Interview with Banana Spider

Goldie is the large Banana Spider in the center. Her mate is / was the tiny spider above her.
Goldie is the large Banana Spider in the center. Her mate is / was the tiny spider above her.

How do you feel about spiders?

You know - those bug-bodied, spindly-legged arachnids with eight hairy legs? My Hubbuddy, Sweetsusieg, challenged me to write about an interview with the Banana Spider. Imagine! She wants me to interview and write about an insect – a bug – a SPIDER! Ugh. These are her actual words: "I think I would be very interested in hearing what fellow Hubber, drbj would have to say were she to “interview” one of these lovely Banana Spiders! (hint-hint)."

Those who know me are aware that it is difficult, nay, impossible for me to resist a challenge. That’s how I fractured nine ribs in 2005. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. And if you recall Stan Fletcher’s weird Hubpages contests challenging fellow writers to write about weird subjects, then you may remember how I rose to the challenge, not once but twice, with my hubs: Psychic Vegetables and the Things They Have Told Me” and Why Everyone Should Own a Goat or Cow or Pig.”

So, keeping in mind my relentless reluctance to resist challenges, here is my Interview with Banana Spider.

Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver" 1976

Crème d’brulee Recipe

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 cups cream

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually stir in sugar and salt. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat before cream comes to a boil. Slowly stir into egg mixture. Add vanilla. Divide the mixture into 4 ramekins and place them in a baking pan. Fill the pan with water about half way up the ramekins to make a water bath. Bake for 45-60 minutes until firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle the top with sugar and carmelize with a kitchen torch. Garnish with raspberries or strawberries.

Tip: Brown sugar may be substituted for the granulated sugar, but you may want to increase the amount to 1 tablespoon per serving.

Source: http://Recipetips.com

me – Excuse me, miss. Are you a genuine Banana Spider?

Banana Spider – Are YOU talking to me???

Are you talking to ME??? (Performing a spidery Robert De Niro impression)

me – Yes, Miss Spider. I wondered if I could interview you for a Hubpages article I am writing.

Banana Spider – Call me Goldie. And It’s not Miss, you know. It’s Mrs. Even though my husband is no longer with me.

me – Oh, sorry, to hear that.

Goldie – Don’t be. Yummy! He was so delicious.

me – You ate him? (Incredulous)

Goldie – Well, that’s what we female spiders often do, you know.

I can talk with you for only about thirty minutes and then I have to run. I promised to meet Miss Muffett for lunch.

me – The Miss Muffett? of Mother Goose fame?

Goldie – None other. You know the rhyme: “Little Miss Muffet, Sat on her tuffet, eating her crème d’brulee.

Along came a spider, Who sat down beside her, and frightened Miss Muffet away.”

me – I thought the rhyme was: “eating her curds and whey.”

Goldie – If you ever tasted curds and whey, you, too, would prefer crème d’brulee.

Arachnid Addendum: Curds and whey refer to the lumps and liquid found in cottage cheese.

Crème d’brulee is a delicious rich custard dessert topped with hard caramel.

Goldie – Now - what would you like to know?

me – Let’s start with your family.

Goldie – My family name is Nephila and we are a genus of araneomorph spiders.

Some folks call us Banana Spiders because our yellow bodies resemble tiny bananas, but we are also known as Golden Silk Orb-Weavers - that’s how I got my name, Goldie.

In some parts of the country we are called Giant Wood Spiders.

Arachnid Addendum: Over 700 species of spiders reside in Florida.


me – What is the origin of that name, Nephila?

Goldie – It’s derived from ancient Greek and means “fond of spinning.” We are noted for the impressive webs we weave. In North America we are also known as Writing Spiders because of the zigzag patterns we weave into our webs. So we have something in common.

me – You must be referring to your writing/weaving skill. Because humans do not devour their mates. Nasty divorces do not count.

So, why do female spiders indulge in this cannibalistic practice?

Goldie – Male spiders are relatively tiny so larger females like myself have no difficulty eating our puny mates when dinner doesn’t arrive.

I like to think of the practice being called – instead of “The Man Who Came to Dinner” – “The Man Who Became the Dinner.” (Giggles)

Arachnid Addendum: Speaking of web weaving, who was the author of this passage: “O, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!”

Did you answer William Shakespeare? Give yourself a gold star if you gave the correct answer – Sir Walter Scott.

Golden Silk Orb-Weaver / Banana Spider

me – How did you get the name, Golden Silk Orb-Weaver? You are very conspicuous with your colors of yellow, red, brown, black and white on your body, but not gold.

