Mother Lumper - 2010-10-27 I've seen orb weavers in the Eastern US that large, big deal.
Stopheles - 2010-10-27 To say nothing of the Midwest.
And it's an orb-weaver - show me a video of a portia spider half the size, and I'd throw my laptop out a window due to panic reflex.
Dread Pirate Roberts - 2010-10-27 I had one of these living outside my childhood home in the Southern US too. It was probably about that big. Orb-weavers are awesome. Look them up. Most, if not all, are completely non-poisonous.
Old_Zircon - 2010-10-27 Yeah, I grew up in Eastern Masachusetts and we have mantids and spiders just like that. The spiders are just slightly smaller, but only slightly.
Binro the Heretic - 2010-10-27 We have a few varieties of these lovelies here in the Florida/Alabama region. I always loved finding one of their webs when I was a kid. The spiders look like they're crafted by jewelers and the webs are always enormous glittering cathedrals of silk.
Sadly, their numbers have taken a hit due to a boom in the spider wasp population. The wolf spiders are declining as well. :(
Squeamish - 2010-10-28 Yeah, the wasps are what you really need to fear in Japan.
There are varieties that can melt flesh and are the size of your goddamned thumb.