Thursday, December 6, 2012

The huntsman, Alfred and a mystery plant.

We had an early morning visitor yesterday.
It was a huntsman. This one got into a bit of trouble and couldn't get out of the sink. 

We often see huntsmen sitting above our doorways or, cheeky buggers, over the shower. It can be a bit disconcerting as they sometimes jump on people. [I don't know who freaks out more when that happens.] I could be completely wrong but I've always thought of them as harmless and rather sweet. 

Here's a little excerpt from Wikipedia -

"As adults, huntsman spiders do not build webs, but hunt and forage for food: their diet consists primarily of insects and other invertebrates, and occasionally small skinks and geckos. They live in the crevices of tree bark, but will frequently wander into homes and vehicles. They are able to travel extremely fast, often using a springing jump while running, and walk on walls and even on ceilings. They also tend to exhibit a "cling" reflex if picked up, making them difficult to shake off and much more likely to bite. The females are fierce defenders of their egg sacs and young. They will generally make a threat display if provoked, but if the warning is ignored they may attack and bite." 
This little fella is okay now but will probably come back in again. They seem to like our house. 
Apparently, huntsmen feed on pests like cockroaches. The ones in our house must be real slackers.
What would summer be without a few dead cockies to greet you every morning? 


Guess who I saw a couple of weeks back?
Alfred! He was hiding under a pot of ginger that I was moving. Thank goodness he didn't get squashed! I haven't heard him singing in ages and thought he was dead. 

Poor Alfred. We've tried introducing tadpoles into our water pots 3 times but there's been no success. Since Agatha got run over [or chewed by a street cat] about 2 years ago, he's been all alone in our yard. I would so love to get him at least one friend. 

Cushion tells me one of our neighbours up the road has frogs in his yard. I might try to ask him for some tadpoles and give it another go.

Can anyone tell me what kind of frog Alfred is? I think he may be a brown striped frog because I found this audio clip and that's what he sounds like.

By the way, I am assuming that it is a he and not a she!


And how about this plant?

It grows like a weed and likely is one. All the dogs love it and happily graze on the leaves in the park. Since Georgia likes it so much, we grow a few patches of it in the yard for her. 
It has no particular scent. I've never seen flowers on them though there are little green bumps on the stem which could be some kind of flower. The leaves and stems are soft, furry and sticky to chew. [Yes, I've had one!]

Is this a plant your dogs like to eat?

I've been curious about both Alfred and this plant for a while so if you can help with some answers, it would be lovely :)


Declan said...

Blimey how big are those spiders if they can eat a gecko?! Can't really help on the plant or frog...I bet Flo's Mum will know though! Alfred is very sweet...perhaps he could have play dates at your neighbour's place?! Deccy x

Anonymous said...

I wish I could tell you what that plant is and what kind of frog Alfred is, but alas, we are in another hemisphere. There's is a plant in Central Park that Petey eats and eats and eats.
We will send you a picture :)

georgia little pea said...

DECCY, I'm really hoping H will drop by!

OLIVIA, please do. The dogs really love this, more than grass and any other plant. I wonder what sort of nutrients they're after.

Jean said...

No idea on the plant or the frog, but once again I have goosebumps from the creepy critters Down Under!!

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Holy moly that's a big spider! Do you have many readers from Down Under? I hope so, because I sure can't help you on those species. Gorgeous frog though:)

Kristine said...

Are huntsman spiders poisonous? Normally I don't mind spiders as I find them quite fascinating. But we don't have to worry about any of them hurting us. It would be a different matter if I thought they might have venom!

I love that you are worried about a friend for your resident frog! Hopefully you have much more luck with your next litter(??) of tadpoles.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Wow I can't offer much about Alfred (what a cutie) or, the plant - most intriguing.
HUNTSMEN, I could tell some g.r.e.a.t Huntsmen stories. Reallllly creepy ones. However, I keep an eye on the numbers in the house and like to have at least 4 adults foraging about, down in Tas we had the much feared white tailed spider also free ranging in our houses and when I actually witnessed a Huntsman catching and eating one, they were my best friends from thereon.
I'm very curious about your plant - is there a local nursery you could take some along to?

georgia little pea said...

KRISTINE, thanks for the first big laugh of the day! I have no idea what a group of tadpoles are called but somehow, I don't think it's "litter" ;) Huntsmen are not considered aggressive and their bites are only mildly toxic to humans. Apparently they make good pets.

ROSE, please tell us your huntsmen stories one day! That's a good idea... bringing the plant to a nursery. Why didn't I think of that? Duh.

Jean said...

