Lake Country resident Julie jardine had a nice greeting from a new friend on July 25. (Julie Jardine)

What the heck is this? Smiling spider-crab-thing outside Okanagan home

Professionals and residents weigh in

There was an orange, multi-legged, crab-esque, spider-looking thing that smiled at a Lake Country resident as she went for a walk through her yard with her boyfriend’s daughter.

The woman, Julie Jardine, had never seen a spider quite like the one she saw on July 25.

“I thought it was pretty,” Jardine said. “It was really dormant—it didn’t move at all.”

Her post in Lake Country Rant and Rave garnered over 30 comments and even three “heart” likes.

By the end of the thread, it was concluded that the insect is a “garden orb weaver,” according to Brooke Turner; er… no wait—Lisa Daniel said it’s a “popcorn spider” and perhaps even a “good bug eater.” Jan Miller seemed to agree, writing, “Yes good spider, I have lots. They stay near their web all year and eat bugs. (It) won’t bother you!”

Wait, though: according to Lois Roper and Marian Thompson, it is an orb spider of some sort.

READ MORE: District, residents, RCMP and ICBC weigh-in on how to use a Lake Country roundabout

But Lynn Mcglynn-Aisha said it belongs to the same family as a cats eye spider, which is her favourite spider. Sadly, though, commenter Seth Hudecz would try to stomp a spider that looked like the cat’s eye spider because “it doesn’t look nearly as happy as the other one.”

Nadine Kozub Enright wouldn’t: she said she loves them.

Chad Royer said it looks like an orangutang spider, cracker, or a crab and Roxy Reid would agree, saying it looks like a “broken Ritz cracker” and Ruth Pettipas would also agree, saying it’s a “spider crab.”

Robb Bennett, a research associate with the Royal BC Museum that specialized is arachnology (the study of spiders), concluded that it is an orb-weaving garden spider, under the category of Araneus spiders.

He said it is tough for him to distinguish what the exact species is, it looks to be a garden cross spider.

He said they are not dangerous to anyone, other than the things that they feed upon.

“Garden spiders are one of the most common types of spiders found around the world. In B.C., they are very common just about everywhere from sea level to high alpine,” Bennett said.

But Bennett, what about the smile?

“Lot’s of spiders have patterned abdomens and a few are famous for looking like smiley-faces, most notably the Hawaiian happy-face spider, Theridion grallator,” he said. “However, most garden spiders do not have smiley patterns!”

In 2017, Bennett concluded that there are 859 spider species confirmed from British Columbia.

READ MORE: 38M-plus litres of water saved annually with Kelowna partnerships

Since posting, the wee spider left its original abode, without warning Jardine; who now wears shoes when walking in her yard.

Perhaps, before science and knowledge and everything else that could identify this friendly neighbourhood spider tried to figure out what it was, it could be as simple as what Colby A. Still said it was:

“A friend.”



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Column: Keeping distance, working together and readying for rebound

Council Report by Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Shuswap food bank gives away three months of food in one week

High demand in face of COVID-19, Eagle Valley Community Support Society appeals for donations

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read