Saturday, May 26, 2007

Say Hello To The BFS

Recent comments about the "BFS's" here in Okinawa prompted this one. The spider above is the Japanese Huntsman Spider. We refer to them simply as "BFS's," or Big F'ing Spiders.

They are not web spinners, and hunt by chasing down their prey (mostly cockroaches and flies). Their bite is not extremely dangerous, but can be painful. They are typically shy creatures, but can be aggressive if cornered or startled. They are the largest hunting spider in Japan, and often grow to 10cm in diameter. The one pictured above is next to an American quarter for reference.

Gawfer mentioned the banana spiders, members of the orb weaver family, in a previous comment. Those are quite numerous here as well, but they are pretty easy to spot, due to their large webs. The BFS's are not as easy to spot, as they are fond of hiding in the various nooks and crannies of one's home. Many of the local populace are happy to have them in their homes, as the BFS's are a cheap form of insect control. I, on the other hand, can't stand the damned things. There's nothing like laying in bed at night and looking up to see a spider the size of a saucer crawling along the wall above my head. Creepy.

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