I may be turning into a grumpy old man. But sadly the click-bait title in Stuff about NZ Spiders annoyed me.
The actual article was about how fascinating NZ spiders were. Rather than fueling the irrational fear of spiders, the article assuaged it. It pointed out that NZ spiders weren’t particularity dangerous, that the common daddy-long legs was not venomous to humans and that the white-tailed spider’s reputation was over-blown. Rather we had some utterly fascinating spiders that much like the tuatara, are living emblems of evolution. Not only that, they are highly endemic. We have thousands of species that are found nowhere else in the world expect here. This is something worth celebrating, not playing to cheap fears of arachnids. As a class, they are one of our strongest allies for survival. They consume enormous amounts of insect pests.
One of my favourite NZ orbweb spiders, is this green species. She crafts a new web every night. Going out at night with a torch into native forest, can reveal all kinds of wonderful creatures. I can recommend it as a way to appreciate some of our most overlooked wildlife.