Thousands of Spiders Blanket Australian Tourist Stopover Post-Flood

Thousands of normally solitary wolf spiders have blanketed an Australian farm after fleeing a rising flood.

Reuters reports that the flooding has forced more than 8,000 Australian (human) residents from their homes in the city of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. But for every temporarily displaced person, it appears several spiders have moved in to fill the void.

“What we’ve seen here is a type of wolf spider,” Owen Seeman, an arachnid expert at Queensland Museum, told Reuters. “They are trying to hide away (from the waters).”


The Australian Museum’s entomology collections manager Graham Milledge told Reuters that there’s even a term for the phenomenon, “ballooning,” and that it is typical behavior for spiders forced to escape rising waters. Thankfully for local residents, the occupying arachnids are not likely to set up permanent residence, a la the 1977 William Shatner clunker “Kingdom of the Spiders.”

Weather reports say the flood waters in Wagga Wagga have begun receding, meaning that locals will soon be returning to their homes and the wolf spiders will also be returning to their natural underground habitats. And it turns out the spiders are actually doing quite a bit of good while setting up shop above ground. The spiders are feasting on mosquitoes and other insect populations that have boomed with the increased moisture brought about by the rising waters.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: News.com.au