• Published 19th Sep 2014
  • 1,408 Views, 52 Comments

Pedipalps - CanterlotGuardian



Spiders are everywhere...

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 1,408

Pedipalps

It was a perfect day in Ponyville for the Apple family. At least, it was until Rainbow Dash had shown up wanting to show off her new pet.

“Ah don’t see how ya could have done such a thing…” Applejack was looking at Rainbow Dash with an oddly askance look on her face. “What in the hay would you want one of those things for? They don’t even make good pets!”

Dash looked at her, affronted. “And just what do you mean by that? They’re awesome! Just look at them!”

“How in tarnation do ya even know it’s a she?” Applejack asked. “It’s a spider… They all look alike!”

“They do not…” Fluttershy stated chidingly. “It’s actually rather easy to distinguish between a spider’s genders… Here, watch.” She carefully took the spider away from Dash and held it up about eye-level. “Yep, just like I thought. This one’s a female.”

“And how in Equestria do ya know that?”

“Simple,” Fluttershy stated matter-of-factly. “You see this silver streak going from the front to the back? That means it’s a female golden silk spider. The males wouldn’t have any distinct color to them all- just a brown-ish color all the way around the body. Also, it’s a big one, so more than likely for this species it’s a female. The males are usually smaller.”

Applejack shuddered. “Okay, Ah get it. Ya know how to tell what gender they are. It still don’t make them not creepy…”

“Oh come on,” Dash complained. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. They’re harmless.”

“Well not all of them, really,” Fluttershy corrected, “but for the most part, I have to agree… Surprisingly.” Dash shot a glare at her, but she went on without acknowledging it: “As long as you don’t do anything to spook them or make them feel threatened, spiders are some of the most docile creatures you will ever come across. And they are rather cute…” She looked at the spider on her hoof adoringly.

Applejack was almost ready to run.

“Ah just don’t see what’s so special about them,” she said. “Ah guess that’s just me… Y’all can have as many spiders as y’all want, just don’t let them around me or my apple trees. Don’t spiders make their nests in trees like mine?”

“Oh, you’re probably thinking about the spider mite. Those are two completely different things. Spiders, if they go near fruit at all, generally tend to stick to grape vines or banana trees, because the insects that they like to eat congregate around those fruits in particular. It’s the insects’ food of choice, so thus the spiders go there. Spider mites can hurt your trees, though, so you should probably go and do a check of your trees to see if there’s anything out of the ordinary about them.”

Applejack shot a deadpan look at her. “Do ya realize how many trees we’ve got at Sweet Apple Acres? That would take forever…” She sighed. “It is a necessary thing, though, and Ah’ll admit, Ah haven’t been checking up on the health of the trees themselves like Ah should. Probably should go do that soon…”

“Well, I gotta get this little fella home anyways,” Dash said, taking the spider from Fluttershy. “Can you come with me, Fluttershy, and help me set up the cage?”

“Oh but of course,” Fluttershy replied with a smile, “but I can’t really stay that long. I have to get back to my cabin soon. Today is the day I was supposed to clean out the spiders’ cages, which is why I thought it was funny that you came today asking about them.”

“Oh, so this was your idea,” Applejack said with a smirk.

“Yep,” Dash replied with a grin. “Fluttershy was talking so much about her spiders and how awesome they are, that I had to go and check them out for myself. Turns out, she was pretty much right.” She and Fluttershy waved to Applejack and walked away.

As soon as they were gone, Applejack sighed deeply in relief. “Ah am so glad that’s done and over with…” She shuddered. “Ah hate those darn things… All creepy and crawly… Ah don’t see how in tarnation either of them can stand to touch the things…” She started heading back to the Acres, vowing to check as many trees as she could before nighttime for the “spider mites” that Fluttershy had just told her about.


It was nighttime before Applejack even knew that time had passed at all. She had been working diligently, checking over each and every tree that she had come across for any sign of the dreaded spider mites. After asking Big Macintosh if he knew anything about them, she had found out a bit more than what Fluttershy had told her: they mostly built their thin, silk-like webs on the undersides of leaves, they mostly feed on the juices flowing through the veins of the plant’s leaves, and they could eventually (if they amassed on the plant in enough numbers) kill it by their own twisted sort of floral vampirism.

Naturally, Applejack had redoubled her efforts to keep her precious family trees away from this menace. The actual spiders that had previously been the only thing on her mind were now the furthest thing from it.

Applejack stopped and wiped the sweat from her brow. She looked around her, satisfied that she had looked over about a quarter of the apple trees on the lot. She started walking back to the family house, sore but determined to get more of the trees inspected the next day.

When she got up to the front door, she was surprised to see Fluttershy there, talking animatedly with Big Macintosh. As she got closer, she could see that Fluttershy bore a determined but worried look, and that more than anything else concerned Applejack.

“What’s wrong?” AJ asked as she approached them.

