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Sydney Funnel Web Found in ARKANSAS!

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

  1. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

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    Nice work, y'all. Further evidence that we need to turn off the idiot box and get more in touch with the actual world around us. I spend a lot of time looking through our library's section on invertebrates & it's a mixed bag. It's one thing when the sensationalistic news media prints this balderdash(it's sadly to be expected), but when I find it in a book intended to serve as reference material for library patrons, it bursts my bubble. Too many publishers have forgotten to check facts before sending things to print. Too many teachers are filling their students' heads with nonsense. But I suppose that's what outreaches are for:)
     
  2. BQC123

    BQC123 Arachnobaron

    PA
    Just got a follow-up to my feedback:

    Mr. Clark,

    We have a follow-up on the spider story that orginally aired last Friday. A local entomologist, Dr. John Hopkins, identified the spider today as a "trap door spider". Dr. Hopkins says trap door spiders are very similar in appearance to the Sydney Funnel Web. Because of the physical likeness, Rick Gann -- (the man I interviewed last week) -- was certain he'd found a Sydney Funnel Web. However, the trap door spider is NOT deadly -- it only delivers a painful bite. I am planning to do a follow-up on tonight's newscasts.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion about the coverage. We are very open to viewer feedback.

    Cheesa Parham s FOX16 News Producer
    (phone: 501.217.4211 | (fax: 501.227.0855| *email: cparham@fox16.com
    10800 Colonel Glenn Road s Little Rock, AR 72204
     
  3. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Here's mine as well, with my reply:

    Parham, Cheesa to me

    show details 2:49 PM (9 minutes ago)

    Mr. Corcoran,

    We have a follow-up on the spider story that orginally aired last Friday. A local entomologist, Dr. John Hopkins, identified the spider today as a "trap door spider". Dr. Hopkins says trap door spiders are very similar in appearance to the Sydney Funnel Web. Because of the physical likeness, Rick Gann -- (the man I interviewed last week) -- was certain he'd found a Sydney Funnel Web. However, the trap door spider is NOT deadly -- it only delivers a painful bite. I am planning to do a follow-up on tonight's newscasts.
    Thank you for sharing your opinion about the coverage. We are very open to viewer feedback.


    Cheesa Parham s FOX16 News Producer
    (phone: 501.217.4211 | (fax: 501.227.0855| *email: cparham@fox16.com
    10800 Colonel Glenn Road s Little Rock, AR 72204

    FOX16 Local News

    Reply

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    [Available] Patrick Corcoran to Cheesa

    show details 2:56 PM (1 minute ago)

    Cheesa,

    I was in touch with Sylvia this morning, she brought the second specimen to Dr. Hopkins after I ID'd it as a native trapdoor species. While the two species are superficially similar, there are key differences that anyone even remotely familiar with these spiders would see. A quick Google search of "spider identification" turns up a number of hits you could have utilized before running to the public with this sensationalistic story about deadly spiders invading the US. As I told John yesterday, it's a shame that you guys did such shoddy investigation and reporting here. The report I mentioned is still up (with the minor change that way made at 9:30 this morning, which seemed to be designed to relieve you of responsibility), and it's been shared almost 400 times on Facebook. That's 400 people terrified into believing deadly spiders are somehow being imported and released! Unbelievable.

    I've forwarded the story and all related correspondence to Media Matters. I truly hope they're more receptive to correcting errors than your organization is.

    Patrick Corcoran



    *** By the way, I'm not really this snarky or obnoxious.... it's just that these idiots at the news channel didn't do anything but subtly change the title of the article to absolve themselves of responsibility. It wasn't until I spoke with the pest agency (they were awesome) and got the second opinion from the local entomologist that they agreed to retract the story. It just drives me nuts....
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  4. buthus

    buthus Arachnoprince Old Timer

    yep beat me to it. silly, cause i look at pics 1st and then read text... saw the pics ...figured male trap.
    we tend to take the image(most prominent/influential one) in our head ..its what we "know"... and we run with it. and our imaginations are fast ...speedier than our logic fer sher.
     
  5. They changed the story on the website completely now. :clap:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2011
  6. compnerd7

    compnerd7 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Well I'm happy to see you guys b*tch slaped Fox news... I'm suprized that they did a retraction! Kinda bummed I saw this thread a little too late to get my share of this action.

    The only real thing about this story that made me MAD is this:

    " Sydney Funnel Webs are not normally found in Arkansas. Gann plans to take his find to a local entomologist to confirm the spider species. "

    Why didn't they do this is the first place before publishing a whole news story on this? ... No no no lets let the red neck tell his version before we have any real evidence. So from then on everyone in that state is going to be killing every black spider they see.

    Soon the media will be believing what FLAmoba joked about...

