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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Nov 14 01:24 AM

November 14, 2008: Ants

Look at these two ants, a female and a male.

Aren't they wonderfully efficient creations... strong, streamlined, and quick to scamper on those eight legs. Eight legs?

Hah, fooled you, they're Spiders, Myrmarachne plataleoides, to be exact.

The spiders live in trees and bushes where the weaver ants live in colonies. By mimicking the ants they are able to stay close to them and gain protection from predators. Since weaver ants have a painful bite and also taste bad, this strategy appears to be successful. Though these spiders mimic the weaver ants very well they are known to stay away from them. They weave a thin web on leaves, hide under their webbing and ambush their prey.

The Kerengga Ant-like Jumper also mimics ant-like behaviour by the style of locomotion and also by the way they wave their front legs like antennae to mimic the ants. These jumping-spiders jump only when their safety is threatened.
Damn, ya can't even trust ants these days.


Aliantha  Friday Nov 14 01:33 AM

What's with all the insecty things?

Scriveyn  Friday Nov 14 03:17 AM

Originally Posted by Aliantha View Post
What's with all the insecty things?
Is it ... antici.....pation?

Aliantha  Friday Nov 14 03:34 AM

lol...nice one.

Antimatter  Friday Nov 14 04:27 AM

Probably just a mutANT

newtimer  Friday Nov 14 05:22 AM

"...weaver ants have a painful bite and also taste bad..."

What? Spiders are so delicious that they have to pretend to be ants? Why am I just finding this out now? Quick! Somebody give me a spider recipe.

sweetwater  Friday Nov 14 06:58 AM

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Maybe these spiders were the inspiration for Scott's verse? Thanks for the day-brightener, Bruce. I love weird nature. What an amazing little planet we have here!

spudcon  Friday Nov 14 07:36 AM

As long as they stay in the jungle, and not my house, I won't squash them.

aero geek  Friday Nov 14 09:09 AM

I wonder how many ants the typical male dry-humps before finding a female spider?

Shawnee123  Friday Nov 14 09:10 AM

I immediately wondered about the 8 legs.

Another critter for my nightmares.

SquidGirl  Friday Nov 14 09:44 AM

I'm okay with ants, no concerns. Spiders I'm usually ok with provided they aren't on me or hovering around me. Their little spiders masquerading as ants....heck, it works on me apparently, too. I looked at the pic and was thinking, "hmmm....wierd ants....okay...." Apparently I'm as easily fooled as their predators. LOL

Gravdigr  Friday Nov 14 09:50 AM

HungLikeJesus  Friday Nov 14 10:01 AM

Look, cute animal pictures in the IOTD. It must be Friday.

Trilby  Friday Nov 14 10:59 AM

Spiders in disguises. Just another reason to hate them.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Nov 14 12:14 PM

Forgot it was Friday.
Should have gotten a more cute and cuddly image for today.
Here ya go.

Better? It's a baby Muntjac Deer...

to BBQ. :p

classicman  Friday Nov 14 12:19 PM

mmmm - that looks almost a good as a cornish game hen.

Trilby  Friday Nov 14 12:22 PM

That baby deer has a contented smile on her (his?) face.

SOOOOOooooooooooooooooo cUUUUte!

HungLikeJesus  Friday Nov 14 12:40 PM

Look, it's a spotted chihuahua.

sweetwater  Friday Nov 14 01:03 PM

Aw, look at the pretty spider food!

Sundae  Friday Nov 14 01:38 PM

Muntjac Deer

Reminds me of a story. Shall I tell it?
I will then.

When I was married we lived in an old cottage. Not thatched, but old enough that it had subsided a little, meaning the bedroom window was quite low. Like many older places it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Anyway, we had the bedroom window open all summer. And this meant that at 06.00 any given morning, we got to hear all the OAP dog walkers coming past and greeting eachother inches below the window.

Somehow, our house seemed to be placed in exactly the right spot for them to pass eachother and stop and have a conversation. Front row seats if you like.

This particular morning, it was a very well-to-do couple. The sort of age and cut glass accent where it's actually hard to tell if it's a gruff woman or a high pitched man. The conversation went something like this:

- And then I looked up and you'll never guess what I saw!
- No, what?
- A Muntjac!
- A m-monster?
- No, no, a Muntjac!
- A, a... monkey?
- A Muntjac. A deer.
- Oh.
- Think it must have come down from the Rothschild estate.
- Oh.

It was wonderful. The combination of hard of hearing, bafflement and complete disinterest on the part of the hearer once it was explained. All very slow and drawn out. J & I had the duvet stuffed in our mouths by the end, and the mere mention of a Muntjac would have us giggling for a long time after.

Shawnee123  Friday Nov 14 01:49 PM


When you tell a story I picture it, and indeed that is a good one.

I had never heard of a Muntjac before today!

Coign  Friday Nov 14 01:54 PM

While looking for a spider recipe:

This meal preparation did not go as smoothly as one would imagine. Here is the story and why I have the rule:
"Never Put a Frozen Tarantula Inside a Microwave without Punching Holes In It's Carapace First!"