Fluttershy turned to her. “Oh, it’s simply terrible… When I got back to my house after helping Dash get her spider cage set up, I went to go clean out my spider cages like I said I was going to… And, well… They were gone.”

Applejack could feel her face blanch. “Gone, you say… All of them? Where did they all go?”

“Well I don’t know… That’s why I came over here, well after I went to a few other spots that is. I was just trying to ask Big Mac if he had seen any spiders around the homestead.”

Big Mac shook his head. “Ee-nope, not yet, anyways.”

“Ah haven’t either…” Applejack admitted. “Ah didn’t even find any of those spider mites ya told me about, and Ah’ve been checkin’ for them for about the past six hours.”

“Well that’s good at least,” Fluttershy replied, allowing a pleased smile to cross her face. “But oh, I hope my spiders aren’t hurt somewhere, or dead…” Her smile quickly faded. “I just don’t know what I would do if anything bad happened to them…”

“Ah know what Ah would do,” Applejack said under her breath. Big Mac shot her a glare, but didn’t say anything.

“Well, I should probably get going… I have a few other places I’m going to check before I go back to the house. Maybe they just went for a walk, and they’ll be back before I get there. That would be really nice…” Fluttershy took off, flying away from Sweet Apple Acres.

Applejack looked at Big Mac. “Ah sure hope we don’t find any of those darn spiders anywhere near our house…” He nodded in agreement.

“Dinner’s almost ready,” Mac said. “Apple Bloom said she was going to make dinner tonight, and there was really no stopping her, as you probably know…”

Applejack sighed. “How’s it comin’ so far?”

“Actually, not bad,” he replied. “She hasn’t started any house fires yet, so I guess that’s something.” He grew serious. “Do you really think those spiders of Fluttershy’s are going to make it all the way over here? We are a pretty far ways away from her cabin, you know.”

“True,” Applejack admitted, “but Ah just can’t help but wonder… How fast do those things travel anyways? And can they-” she shuddered- “fly…?”

“They shouldn’t be able to go that fast, and I highly doubt spiders can fly. Though I guess anything is possible…” Big Mac shrugged and walked back inside, leaving Applejack standing on the front porch. She stared inside, her eyelids threatening to slam shut so suddenly, they would remain in that position for the rest of her life, unable to open.

She sniffed the air tentatively. “Is that… Burning pie I smell?” She bolted inside. “Apple Bloom! What in the hay are you burning this time?!”


After dinner, which admittedly would have been even more of a disaster than it already was had Applejack not put out the fire- which had spread to the entire kitchen in the five or so seconds that it took her to run inside from the front porch- and sent Apple Bloom outside so she could finish cooking. She was surprised that the pie that Apple Bloom had burned actually had a pleasant taste to it after being singed, so she decided not to get onto her little sister any more than at all possible.

She went to her room after dinner, yawning. “Shoo-wee, that was a mighty fine dinner. Ah feel like Ah could use a nap now…” She diverted to the little ponies’ room to do her business before she went into her room. As she entered the room and turned on the light, her eyes immediately set upon the toilet seat, and what she saw sitting there made her blood run chill.

“What the hay are you doing here?” she hissed as she stared at the spider that had made its rest on the seat. It glanced lazily up at it, as if to say, “What’s your problem, lady?” and made no motion to get off the seat.

She could feel shivers start to run down her spine, and she knew that at that point there was something about to happen. For reasons she couldn’t quite comprehend, she looked up at the ceiling, and her blood ran chill. She counted two more spiders on the ceiling, and another on the bathtub handle.

Slowly, she backed out of the room. When she was all the way out, she bolted for the door, running headlong into the streets. She wasn’t just running aimlessly, though; she had a very specific destination in mind, which she reached about fifteen minutes later.

Panting, she knocked at the front door. After a moment or so, it opened.

“Oh my…” Fluttershy said in concern, “why are you so out of breath? Did you run all the way here from Sweet Apple Acres…?”

AJ nodded. “Ah… found your spiders…”

Her face lit up. “Oh thank you so much!” She wrapped Applejack up in a bone-breaking hug. “Oh, I’ve been worried absolutely sick about them! Where did you find them?” she asked pleadingly.

“My bathroom…” Applejack deadpanned.

“But that can’t be right…” Fluttershy mused momentarily. “How could they have traveled there so fast? They can’t fly, after all…”

“Ah don’t know, but Ah would be pleased as punch if you could come over and get them. Ah got to use the little fillies’ room…”

Fluttershy motioned towards the hallway and Applejack took off in that direction. A few moments later, an audible sigh of relief echoed throughout the hallway. Fluttershy laughed a bit to herself. When AJ came out, they took off towards Sweet Apple Acres.

It took them slightly longer to get back than it had taken Applejack by herself to get there. When they did arrive, AJ took her up to the bathroom and showed her the spiders, who were lazing about contentedly.

