THIS IS MY FATHER
A Redback Spider
After over 6 months of searching, under bin lids, chairs, piles of wood, loo seats etc, I finally found a Redback. It was the first and last I saw during a year in Australia. So many people claimed to have tons of the things in their garden shed, but whenever I showed up, they must've all been hiding. This one was in a drop toilet on a free campsite between Port Hedland and Broome...They live a strange life, especially the males. When they are still spiderlings, they create a sperm web, into which they excrete sperm from their gonads, which they then take up again into their two palps (copulatory organs). This is because their gonads and palps aren't internally connected. Goodness knows why not, seems rather a roundabout way of doing things. After this and quite possibly having eaten a few of their siblings, they "balloon" or "kite" away from their birthplace. They let out a drop of liquid silk that the wind blows into a long thread, and eventually get carried away. ..When they land, they start searching for a mate. They're not really very good at this though - it takes them 6-8 weeks to travel 3-3.5 metres and only 11-13% ever succeed in finding a lady. Which actually is understandable, because those that do, get eaten during sex. So you can see why they'd not be overly enthusiastic.
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