators?

i don't know, just wild thoughts in my head. will try to see if i can find anyone to ask... i think uncle jeremy has a friend studying spider vision.

another theory i cooked up was maybe the adansoni (munster's breed) are urban spiders and have been smacked by humans too many times, and thus recognise them as predators, while the hyllus diardi (lucies) are kampong kids and don't know what humans are?

uncle john and i concur that my first theory sounds better.


it's been 3 days and i'm still ecstatic!

:) :)


:) :) :)