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

Just Posted

Year-round training envisioned for Salmon Arm’s Rapattack base

Mayor hopes council’s support of Rapattack will pay off in longevity for base

Letter: Better fix needed than what’s proposed for Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Province already behind on widening of Trans-Canada Highway

Salmon Arm approved for worker based in Vernon to support homeless

While application to Ministry of Social Development gets nod, one to BC Housing denied

Column: Potentially valuable WorkSafeBC review let down by bias

Notes from the Legislature by Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo

Boil water notice rescinded for Yard Creek Campground

Interior Health water testing shows acceptable levels of bacteria

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read