According to my books, a group of tadpoles is called a 'cloud', a group of frogs is called an 'army', and a group of toads is called a 'knot'.
My favourites are 'a murder of crows' and 'a smack of jellyfish', but 'a cloud of tadpoles' is pretty darn cool.

georgia little pea said...

Thanks JEAN :D I was going to google that and got distracted by The Dog who refused to be cajoled onto my bed for a cuddle. Ungrateful cur!

"Cloud" is so pretty! I would call cane toads an "army", a very destructive one too LOL! "Murder" is very cool. I wonder who makes up these words. Must be fun!

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy Mates, yep, the good old huntsman. We have them a lot too and some we take outside, some we leave be (depends on how BIG they are hehe). Mum always heard they come in pairs too so if you see one, look out for the other!! Can't help with the plant or the froggie. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

Jan said...

We are big spider and frog fans here because they eat evil insects. We have a friend who has a pet tarantula and he says she is very affectionate and he never has insects.

What Remains Now said...

I've gotten pretty good about not being scared of spiders, but that one might scare me. You have the same heart for living things that my daughter does. In fact, you both have the same "relocation" technique. I can't help with the identifications. I thought it was the same plant that I had a picture of on my October 10 post, but the veining on the leaves is different. Let us know when you find out.

Barb said...

The leaves on that plant look like it could be in the mint family. However, if it doesn't have a scent or taste I'm not sure. I'm not fond of spiders especially when they jump. I do like frogs, though. Hope you're having a good Dec.

Karen said...

I am guessing that Alfred is a Striped marsh Frog. Maybe he can eat that Huntsman Spider. D.A.M.N.

georgia little pea said...

STELLA and RORY, there are more than 2 huntsmen here for sure LOL! This was was quite young, I'd say. Not too big.

BARB - no, not a mint. If only. I could do with some in my water.

NO, KAREN, NO!!! They are our friends!

June said...

You people are freakin' me OUT with your white tailed spiders and huntsman spiders. Although . . . . the huntsman looks a lot like the wolf spider who came in when fall weather came. She (I assume) sat in one corner of the bathroom wainscoting for ten days, then traveled across the floor to the opposite corner next to the sink. I liked having her there to keep me company while I brushed my teeth. Every now and then I'd blow on her just to make sure she was awake.

georgia little pea said...

Awww, that's sweet JUNE. I'm sure she appreciated your concern :)

Tootsie said...

We've never seen a Hunstman before. What a visitor. We have little lizzies here, but none in the new apartment yet!

And ALFRED. What a frog! How did he get his name?

Tootsie & Renee

georgia little pea said...

I don't know how Alfred got his name, TOOTSIE. He just looked more like an Alfred than a Bob or Jim ;)

Anonymous said...

eeeek spider. Yuck. I don't know the plant or the frog, sorry now help here.

Berts Blog said...

OK, I dont care how cute you think that spider is, EOOOOWW

IT totally creaped My Vickie out.

Tootsie said...

Maybe Alfred the Frog has some Frog Friends named Bob and Jim?

booahboo said...

Spiders don't actually get THIS big over at our side of the world.. your huntsmen do look scary... but seriously.. i am more afraid of worms than spiders.

Those leaves do look like mint leaves.. mebbe they are the minty family? perhaps? a trip to them nursery would have answers for all of us... and hopefully we can find some here too :D

Georgia do not want cuddles? You sure?

LetterstoAndrew said...

Oh the spider is HORRIBLE!! I'm so afraid of them and I hear those huntsman can grow quite large. That would be a bit WTF for me. :-)

H and Flo said...

Ooo. Alfred looks like he might be some sort of rocket frog. I don't have many books with amphibians but see what I can find out. :)

H and Flo said...

Got it! I think Albert's a striped marsh frog. :)

See what you think. Apparently they're the most commonly encountered frog on the east coast... I've never heard of them, but I'm not on the east coast.


georgia little pea said...

Thank you H! I had a look at the links. Striped Marsh Frog is what Karen thought it was too and she lives in Canada! I thought it might be the Brown Striped Frog because he looks similar and makes the same sound. Of course, not many critters would survive here except toughies :) I'm so happy to know what he is finally! Thanks x

H and Flo said...

I googled brown striped frog and it comes up with the same creature - same latin name. Brown striped frog must be the name they're commonly called. You were right!

georgia little pea said...

Oh my goodness. How about that! I never thought of checking latin names. Thank you again :D

chandra said...

Okay, I'm torn on the huntsman - any spider that jumps AND is fast totally freaks me out but any spider that eats cockroaches I should really consider a friend.

Alfred is adorable and certainly deserves a girlfriend. Or two.

Mason likes to snack on grass and it only makes him sick sometimes.
-c at ddy.