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Sydney Funnel Web Found in ARKANSAS!

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by patrickbull, Jul 2, 2011.

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    A quick check on bugguide turned up two photos showing similar markings on the ventral surface of members of the genus Ummidia. Does anybody have ventral pics of a sydney funnel web for comparison? That could end this really quickly. :p
  2. Scorpendra

    Scorpendra Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Headline: "Man Watches Animal Planet Until He Forgets What Continent He Lives On"
  3. codykrr

    codykrr Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have found several of these trapdoor's down towards bullshoals, Hercules glades, gainsville.

    I could honestly see why some guy would believe it would be a sydney funnel web. as they look similar to an untrained eye. Also with todays imports/exports you never know what species could indeed infest.

    I dont have any pictures, but a member on here that goes by "backwoods" had caught a large male at one of the bug hunts we hosted a few years back in the gainsville area. I will see if I cant dig up better pictures. I know everyone got some shots of it.

    ---------- Post added at 10:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:52 PM ----------

    BTW these are most likely an ummidia species.

    ---------- Post added at 11:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:55 PM ----------

    so I couldnt find a picture from our bug hunt. but here is one from bug guide.net.

    here is a decent picture

    here is another of the same with an added picture

    You find these(least I have) along field/glade edges. In loose rocky soil. Males wander about from the end of july through out the month of august.

    farthest north I have found one was in the town I live in which is marshfield.
  4. Ok now that they posted a video with a clearer view I'm ready for my final decision. It is either Ummidia audouini or Ummidia carabivora for sure. Our native trapdoors. The size of the Chelicerae give it away. Sydney funnel webs have much bigger ones compared to body size.

    It seems Mr. Gann needs to learn his native spiders better. I love how he tries to sound like an expert. Please don't think all of us Arkansans are so simple......
  5. Kris-wIth-a-K

    Kris-wIth-a-K Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Chuck Norris has it beat at 6 seconds before their brain melts.
  6. Tarantel

    Tarantel Arachnobaron

    So this guy walks outside and finds a spider, which he immediatly decides is a deadly spider from another continent? And not he is going to take this spider to an entomologist? (couldn't he find an arachnologist?) Yeah, that could happen, recently I walked out side and saw a Brazilian wandering spider, so I took it to my local herpetologist. :}
  7. codykrr

    codykrr Arachnoking Old Timer

    It also could be an undescribed species. But those two species would be a good start.
  8. loxoscelesfear

    loxoscelesfear Arachnoprince Old Timer

    nice summary. amen.
  9. richoman3

    richoman3 Arachnosquire

    i can tell you this guy, definately not what you find down here ;)
  10. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    On the whole "invasive species" thing, given that the importation of Atrax into the US is illegal, and has been for quite some time, it would be highly, highly doubtful that one would wind up in Arkansas. While smuggling does occur, again, the destination of Arkansas, as opposed to somewhere near a port of entry for most exotic species, would be extremely unlikely. The person who found the spider in question probably does not know this, anymore than he knows that Arkansas is home to two native species of black trapdoor spiders. And, while I got a laugh from the "man watches Animal Planet for so long he forgets what continent he's on"(thanks for that, Scorpendra), WE can't forget that Animal Planet is still believed by so many people to be a credible source of factual information about animals, people who don't understand that AP is basically a cable version of "The Weekly World News" now, and that they have many shows which are specifically intended to paint animals like spiders and snakes and other reptiles in a very, very negative light, along with people who keep them.

    Now, on that invasive species thing-I noticed that a lot of people kept bringing up Florida as an example of non-native species establishing themselves in the US as an arguement for the possibility of this black spider being a Sydney Funnelweb. Florida's situation is unique in many ways. The climate of south Florida is more or less tropical, which lends itself really well to tropical species being able to get a foothold there. Nowhere else in the US has such a climate that comes so close to replicating the natural environments of many tropical species of plants(no one ever mentions those in spite of the fact that PLANTS, not animals, make up the bulk of all invasives in the US)and animals. Arkansas has some nasty winters, if the weather reports I see and hear over here in SC are correct. Even here in my homestate, the average winters are considerably more severe than in southern Florida. South Florida also has the largest port of entry for legally imported plants and animals in the entire country, Miami-note the word LEGALLY here, as every single one of the species which has established themselves in Florida either were legal to import at the time, or still are, unlike the Sydney Funnelweb. The simplest, most logical explanation for something is usually the one that's correct, so that, in this case, would be that the spider the guy found is one of two native species and not an exotic species whose importation into the US is banned.