    " I had to give a small speach on something I didn't know about and make it sound convincing so i convinced my Creative Writing class tarantulas use their fangs as snorkles. " ( end quote, didn't mean to bash you bro, I just loved ur story :){D )

    " I'm sorry sir, the pool is closed today due to killer aquatic trap door spiders launching underwater attacks at civilians. We also believe that some of these spiders are caring WMDs


    Ok end of my rant:evil:
     
  7. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Just FYI, the original story is still up, and it doesn't link to the retraction statement. Around 30 people have shared the original on facebook since the retraction was published.
     
  8. BobGrill

    BobGrill Arachnoprince

    What's the big deal? The guy was mistaken, so what? I'm almost afraid to say that I've mistaken several brown house spiders for brown recluses. It does in fact look alot like a sydney funnel web at first glance. Not saying I agree with everything this guy's saying, but atleast he seems to know a decent amount about spiders. The venom info seems a bit outdated. I'm sure many people died from funnel web bites twenty years ago or more but nowadays with the antivenom people rarely die from what I hear.
     
  9. Tleilaxu

    Tleilaxu Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The "big deal" is the fact that this misinformation will further perpetuate the bad image spiders already have. Not to mention provoke mass hysteria that the "evil funnel web" is now "invading" the USA. And making it worse is that people "trust" media outlets so therefore incorrect information is taken as fact unless the situation is corrected. Also another issue is the fact that this story was reported without anyone checking to make sure that the species ID was correct. Also lacking was the common sense from all parties. You do NOT make such a claim without verifying your facts first, this would be like me declaring that Komodo Dragons are in Florida based off a blurry video or pic of a green iguana or some other monitor that has escaped.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  10. Comatose

    Comatose Arachnobaron Old Timer

    That jackass can say whatever he wants... the big deal is a local news channel running a sensationalistic story without doing any due diligence.
     
  11. paassatt

    paassatt Arachnoangel

    I've heard a good bit of hyperbole in my time, but my goodness...
     
  12. BobGrill

    BobGrill Arachnoprince

    yeah that was stupid. But what I'm trying to say is that at first glance it's easy to mistake a certain species for another.
     
  13. Verneph

    Verneph Arachnosquire

    PA
    This isn't a simple case of mistaken identity though. This is about man who not only has successfully proven that he knows absolutely not a damned thing about the behavior of spiders but also has succeeded in going around claiming to have found a "deadly" Australian spider in America and stirring up an isolated panic among the ignorant. Spiders get an unwarranted bad reputation as it is. The last thing they need is clowns like him pretending to be "experts" on the subject of spiders and making false claims thus leading fellow Americans to assume that just because a spider is big and black it must be a horribly deadly exotic spider that's going to bite your friggin' head off when you turn your back.

    I think the most annoying part about all this is that Funnel Webs (like, actual Funnel Webs in Australia) don't actually bite, let alone kill, people that often. Lightning kills more people per year than spiders do.
     
  14. 3ntomology

    3ntomology Arachnosquire


    yeah it looks pretty damn common to me! :)
     
  15. BobGrill

    BobGrill Arachnoprince

    I'd love to see one of these. Apparently we get some in north FL. Not the same species I'm sure, but still a type of trapdoor spider.
     
  16. Michiel

    Michiel Arachnoking Old Timer

    Yep, as you see "Freedom of speech" has it's downsides.....:D:D;)
     
  17. OH no!! I think my P.reduncus is actually a funnel web!! Whatever should I do? ROFL! Love the fail posts.
     
  18. Peter_Parker

    Peter_Parker Arachnobaron Old Timer

    That's what I was thinking. To me that's like discovering a gila monster and going to an ornithologist for help identifying it...
     
  19. Spiderman24

    Spiderman24 Arachnoknight

    Just to throw this.out there me and my fiance come from perth western australia and we ship packages back and forth to eachother (i collect action figures that arent sold here anymore (evangelion) and when a new one is released by yamaguchi my fiamce goes and buys it then ships it off to me here. Well since we can all obviously keep a secret. ;) my fiamce has jnfact shipped me a sydney funnel web before in a normal vial that we usually get slings in. now mine was dead by the time it got herw but that just shows you how easily they could get here. But needless to say obviously this man is quite ignorant. I still have the body of my sydney funnel web and will post pictures of it here in a bit. I also still have the box that it came in with my eva unit 06 figure. My fiance simply put the spider in the vial opened up the evangelion figures box and set it in there with it. So I guess it would be quite simple for it to get here but the chances of it happening and aurviving is rather slim. Will post pictures sokn though and if anyones interested ill show you guys my awesome not yet world releaswed eva unit 06 figure =D

    ---------- Post added 10-14-2011 at 02:28 AM ----------

    Please by the way dont call my fiance ignorant or anything like that if anyone is ignorant its me for asking her to catch me.one and ship it.
     
  20. The Snark

    The Snark Dumpster Fire of the Gods Old Timer

    And even then you may butt your head against a stump. As example, Rod Crawford will usually refer to others such questions if the spider isn't local to the Pacific Northwest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
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