Goldie – The gold refers to the color of the yellow silk we spin. It shines like gold in the sunshine.

me – How big do you get when grown?

Goldie – We females reach sizes of 1 ½ to 3 inches not including our long, long legs which may be up to 5 inches. Males are usually less than ½ inch.

Arachnid Addendum: The largest specimen ever found was about 3 inches (from Queensland) and was able to catch and feed on a small finch.


Barbecue ribs. Yummy!
Barbecue ribs. Yummy!

me – Are you found only in the United States, Central and South America?

Goldie – No, we live in countries all over the world including the warmer regions of Australia, Asia and Africa. I’m a country girl myself – I grew up in the Okefenokee Swamp in Florida.

Arachnid Addendum: Nephila spiders are the oldest surviving genus of spiders. A fossilized specimen was found estimated to be 165 million years old.

me – Are you poisonous?

Goldie – Our venom is potent but not lethal to humans. It has a neurotoxic effect similar to that of the black widow spider. But our venom is not nearly as powerful. Our bite causes local pain, redness, and blisters – I call it a spider hickey – that normally disappear within 24 hours.

me – What is your favorite food?

Goldie – We eat flies, bees, wasps, moths, butterflies and barbecued ribs. Just kidding about the ribs. But unlike humans, we do not chew our food. We inject venom which ultimately turns the insides of the prey caught in our web into liquid. Then we just suck it up. No chewing each bite of food 23 times for us.


Spider Silk Stronger than Saran Wrap

me – Your webs are marvels of engineering.

Goldie – The circular orb portion of our web can be more than three feet across with support strands extending many more feet. We prefer building our webs at the edges of forests, in gardens, on fences or even building overhangs.

When the weather is rainy and windy, sometimes we dismantle the lower part of the web to allow the wind to flow through the opening without breaking the web. We are experts at building websites. (Laughs)

Arachnid Addendum: Small black and silver spiders called Argyrodes are kleptoparasites that may infest our webs to feed from our captured prey. They are uninvited guests that frequently force us to rebuild or abandon our webs.

me – I have always wondered. How do you keep from sticking to the web as you weave it?

Goldie – We manufacture the silk for our webs in our own bodies. To form a web, we jump from one branch to another.

Some of the strands are sticky and moist in order to catch our food. But other strands are dry so we can travel on them without sticking.

Then we sit in the center of the web looking like a miniature Yoda with one leg touching a strand.

If we feel the strand jiggle, much like a fisherman with his line, we know we have caught a bug.

If the insect is very heavy and could break our web, then we cut it loose.

But we waste nothing. We eat and digest the broken silk strands to use in rebuilding.

Rare banana Banana Spider
Rare banana Banana Spider
Brazilian Wandering Spider aka Banana Spider
Brazilian Wandering Spider aka Banana Spider

Brazilian Wandering Spider / Banana Spider

Wandering Spider taking a cruise to the U.S. on a banana boat.
Wandering Spider taking a cruise to the U.S. on a banana boat.

me – Who are your enemies?

Goldie – Our biggest threats are frogs, toads, lizards, birds, centipedes and bigger spiders – they are all predators. Humans are enemies, too, as well as storms, cold weather and fungus.

Arachnid Addendum: A unique cloth woven from the golden silk of over 1 million Golden Silk Orb-Weaver spiders is on exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

Japanese fishermen on the Pacific Ocean coast often remove Nephila webs and form them into balls, which are thrown into the water. There they unfold and are used as nets to catch bait fish.

Goldie – Would you like to interview a genuine Banana Spider?

me – I thought I was interviewing a genuine Banana Spider, Goldie. Isn’t that what you are?

Goldie – That’s what many people call us although our preferred name is Golden Silk Orb-Weaver. Let me introduce you to the real thing – the Brazilian Banana Spider from Latin America. Wanda, come over here, please.

Wandacomo e que; bom te conhecer. How are you? Nice to meet you.

Goldie – drbj wants to interview a genuine Banana Spider. Do you have a few minutes to spare? Your photo and comments will appear on the Internet. If it goes viral, you could be famous.

Wanda – Well, I got places to go and people to bite but I can spare a few.

meObrigada. Pleased to meet you. I’ve been talking to Goldie and she tells me that in North America her genus is called a Banana Spider but is really a Golden Silk Orb-Weaver. Are you a genuine Banana Spider?

