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Yes.  This is a post about spiders.  Well, not really.  Well, yes, kind of.  Let’s just say that there are arachnids involved.  And yes, there will be pictures.  You have been warned.

The other day, we were having a short team meeting in our giant shared cube at Client B (Clib henceforth).  While my boss was explaining some stuff to us, I happened to notice a fairly large arachnid crawling across a colleague’s back.  Note that I said “arachnid” and not “spider.”  I’m really not sure if it was a spider.  But it did have eight legs, so I know it was an arachnid.

Anyway, it was large; the abdomen was maybe 10mm across.  It was predominately brown and it these weird, spindly, long legs.  I mean, spiders often have long, spindly legs, but the legs of this arachnid was just…strange.  And the other rather strange thing was that there was this weird striated pattern over the abdomen.  What it really looked like to me was an extra large, decently well-fed tick with over-long legs.

Of course, I couldn’t really quickly explain all this to my colleagues while I was watching this thing crawl across this guy’s back.  Actually, I probably could have.  I watched this thing saunter across his entire back and I only said something when it had gotten to his sleeve.  It looked like it was going to continue onto his arm and I was pretty sure that would cause him to start, which I didn’t want.  I was also waiting for someone else to point out this giant thing crawling across his back.  I seriously could not believe no one else saw it.

Anyhoo, I rather causally mentioned to my colleague that there was a giant spider-thing crawling on him.  He immediately stiffened in surprise and probably, a little fear.  My boss fairly calmly agreed with me that it was quite large.  My sometimes PM immediately freaked out.

To his credit, Mr. Arachnid didn’t panic at any time.  He rather urgently asked me where the spider-thing was.  I told him it was on his sleeve.  He asked me to get it off of him, so I asked around for a cup or container to catch the spider-thing in.  It wasn’t because I wanted it for a pet.  It’s because Clib has instructed all it’s employees, regular or otherwise, to catch all pests to be identified.  They have a really stringent pest control program.  So I needed to find some kind of container to catch the spider-thing.

My sometimes PM offered me his full cup of ice water.  Which is not very useful.  Because it’s a full cup of ice water.  He really wanted me to use it.  I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t use a full of cup of ice water.  Mr. Arachnid grabbed his coffee cup and chugged all the coffee and shoved the cup at me.

By this time, the spider-thing had made it off his sleeve and was comfortably resting on his chair.  I told Mr. Arachnid that he could move away from the chair (which he did with alacrity…ALACRITY!) and I tried to get the spider-thing into the cup.  My teammates did not offer to help.  (Actually, now that I think about it, my boss may have.  But I was already going for the spider-thing, so it didn’t really help.)

The spider-thing made a thump when it fell into the cup thing.  I had three guys yelling at me to quickly cap the cup.  It was pandemonium (not really).

So, the thing with me using the used coffee cup to catch the spider-thing is that the spider-thing got really wet with the bit of coffee that was left at the bottom.  That made it anxious on top of the anxiety of being shoved into a cup.  I couldn’t get a picture of it.  So I had to rely on memory to try and figure out what it was.

In the end, my guess is that it wasn’t a spider but an opilione.  There doesn’t seem to be very much information on them, but they are an order of arachnids.  They’re sometimes known as “daddy longlegs,” not to be confused with “daddy longlegs” or even “daddy longlegs.”  I actually only ever associated the name “daddy longlegs” with cellar spiders.

I couldn’t seem to find exactly the opilione that I saw, or even find a list of opiliones that are found in the Southern California area.  But it looked kind of like this.  

This guy is from England. I’m not sure if he can also be found in the US.  Nor am I really sure this is what I saw.

Yup.  Crawling all the way across his back.  I told him that I hadn’t actually told him right away that it was crawling across his back because I was afraid that he might panic and squish it and then he would have spider-thing guts all over his shirt.  He told me he wouldn’t panic and to also tell him next time right away so that we could “plan a course of action.”

The thing is, he did kind of panic.  Or at least, his demeanor immediately changed.  He’s normally very mellow but when I told him about the spider-thing, he immediately tensed and his voice got a tight and urgent quality to it.  It was akin to panic.  I still think it was the better option to have waited to tell him.  It also kept that spider-thing calm so that it would alight onto the chair.

Incidentally, I think spiders like Mr. Arachnid.  Because today, a smallish wolf spider attacked his lunch.

He had just started eating lunch and all of a sudden, I see this flurry (FLURRY) of movement in my peripheral vision.  I look over and I see Mr. Arachnid smacking at his lunch with a napkin.  He sees me looking at him and tells me that he’ll let me know shortly what was attacking his lunch.  Small wolf spider.  That was squished.  He then carried on with his lunch.


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