To deal with these creatures for cooking purposes it's really best, for the cook as well as the bug, that it is indeed dead prior to dinner preparations. Unlike lobsters, I didn't feel it best to try to wrestle with a tarantula over a boiling pot of water. The only other means of killing spiders had been reserved to weilding the local yellow pages with great force at the wolf spiders that had taken up home in my lower level apartment. I should state that doing this, doesn't lend it self to saving the remains for the needs I had that day. And, no, pancakes were not on the menu plans. So, I needed to off the not-so-little guy, and I decide the best way to do this was humanly place him in a freezer and allow him to gently drift off to the great web in the sky. In truth, I did this same thing for the tarantula and scorpion I cooked that week. Though for the cockroaches, they were placed in a large tinfoil box with a lid and forcibly placed into a warm oven to cook them. This is what my bug cookbook had said to do, and yes, there is a Bug cook book. I do have to say that doing that made me feel extremely uneasy... and I might make the analogy that I felt a bit nazi-esque with the oven and the frantic scampering of them as they heated away to tasty oblivion. My Karma was bad for years after that I tell you, Years! Well, the day came that I had to cook the tarantula for the event, and of course on this day I over slept. So, for that morning and had to deal with the frozen spider all in a rather short timeframe with little or no help by the seat of my pants.

How To cook a spider:
One of the first steps is to hold the tarantula over an open flame so that it burns off all the access hair, if those sharp little folicals should get into your throat or digestive system while eating it can cause infection as it pokes into the soft tissue. So... I use some tongs and place the frozen face hugger over the open flame... at this point i should inform you that spiders walk with a fluid design in their legs. It's actually all an amazing bit of hydrolics for these creatures to scurry around. They actually pump fluid into the legs and expand and contracts them to create the walking motion... this part of spider anatomy is forgotten as I place the obviously dead spider over the burner... At which point the nice warm fire causes the legs to fully extend. So, now I have a surpringly large flaming Facehugger that has seemed to have come back to life... Keeping my calm composure (after shrieking like a little girl and jumping 3 feet in the air) I turn to see that the other people in the kitchen had headed for the proverbial hills, some even went and hid behind the sofa. I watch as the legs slowly return back to their half closed state as I remove it from the flames.. (another side note, burning tarantula does NOT smell nice)

So... this is all being done quickly... and I need the tarantula to be thawed in order to cook with it. While the outside is scorched the inside is still a block of disgusting bleck... I look around and see a microwave on the counter and say... "do you think I should try to microwave it". Where in Andrew and the other convention attendants in the Ambrosia Party, who are still hiding in the living room from the flaming resurrection trick, loudly exclaim "YES".

Luckily I had the peice of mind to wrap it in paper towels... Because about 3 seconds after I place the bugger in there and press start I heard a rather distinctive sound. the closest analogy I can offer is if you have ever heard the sound effects foley artist use for deep mud pits with gas escaping from it.. or maybe lava bubbling..

I grasp the handle of the microwave... calm my nerves and exhale slooowly. Take one last breath of air scented with the smell of burnt tarantula hair and open the microwave.

The paper towel did it's best to hold in the gore.. I really do have to write to Bounty one of these days to tell them how truly versatile and absorbant their towels are, because very few bits of the explosion made it past the paper towel. If you are curious as to what a large arachnid looks like inside... the best way to describe it is "Horrible Gray Goo".

I reach in and remove the "delictable treat" that would be fed to my ex-coworker.. The sight made me almost vomit... So.. I decided to proceed with my cooking, though I changed my game plan due to the ruptured abdomen and a severe lack of time. I cut some of the carapace away and shape the outward crater into something more pretty. I then roast it slowly in the oven to bring out the true flavor. I mixed it with spices, put some parsley on there and added a fork...


The meal went off disgustingly well, the person ate the spider, nearly vomited and many photos were taken. Sadly, my Karma is still in the red.

Sundae  Friday Nov 14 02:02 PM

You don't wanna do it like that...
You wanna do it like this!


WillieO  Friday Nov 14 02:06 PM

The Friday Cellar...Where the Deer and the Ant-alope play?

WillieO  Friday Nov 14 02:13 PM

What a wonderful story Sundae, and you tell it sooo well!

charmzny  Friday Nov 14 03:03 PM

Where's my magnifying glass and the sun when I need them???

I don't care if they are masquerading as ants -- squash them like the bug they are!

monster  Friday Nov 14 03:04 PM

Originally Posted by WillieO View Post
The Friday Cellar...Where the Deer and the Ant-alope play?

sweetwater  Friday Nov 14 04:15 PM

Spiders are valuable, but perhaps not worth $233.95.

Sundae  Friday Nov 14 04:29 PM

She spelled lieu wrong.

amykins  Friday Nov 14 05:22 PM

For a second there I totally thought you were going to post the picture of the 8-legged lamb. (Ok...more like 7-legged.) I wonder if the lamb was trying to infiltrate spider colony. Remember? :p

mrputter  Saturday Nov 15 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by Coign
Never Put a Frozen Tarantula Inside a Microwave without Punching Holes In It's Carapace First
Words to live by, indeed. I think I shall make them my eleventh commandment.

Your reply here?

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