Wanda – Some people call us that because we often stow away to North America and parts unknown hidden in a stalk of bananas. But we are actually the Brazilian Wandering Spider. That’s how I got my name, Wanda. Our family name is Phoneutria.

me – What does Phoneutria mean?

Wanda – It’s Greek for “murderess.” We don’t have lily-white reputations. (Spoken with pride). The 2010 “Guinness World Records” names us as the world’s most venomous spider. We can grow to have a body more than 2 inches long with a leg span of up to 5 ½ inches

me – Why are you called the Wandering Spider?

Wanda – Because we wander the jungle floor at night instead of building a web. During the day we hide inside termite mounds, under logs and rocks and in banana stalks.

Wanderers is an appropriate name because we often wander without fear into populated areas and search for dark places to hide – like Vlad Dracula – during daylight. Our favorite spots are inside houses, outhouses, garages, cars, log piles, boxes, shoes, and clothing.

Although we do not have films and television like the educational program,"Real Housewives of New Jersey," we do not lack for entertainment. You should see the way people jump and scream and carry on when they find us unexpectedly.

Arachnid Addendum: In Brazil the wandering Spider is called “aranhas-armadeiras” or armed spiders.

Although the Brazilian Wandering Spider / Banana Spider is the most toxic, more deaths occur from the bites of the black widow and brown recluse spider.

me – Do you reside in the U.S.?

Wanda – We make our home in most of the warmer climate countries of Central and South America. But we do get to take the tourist trip when we stow away on banana stalks.

The Erection Effect

Goldie – Tell drbj what makes you so unique – you know – the “erection effect.”

me – Oh, come on, you’re pulling my leg.

Wanda – No, it’s another bodily appendage that is involved. (Goldie and Wanda grab each other and laugh hysterically)

me - What on earth is the “erection effect?”

Wanda – Our venom can cause priapism in humans of the male persuasion.

me – You’re kidding me, right? Priapism is prolonged erection of the penis.

Wanda – I kid you not. The good news is that our bite can cause erections that are uncomfortable but can last for many hours. The bad news is that this sometimes results in impotence.

Arachnid Addendum:As you might expect, a component of this spider venom is currently being studied for use in erectile dysfunction treatments.

Summary

me – Thank you, Goldie. Obrigada, Wanda, for your erudite explanations. Now I know there are two types of Banana Spiders: the Golden Silk Orb-Weaver also known as the Giant Wood Spider or Writing Spider who favors Florida living.

And the Brazilian Wandering Spider who lives in Latin America and unleashes a very powerful venom which produces a verrrrry interesting effect. Ciao, my arachnid allies. Go forth and spin . . . or wander.

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2011, 2014. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"

Sources:

Amos, Jonathan. “Fossilized spider biggest on record.” BBC News, April 2011

Bucheri, Wolfgang and Eleanor Buckley. Venomous Animals and their Venoms, vol. III.

Cameron H.D. “An etymological dictionary of North American spider genus names.” In: Ubick, D., Paquin, P., Cushing, P.E., Roth, V. (Eds.), Spiders of North America: an identification manual. The American Arachnological Society, 2005

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Comments 88 comments

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Only you could take boring research on spiders and weave an absolutely fascinating interview out of it, drbj! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

Shiver.... shake... I hate spiders. Although you have made this article delightfully entertaining, I sure hope I don't run into any of these (well, as long as I am not aware anyway.)I am terrified of spiders!!!

Great hub and cool pics! I love how you gave one an actual banana butt! Too funny! Way to spin a story!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Wow! You really know how to make a funny story from a boring topic. I love your interviews. It makes me laugh. Great hub. Thanks for sharing.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

I have always been fascinated with spiders. They get a bum rap. They are friendly and just want to be loved. I let them crawl on my hands all the time.

The Banana Spider interview is terrific! I will have to skip the venom for priapism. Yep. Can do without that.

Voted up, up and away!


David 470 profile image

David 470 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

I am terrified of Spiders, mostly larger ones...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

The Brazilian Wandering spider is especially scary, I'd say. I saw an unbelievable picture of one of our soldiers, about a year ago, with some huge version of middle-eastern spider variety that was photographed covering the majority of his leg!!! Poisonous or not, I don't think I could have stood still for that photo! Another extremely interesting subject from the animal kingdom, drbj. Thanks for the thrills and chills!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

It was really interesting...a bit eerie, to see those pics of gigantic spiders. Great hub!


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 5 years ago

these look very similar to our St John of the Cross spiders. I'm not sure if ours invite their man for dinner though!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I've never liked crawly critters, especially spiders. Snakes don't bother me at all, and I'm at home with all animals...except certain insects, like roaches, and spiders.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

At last I know what I want to be in my next life - A Banana Spider.