  11. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer


    The state of the media in this country is asinine... that some moron count make a baseless statement like that and end up in any newspaper is ridiculous.
  12. Actually it's worse, local news TV channel.....
  13. marclar

    marclar Arachnoknight

    I think I'm just going to make an outlandish claim and tell everyone.
  14. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Please express your dissatisfaction with this story here: http://www.fox16.com/feedback.aspx

    EDIT: You can also call them here and let them know their spreading lies: 1-888-367-1616

    I just did, and someone actually answered. He was a dick, but I still managed to tell him that his station is running non-factual stories.

    I wrote this:
    Did you do any due diligence before running this story? In no way is that a Atrax robustus (Sydney Funnel Web) or any related species. There are at least half a dozen native species that could be represented in that jar, none of which pose any danger to children (not nearly as much as the swimming pools you featured anyway). How do you people get away with posing as a new organization?

    ---------- Post added at 08:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 PM ----------

    And we have a response... here's the entire chain:

    Davidson, John to me

    show details 7:46 PM (16 minutes ago)

    Hey Patrick, we just talked over the phone! I'm glad you e-mailed, I will make sure this message gets into the hands of the reporter who did the story.

    Thanks again for your message.

    John Davidson
    Fox 16
    KLRT Little Rock, AR

    -----Original Message-----
    From: FOX16 [mailto:noreply@idmemail.net] On Behalf Of support@inergizedigitalmedia.com
    Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 6:40 PM
    To: Little Rock TV Web; SPEARMAN, SUZANNE
    Subject: Website Feedback

    Source Url: http://www.fox16.com/feedback.aspx

    Name: Patrick Corcoran
    Email: PatBugs@gmail.com
    Improvements: By reporting actual news.
    NotWorking: Yes, this story is broken: http://www.fox16.com/news/local/sto...-Arkansas/ZoOylotTcUSjsx3Ccg-emw.cspx?rss=315

    Did you do any due diligence before running this story? In no way is that a Atrax robustus (Sydney Funnel Web) or any related species. There are at least half a dozen native species that could be represented in that jar, none of which pose any danger to children (not nearly as much as the swimming pools you featured anyway). How do you people get away with posing as a new organization?
    AddToSite: Some factual news would be great.

    Technical Information
    UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110614 (CK-IBM) Firefox/3.6.18 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729)
    IP Address:
    Accepts: text/html, application/xhtml+xml, application/xml;q=0.9, */*;q=0.8



    [Available] Patrick Corcoran to John

    show details 8:01 PM (1 minute ago)


    I appreciate it John. You might also let your viewers know during the retraction statement that there are no Sydney Funnel Web spiders in the US, and that even if they were somehow introduced to Arkansas they wouldn't survive the climate. They might also mention that spiders kill one or two people a year in the US versus the 3,000 or so that drown. I'm sorry to be so curt but reporting baseless information that's going to terrify your viewers for no reason isn't something a news organization should be doing.

    Patrick Corcoran
    - Show quoted text -
  15. I just sent in some feedback asking them to retract the story and to assure people that there is no need to be more concerned about spiders in this area.
  16. Chris_Skeleton

    Chris_Skeleton Arachnoprince

    Just left some feedback.
  17. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well they changed it to 'Man Thinks he discovered sydney funnel web...' but left the entire story intact, including the ridiculous 300-400 deaths a year metric. I'm going to go ahead and write to Media Matters over lunch.

    ---------- Post added at 12:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 AM ----------

    Update - I'm making some serious headway here. I'm in touch with the agency that saw the original specimen and now has a second live specimen. Hopefully this will get quashed and Fox will retract it's story soon.

    BTW, Psychedelic, my name is also Patrick, so apologies in advance in you get blamed for all the hell I'm raising :)
  18. jsloan

    jsloan Arachnoangel Old Timer

  19. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    'Distinctive white stipes'.... LMAO

    At least it proves people in europe are just as stupid as we are.

    ---------- Post added at 01:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:28 PM ----------

    Just got this:

    Mr. Corcoran, We have been having difficulty with our internet connection thru aol today- BUT, I took a live specimen to Dr. John Hopkins at the U of A and he has identified it as trap door spider, as you have. Also, I am scanning in some images and he is going to email me more pics of this live specimen and Channel 16 is going to do a follow up and report this to be the trap door spider which is common here in Arkansas. However, Dr. Hopkins said this is the first trap door he has had brought to him and that it is very similar in appearance. So glad to have heard from you, and so glad this is a trap door spider. I am native to Arkansas and have lived here my entire life and have spent 44 years in the pest control industry and this is my first trap door to see and know it, and the similiarites are many in appearance, but Australia can keep the Sydney fw. Thank you for your encouragment and for being with us in the resolution of this saga. Have a great weekend- Syvia ***************************************************************************
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2012
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