What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

So will a rock” noted Facebook poster Kristy Day.

Subject:  What’s this spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  La Quinta, California
Date: 11/08/2017
Time: 02:20 AM EDT
Saw this tonight around 830pm in the parking lot of our post office. About 2-3 inches, not hairy like a tarantula, but we first thought that’s what it was. Very docile. We thought it was dead and nudged it slightly. It’s legs moved, but it didn’t crawl away, even after we walked away. There were two others in the parking lot several feet away. About 72 degrees, the beginning of fall in the desert.
How you want your letter signed:  L Young

Rubber Tarantula, we suspect

Dear L Young,
We suspect that either you are a prankster, or that you are the victim of a prankster.  There is something about this “Spider” that just does not look right to us.  The lack of articulation in the legs and the odd pattern on the cephalothorax, combined with the poor quality of the images (vaguely reminiscent of blurry Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster and UFO photographs) has caused us to speculate that this might be a rubber Tarantula, similar to the one pictured on Amazon or the one pictured on Alamy.  Halloween has just passed and perhaps someone at your post office was playing a joke.  This is not the first time we have had a request to identify a fake spider at this time of year.  We might be wrong, so we gladly welcome anyone able to identify this “Spider”.

Rubber Tarantula reported to move when nudged.

We took these photos at night at our local post office parking lot – it had yellow lighting, which is why the lighting was bad – and the photo was taken with my cellphone, which is why it wasn’t professional quality photography. I am sorry that you think I was pranking you – I can assure you that I was not. My husband took that photo with my phone because I was too afraid to get close to it. He nudged it with his foot and the legs moved, so I highly doubt that it was fake. I guess I will have to try somewhere else to get an identification. We live in the desert and this wouldn’t be the first time that someone had a hard time identifying a spider out here.
Sorry I wasted your time – and mine.  I’ll have to keep searching.
Laura Young

We did not mean to offend you Laura, but we honestly do not believe this is a real spider.  Should you happen to get a proper identification, possibly from your local Natural History Museum, we would gladly welcome that information.  Furthermore, we will attempt to get a second opinion and we will respond to you again with anything we learn, including any significant comments people make to the posting we have made to our site.

A Facebook Comment:
It does look pretty plastic-y… (plasticky?) Like plastic. 😜 ~Tif

Another Facebook Comment from Mercedes
Behold the passive agressive plastic spider!😄

Kristy Day from Facebook Commented:
So she’s to sacred to get close enough to actually look, but it moved when it was kicked. Gee, I know a rock will move when kicked too. There’s no pleasing some people.

Ed. Note:  Kristy’s comment really made us laugh.  We wish we could let her know directly, but our editorial staff does not deal with the Facebook interface of our site, though we will copy and paste from it and we enjoy being shared.

More from Facebook:
Jen Smith commented “Hahah a day ago last year you guys posted a fake cockroach someone asked about 😉 (time line showed, Id re posted)

Eric Eaton, author of Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America wrote back regarding our query.
Totally fake.
I just returned from the Entomological Society of America national meetings in Denver the other day.  One person knew me from WTB. 🙂
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: La Quinta, California
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3 Responses to Rubber Tarantula Moved when Nudged.

  1. Pseudospider ruberrensis.

  2. Hey, this is interesting! I think we may have a match here: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/scary-plastic-spider-for-halloween-royalty-free-image/111948416

    And here it says:
    http://www.epemag3.com/proj/0107.html
    “The Jumping Spider is a small, self contained unit with no moving parts, with the exception of a small electromagnet that moves inside when a button is closed. Designed as an electronic version of the traditional inflatable toy spider that jumps when a rubber bulb is squeezed. Put the mockers on your mother-in-law with our arachnoidal accessory!”

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