As always, drbj, I appreciated and enjoyed a hub written by you very-very much. You entertain while you teach, or do you teach while you entertain? Whatever, you are my favourite lecturer.

I’ve done a lot of research on Araneae for a play, performed by a group of high school students in 2002, (and a novel for teenagers still to be completed… one day). They are amazing creatures – the fastest to move from a dead-still position to full-speed, etc.

Unfortunately I’m not a lover of spiders. They give me the jitters. I hope I’ll never see one on my body, for that will surely be the last thing I will ever see in my life. (Sadly, everybody will think I’d die of a heart-attack.)

Oh, and to think they are all bungee-jumpers. I once lived in a thatch-roof house, and I wonder how many spiders came down to nibble on my lips while I was sleeping?

Encore!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for another interesting and entertaining hub, drbj! I like spiders and enjoy learning about them. They're very interesting creatures.


sord87 5 years ago

It is a kind of different approach when you have a chance to interview the various type of spiders.You remind me of an amazing 2 Spiders charater which is called spiderman and venom.These are my son favourite cartoon character.The way you put those are very exciting and like I said earlier it is really a different kind of approach to insect.You just shows me the way back to your hub drbj.thank you!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Ok I had chills and the hair was standing up on my arms but you are brilliant! I love the jokes you always add in and pretty interesting facts. I also like the photos - I'm gonna be on the look out for those guys (or girls;)!

I've got places to go and people's to bite! Lol


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I am completely amazed that you are able to interview all of these Critters and dead people too. I must say that if i ever saw a banana spider, i would swear off bananas for the remainder of my life. I am terrified of anything that crawls and especially if it lives in a web, But i must say that i learned something new. Thank you. I loved the cartoon with the two drunk spiders, their web destroyed and the one spider saying, " You've been drinking again " HAHA, And by the way, anytime you put a De Niro video on, you're a winner.

Cheers


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 5 years ago

Spiders, bananas and erection effect, I would say 'no pun intended but God! :P

Loved it. :D


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

I think that you need your own TV channel drbj! Fascinating interview with the banana spider - you really do get to meet some fascinating folk!


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

I have always liked spiders, and would never kill one. I'm glad you saw fit to give a voice to these much maligned of God's creatures. What will you come up with next?


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

This is so exciting!!! I LOVE IT!! Sharing it with my friends too.. LOL drbj you ARE the greatest!!

I love the information that you have included.. I did get the heebie geebies when I watched the video of the spider crawling on the soldier... My hubby does happen to have a pet called Rosie... she is a Chilean Rose haired spider... ewww.... I will water her and throw crickets in her cage, but that's about as far as I go.. When he gets her out to play with her, I run to another room...

I agree with CMHypno - What a great learning tool!! If you had you own TV show they'd play it in classrooms to all the kids!!!

I truly enjoyed this!!! I learned more!! YAY go me!

You were challenged, you stepped up to the plate and hit a home run!! Go you!!

Thanks so much!!

(PS) you could have possibly not known BUT Dion was raised in a house just down the road from where I lived!!! He was born and raised in BC Michigan... just a few minutes drive from where I live now!! Cool eh? You remember the song 'Hat's off to Larry'? I used to serve Larry drinks in the bar I worked at....


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, Feline - You are so prompt and also so clever - "weaving a fascinating interview?" I love it. Thank you.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, barbergirl. I don't adore arachnids either as you may have guessed from my 'Ugh!' in the first paragraph. But i must say I learned a lot I didn't know before.

Thank you for finding this 'delightfully entertaining' - that's my favorite pastime. Loved your 'spin a story' phrase, and I'm happy you enjoyed the spider with the banana butt - she is rather endearing.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Thelma, for loving my funny interviews. If they make you laugh then I've accomplished my goal. No need to thank me, m'dear - it's entirely my pleasure.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You let friendly, lovable spiders crawl on your hands, Dex? I guess that's okay as long as you stay away from Brazil ... and bananas.

Thanks for the 'terrific' and the up vote. Regarding the rest of your comment, I'm happy for you. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, David. I'm not too fond of spiders either ... small, medium or large. But I do appreciate their voracious appetite for insects - especially flies and skeeters. Thanks for stopping by.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Amy, you got that right. The Brazilian Wandering spider IS scary. I'm glad I missed seeing that photo you mentioned of the spider-loving soldier. The videos I included in this hub were more than enough for me to view.

