Robotic Spiders Hiding in Bathrooms: Terrorist Plot Revealed!!!!

Subject: brown spider IN MY TOILET PAPER ROLL.
Location: Western PA
March 27, 2013 12:13 pm
Ok. So this brown nightmare spider fell out of the toilet paper roll this morning, probably because mother nature wants me dead. Can you identify this spider before I do something rash, like call a priest, or perhaps burn the house down? It was brown – it looks darker in the picture because I put it on Instagram (as proof that my house is out to kill me, and to explain to my friends and family why the next time they use my bathroom there will be a bidet in place of toilet paper). Also of note, while there SHOULD NOT be Brown Recluse in our area, there are. My son was bitten in 2009, my neighbor was bitten within days of my son, and my cousin was bitten in May 2012. Please help!
Signature: Cassie

Deadly Bathroom Spider
Deadly Robotic Bathroom Spider

Dear Cassie,
We have just learned about an elaborate terrorist plot that involves robotic spiders that hide in bathrooms among the toilet paper.  When the toilet paper is used and the spider comes into contact with areas of tender flesh, it bites the hapless human and injects a mind control substance much like the zombie venom the Emerald Cockroach Wasp uses on Cockroaches.  The human then does the bidding of the terrorist cell which uses the radio receiver in the robotic spider to set into motion a plan that involves the placing of additional robotic spiders in the homes of friends and relatives.  This will create a veriable army of zombies expected to bring about the downfall of the capitalist and consumer culture we have enjoyed for many years.  It seems western Pennsylvania is ground zero for the attack.  Consider yourself lucky to have avoided this evil plot to take over the world, at least for now.

Update:  April Fools
Eric Eaton provides and ID
The spider in the image is an adult male running crab spider in the family Philodromidae, probably genus Philodromus though I’d need to examine the specimen to be absolutely positive.
Are you sure you want to potentially start another viral spider hoax?  The arachnological community battles enough of those already.  Just sayin’.

Ed. Note:  April Fools’ Day Joke
While the original letter is true and unadulterated, we found it so amusing we thought we would have a bit of fun with the response.  We did clue Cassie in on our intentions to run this as a prank on our readership and we sincerely hope we haven’t offended anyone.

Here is our original response to Cassie:  “Hi Cassie,  We are working on getting your spider identified, but we got such a chuckle out of your letter that we are planning it to be our April Fools’ Day joke.  We hope to get back to you really soon with an accurate ID as well as a hoax response.”  For the record, male spiders are not considered dangerous and Running Crab Spiders are considered harmless.

hahaha!! thank you! 😀 that’s awesome!
you guys rock!

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