Delighted you enjoyed this subject. It was my pleasure to provide the thrills and chills. Thank you, m'luv.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Paradise. You used the correct adjective describing those spiders - they are a bit eerie as well as scary-looking. Thanks for visiting, finding this interesting, and the "great hub" comment.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, psychicdog. I'm not familiar with the St John of the Cross spiders or thir 'dining' habits. But I did learn of the St Andrew's Cross Spider which spins a cross-shaped pattern of silk in the center of its web that resembles the cross on the Scottish flag. They make their home in Australia. Maybe they are related. Heh, heh.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I don't like spiders or roaches either, Will. I don't hate snakes but I'm not terribly fond of them either. If they leave me alone, I'm happy to reciprocate.

Betcha Tam, of the jug ears, has more than one good story about snakes. Right?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So tell me, Martie, why do you want to be a Banana Spider in your next life? Could it be the convenience of dispatching an ex-mate? Just a wild guess.

I do appreciate your sublime comments. To entertain while teaching as well as the inverse has always been my intention. I am honored, m'luv, to be your favorite lecturer.

Your play/potential novel sounds rather Kafka-esque. I would love to read it one day. It's true that spiders do possess a number of amazing, almost supernatural talents.

Like you, I am not a lover of spiders, but do not worry. I have always been told that said creatures are more afraid of us than we of them. However, I do not wish to test that revered adage so follow my lead - just avoid sharing their space.

Oh, oh, I was comfortable until you mentioned their bungee-jumping skill. That gives me the jitters, too. I don't even want to think about living in a thatch-roof house. You ARE braver than you know.

As for an encore, just let me know if there is a particular critter you would like me to investigate and interview.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Alicia. So happy you like spiders and learning about them. They are interesting as long as they do not choose to live in my home. The garden, yes. My home, no.

Thank you for your kind comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to see you here, Sord. You are correct, not many writers have the opportunity to speak with spiders. But then since I also have the ability to interview dead celebrities, speaking with arachnids is simple.

I'm not surprised that your son enjoys Spiderman and Venom - they have universal appeal for children ... and adults.

You might also like to read my Interviews with Penguin, Hippopotamus, and Proboscis Monkey. Be my honored guest.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

If I could hit the awesome button twice and make it count - I certainly would. The Travis Bickle clip alone was worth several.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You were not the only one with chills and 'erect' arm hair, Kelly. Imagine my condition while collating this spidery research.

Thank you for the 'brilliant' and enjoying my jokes and photos. Don't forget to examine your bananas. 'People to bite,' you know.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I'm with you, Ruby, Banana Spiders, no matter what they call themselves, are interesting to read about but not desirable as neighbors. And especially not when making their home on one's bananas.

Delighted you learned something new. So did I. The drunk spiders cartoon is one of my favorites, too. Happy to see we are both De Niro fans. Thanks for being my fan, too. Cheers backatcha.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, QudsiaP. Delighted you enjoyed, nay, loved the Interview with Banana Spider and the information about the two species and the 'effect.'

Thanks for finding us.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I love your idea about my own TV channel, CM. Do you know anyone significant at the Discovery or History TV network?

I agree with you, the Banana Spider was fascinating and favorably forthcoming about its life and foibles. And I learned more than I expected!


Loren C 5 years ago

Very well written...I remember seeing a variety of Banana Spiders in the jungles of Malaysia, and even in Bangladesh rural areas when I lived there, I wonder if these are also common locations for their presence?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I respect your liking for spiders, christopher, which I do not share. But like you, I do not kill them. If, by chance, they come inside, I find a way to put them outside. Harming only their feelings.

You asked,"What will I come up with next?" God only knows. And she hasn't told me . . . yet.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

No. susie, YOU are the greatest. Thanks for LOVING the interview, for giving me this far-out idea in the first place, and for sharing it.

I agree, those videos are a little creepy (bad pun), but cannot compare to a hubby who has a spider named Rosie for a pet and fondles same. Pore baby! You, not the spider. You do have your trials and tribulations. It is kind of you to feed his pet though. Are those home-grown crickets you supply or the store-bought kind? Just wonderin'.

Just like you and CMHypno, I have always believed that the use of humor is a painless way to instill learning in children ... and adults. Thanks for the plaudits and the 'home run' comment.

What a coincidence that Dion was your neighbor - he really did wander, didn't he? And you knew 'Larry,' too? The world is full of surprises! Keep writing your exceptional articles, susie, and soon Dion and Larry - and me - will say we knew you when!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Awwwww, Wesman, what a sublime comment that is ... "If I could hit the awesome button twice and make it count - I certainly would." I just had to repeat it. Thank you!

Me, too, Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in "The Taxi Driver" was awesome and amazing.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Loren, for finding us and the 'very well written' comment. Yes, the Banana Spider - the Golden Silk Orb-Weaver variety - lives in warm-climate countries all over the world including Asia, Africa and Australia.

You may very well have encountered it in Malaysia and Bangladesh.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I actually had one of those spiders on my parent's back porch during a year when we had a deluge of grasshoppers - and so when a grasshopper particularly irked the wrath of todd. . . . .I fed him to the spider.

The spider got SO BIG after a while that I was starting to have visions of LOTR spiders on the back porch. After a while, the Dad of the parental pair couldn't endure it any longer. . . .and I forever rue the day that my mythical eight legged beast met his end.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I'm not a big fan of spiders as I have several who think they can live with me rent free. And they're nothing like Goldie. She's absolutely glorious! Thanks for a fun read...love your humor doc.Cheers!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

You have done a great job again though I am phobia with spider. But I really enjoy this hub and beautiful interview. Only you can do this. Vote up and useful.

Prasetio


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

An absolute delight drbj! You are a most talented and clever writer despite your PhD..lame joke no.1 Uh, what you know, banana spider venom's just like some women, the full monty and then no phone number next morning..lame joke no.2 Well drbj, you have an advanced sense of humor and hopefully you'll forgive my pathetic joker self. Seriously though, an enjoyable and masterpiece of a creative Hub. And that's not mysterious at all.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Drbj – Your guess regarding my wish is a hit in the bull’s eye. Njam-njam to an uncomplicated life on earth. Or perhaps I should not forget astute hen-peck-hen-practices and reconsider... mmmm.... Thinking about a particular critter, and unable to think about anything else but spiders now, the tarantula comes to mind. I mean, brbrr: some people actually keep them as pets.... bRbRrRr :{


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

An absolute great interview. I don't you do such a wonderful hub. I thorughly enjoyed learning all about these various information. Thank you for doing such a great research.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Remind me not to irk or otherwise invoke the wrath of Todd. I do NOT fancy dealing with a plague of grasshoppers. Feeding your giagantic pet spider grasshopper meals must have been great sport. Makes me think you grew up in a very small town with little else in the way of entertainment.

BTW, consolations on your pet's demise, Wesman. Did it die from obesity?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I do NOT like spiders either, Hilary, and try to avoid them even when they promise to pay rent.

Thank you for loving Goldie - she thanks you, too - she's such a Diva. Thanks, too, for enjoying the read and my oddball humor. The best kind, no?


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drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

I'm with you, pras. I know spiders are one of God's creatures but I do not enjoy sharing my space with them.

Thank you for being a faithful commenter and enjoying my 'beautful' interview.

Funny that you said only I could do this. Probably because no one else is this bizarre. Thanks for the votes, too.

Prasetio


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drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

'Talented and clever writer' despite my advanced degree, Alastar? Well, you know what they say: a B.S. is Bull Sh*t, an M.S. is More Sh*t, and a Ph.D. is Piled High and Deep. That's my lame joke #1,001.

Thank you for finding this an 'absolute delight' - those are mighty purty words. Don't apologize for your humor, my friend - it IS original! Thanks for your creative comments - I look forward to them.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Martie... Sometimes my observations do hit the bullseye. But the past is the past and that's exactly where it belongs.

You used the expression,'njam-njam'. Does that mean 'ongekompliseerd'? Or is it like the German, meaning yum-yum. Just wonderin'.

I may write about tarantulas one day but for now I have filled my spider quotient.

Cheers!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Hanna, for enjoying my interviews and accompanying research. You do a great job yourself you know. It is fun to learn new facts, isn't it?


rikabothra profile image

rikabothra 5 years ago

I loved this hub, great concept and very well written. One of the most creative ones I have ever read, that too about spiders!! Amazing work!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....well I suppose you know dear friend, hubber and colleague that I tell everyone (that is EVERYONE) about your legendary interview series - and my heart is beating faster and the mind is just racing thinking about it - as always a world class effort and production by a world class writer, hubber and creator.

Hubwow!!!!!!! And your poetic comments to me are still among the best.....

lake erie time 10:21am ontario canada


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Welcome to my world, rikabothra. How nice to meet you, especially since you loved this hub - concept and all.

Thanks, too, for the lovely adjectives: 'creative' and 'amazing.' Come back any time. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Keep up the good work, Colin, many readers have informed me you sent them to one of my many "Interviewing Dead Celebrities" or "Weird Animals" hubs. You ARE a good friend.

Love your choice of accolades, m'dear - "world-class writer" is definitely one of my favorites. And it means even more coming from a world-class epigram creator like yourself.

You keep creating and I'll try to keep writing and commenting. Fair enough?


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 5 years ago from Colorado

I had never seen one of these spiders until I visited central america. You're interview leaves me pondering what they were thinking when I was staring at them... Great Hub. Voted up and beautiful


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Great profile name, Joe. Nice to meet you. So you know the Banana Spider, too? Those arachnids were probably thinking, with a name like Macho, good ole Joe doesn't need our help. Heh, heh.

Thanks for visiting, and the 'up' and 'beautiful.'


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This is absolutely brilliant. I loved it. To be able to teach such a boring subject with so much humour.

I loved every word, image and video. Awesome.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Rosemay, what a pleasure to meet you - especially since you loved my hub, its humor and called it 'absolutely brilliant' and 'awesome.'

Thank you for loving every word, image and video. You may be my newest BFF.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

You simply just fascinate me how you can take any subject and turn it into an exciting, informative and often funny interview. You are simply the best, I'd love you to replace Pierce Morgan, he's such and arrogant SOB and his sense of humor is sickening. You would do a much better job and get some REAL laughs:-) Great interview by the way. I hate spiders and snakes, but if I had to handle either of them, it would certainly be a spider. Rated way UPPPPP


livelonger profile image

livelonger 5 years ago from San Francisco

FASCINATING! I loved this. I have long loved our 8-legged friends (partly because of the incredible complexity of web building, and partly because they eat flies and mosquitoes!) . I love how you framed this as an amusing, but incredibly edifying, interview. I learned a ton! And I can't believe a component in spider venom might be used as the next Viagra! ;-)


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

what an awesome job! bravo! voted up on everything...i am going to enjoy the rest of your articles, i really think i am! :o)


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I didn't realise i wanted to find out about the banana spider, until you drew me into her web. It's an amasingly comprehensive hub with all the cartoons, photos and added bits and bobs. I had the wanderer belting around in the background too. We have tons of exotic spiders here in Oz and my older daughter is petrified of them. Oh well work calls. Cheers


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted, Ken, that my 'interviews' fascinate you. I have to admit that sometimes I get so carried away during these mythical conversations that I may go over the top. But hey, that's what makes my world go 'round. Yours, too, I suspect.

Thank you for all your gracious comments - all absolutely true of course. We now have something else in common - our lack of affection for Piers. He is so full of himself. That trait has never appealed to me.

As for handling either spiders or snakes, I have uncomfortably held a boa constrictor (I was told he had already eaten) and posed for a photo, but spiders? No way!

Thanks again for the terrific comments, your visit and the UP. You are now officially designated as a Hubbuddy - whether you like it or not.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, livelonger, for being fascinated by and loving this hub. I agree, spiders are incredible creatures and although they are not universally loved, they do keep the inscect population in check.

I also learned a ton of interesting facts when researching these awesome arachnids and it was my pleasure to share my subsequent, as you so eloquently stated, edification.

Here is my name for the next generation product of arachnid Viagra: "Venom!" Ya think?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to make your acquaintance, timcgaa. Thanks for the bravo and the everything up - my favorite accolade.

Yes, do visit my other hubs and leave your impressions. I think you will enjoy my "Interviews with Dead Celebrities" as well as with "Weird Animals." As you can probably see, no subject is safe from my intrusion.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So I drew you into the web, Keith. Precisely what I planned. Thank you for enjoying the banana spiders and their amazing talents.

If you have tons of spiders in your neighborhood, do not expect me to visit in the near - or far - future. Tell your daughter the spiders are more afraid of her than she of them. That's what I was told as a child and I didn't believe it then either. Cheers backatcha my friend.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

What a wonderful morning read. You've incorporated two of my favorite things on earth into one enormously entertaining and educational Hub...spiders and crème d’brulee (can you tell, I don't get out much). Never in a hundred years would I have thought of doing that. Up and awesome!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

What a coincidence, Sally, you love spiders AND creme d'brulee? Who knew? Thanks for visiting and finding this both entertaining and educational. You made my day, you know. The up and awesome didn't hut either!


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

haha...enjoyed the reading....u have made a sweet and entertaining hub..


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

My back yard is full of these rather beautiful golden spiders, though I've never talked to one. Now I know so much about them, maybe I'll strike up a conversation. Lynda


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Had to scroll past the photos, but what I managed to read was interesting. May not go outside for a while...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I love this interview. It just might be the best of all these treasures. You are the most clever, the most witty writer in the entire HubPages Community. No doubt about it. There were a dozen moments when I either chuckled or chortled. A couple times I actually guffawed!

I was also amazed by new facts I learned. One was that a spider could feast on a finch! Who knew?

Not only is the banana banana spider rare, I never knew there was such a thing.

The Brazilian Wandering Spider looks friendly. The next time I see one I think I'll pet it and rub its belly.


Derdriu 5 years ago

drbj: Your hilarious, informative, thorough article proves that humor helps in learning and that learning can be fun. In fact, it is quite a creative achievement to individualize the personality and voice of each spider. Additionally, the subject matter has personal significance from my having spent free moments during the summer and fall watching the spinning, predatory and nest-building activities of a really huge golden orb hanging outside one of the porch windows. Your article also recalls the sights, sounds and wildlife of my time in Brazil: muit'obrigada!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, moneycop. So happy you enjoyed reading this and laughing. 'Sweet and entertaining' describes humble me to a T.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Forgive the delay in my responding, Lynda. Somehow I missed a bunch of comments about these spiders. And speaking of comments, since you have so many beautiful golden spiders in your own back yard, yes, do strike up a conversation by all means. Just be sure your neighbors are not watching at the time. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for making that extra effort, nicomp, to read this 'interesting' hub. I think it may be safe to go outside now. The spiders told me they are relocating to Coolville because you made it sound so inviting.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Forgive me, James, for taking so long to respond. Thank you for loving this interview and your gracious, no, strike that, make it your sublime comments. What a boost you are for my ego.

And you say you either 'chuckled or chortled' and at times 'actually guffawed?' What praise indeed!

Yes, these amazing spiders have appetites that belie their small size so finches, beware. Now be careful with that Wandering Spider specimen, it could change your life! Heh, heh.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

You are spot on, Derdriu, with your analysis that humor helps learning and learning can be fun. That adage has guided much of my professional life.

I appreciate that you noticed the individual personality and 'voice' of each spider I interviewed. Thanks for finding this hilarious as well as informative.

What a coincidence that you were able to spend so much time during the summer and fall observing first-hand the activities of your own personal back-yard golden orb spider.

And I'm delighted that this article assisted you in recalling your time spent in Brazil. Obrigada backatcha, m'dear.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

Oh, my, my, my! I hate, I mean absolutely hate spiders, and the ones you describe or interview here are huge! We are having lots of problems in the house this year with brown recluses, but fortunately they are much smaller than you describe here in your article. Ughhhh!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

I am not that fond of spiders personally, homesteadbound, but these two banana spiders that I interviewed do have enchanting personalities. Be careful to stay out of the way of those brown recluse spiders and get them out of the house. They carry a poison even more powerful than that of Goldie and Wanda.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Ok, how did I miss this one...Were we not Hub Friends...Mmmm, well now that you've bought this one to my attention Drbj, I just gotta say, this was Great, Educational, and they are SO BIG and SCARY!

A very clever read, and Robert De Niro, "Are you Talking to ME?"...Love it! I Bow to you my Friend, A Fun and Clever read, or Interview. Voted UP! And of Course, Funny! Better Late then NEVER! LOL.


Dancing Water profile image

Dancing Water 4 years ago

What a hilariously hilarious, brilliantly witty, exquisitely informative hub, drbj! You can count on my returning again and again to mine the wonders of your mind and its expressions! Thank you for a beautiful, ENTERTAINING hub!


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Looks like a whole lotta people have read this Hub! I think she looks more like a dill-pickle spider (maybe it is my monitor)...except when she peeled the banana that is.

I'd like to see that weaving...how many spiders did they kill?


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Forgive my delay, Barbara. Yes, indeedy, we are Hub buddies. Thanks for finding this great, educational, funny, and a clever read. Love that you loved the De Niro bit. And thanks for the Up, m'dear.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Dancing Water. You can be my press agent any time with those spectacular adjectives: 'hilarious, brilliantly witty, and exquisitely informative.'

Please do return again and again. The pleasure is all mine.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Scribenet. You are so right. In the photo, Goldie does resemble a dill pickle but in person, I mean in spider, she is a beautiful golden yellow.

Re your query, my research indicated that one million golden orb spiders provided the silk for that unique cloth on exhibit in the New York museum.

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