“Oh yes, that’s them…” she said in an adoring tone. “Now you all need to come with me. I have your cages cleaned all out and your food and water are nice and fresh!” They all came to her as one and nestled themselves into her mane. She giggled. “Isn’t that precious…”

Applejack had to try her best to not have to use the facilities again, for a different reason. “What Ah still don’t understand is how they got here so quickly. It ain’t like-”

“Oh? What’s this?” Fluttershy looked closely at one of the spiders. “It looks like she’s got something wrapped around her leg…” She nipped the orange hair away from the spider’s leg and looked down at it askance. “That looks like one of your mane hairs, Applejack.”

That was the last thing she heard before she fainted dead away. As her last threads of consciousness waned, she saw a spider crawl out of her mane and scuttle over to Fluttershy, and then she saw no more.

Author's Note:

For those who didn't know, the pedipalps are the fleshy things protruding from a spider's mouth area. They are often used to aid in taste or smell, as both of those senses in a spider are naturally rather dull if the pedipalps aren't used.

See? I bet you didn't come into this story expecting to learn so much, did you? And yet you did. (I actually researched all of the facts about spiders [and spider mites] presented in this story. Strange, I know.)

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Comments ( 52 )

“And just what do you mean by that? They’re awesome! Just look at him!”

“How in tarnation do ya even know it’s a she?”

Should it be, "How in tarnation do ya even know it's a he?" or "How in tarnation do you know it isn't a she?

I'm with AJ on this. I freakin' hate spiders. :raritydespair:

But I like this story. :twilightsmile:

Applejack shuddered. “Okay, Ah get it. Ya know how to tell what gender they are. It still don’t make them not creepy…”

Strangely, after this line, all I thought of was Monty Python and I have no clue why. Needless to say, everything that achieves to do that is a marvellous work of arts.

oh look, my worst fucking nightmare :ajbemused:

favorite because of the writing, dislike because of the topic :applejackunsure::unsuresweetie:

when i read the description in my feed i didn't see the last part that said she promptly freaks out and runs away and since you can't see the tags of new stories in your feed i thought it was a dark fic about applejack's fear of spiders driving her literally insane. needless to say i'm happy that was not the case. :twilightblush:

Poor AJ is going to be chopping all her mane off, probably half her fur, and probably let apple bloom start burning everything just to feel clean again.

spiders are amazing and people who don't like them can get swarmed by angry wolf spiders

they eat all the horrible, destructive insects in your home, spin lovely webs, and are generally pretty chill

also, the deadliness of the bad ones is overhyped

A black widow will only kill you if you leave the venom untreated. It's not a death sentence.

And I was bitten by a brown recluse when I was 11 and it left a faint scar. Sure, there was a gnarly patch of necrosed skin for a while, and it was gross, but there was no extremity death. In fact, the only reason it was so bad is because it got me in my sleep. Treat it right away, and you'll be fine.

So yeah, fuck you AJ. You need some spiderlovin'.

I assumed it would be Rainbow bringing them all over as a payback prank :rainbowlaugh:

5029413 AJ gets raped by a giant spider? :pinkiecrazy:

Well, even if you don't like the story, at least you'll leave here having learned something. :pinkiecrazy:

Let's just hope AJ doesn't find out about ballooning spiders anytime soon.:applejackconfused:

Spiders bug me.

5027209 i have a girl chillean rose tarantula and she is very offended right now! shes got her fngs up and on the screen!

5030575
5029413

Both of you know that fear of spiders is an ingrained, genetic thing, right? It's not like you wake up one day and think, "I'm gonna start hating arachnids."

Spiders are very cool, biologically-speaking, as are pretty much all animals, but that doesn't mean I want to get up close and personal with them. :fluttershyouch: Nor do I even want them within a couple of feet of me. :derpytongue2:

5030601

It's not like you wake up one day and think, "I'm gonna start hating arachnids."

that's totally how it works
YOU SPIDER RACIST

Have you ever considered submitting this story to Equestria Daily? You can find out how to do so here.

Where did you get the story image?

YAY SPIDERS!

Finally, a pony fic about the sweetest, most adorable creatures in existence! And yes, spiders are very easy to sex, though looking at stripes down the back seems a very esoteric and round-about way of doing it.

I just noticed a barn spider (Aranaeus cavaticus) on our front porch a few hours ago (that's Charlotte, you know). But there are so many wonderful kinds! Wolf spiders, jumping spiders, micrathenas, common house spiders, grass spiders, lynx spiders...and at our house we have lots of those long-legged cellar spiders (the male and female actually live together in the same web!).

It's so nice to find another spider fan on this site!

Now if we could just get some stories showing bats in a positive light!

5032472 There's also the story "Arachnophobia". It's a real hoot- as a fellow spider fan, I recommend it as well. Luna's spider "Atticus" in the story is hilarious. But Celestia's reactions to him? Priceless! Of course, I am speaking as someone with a pet tarantula of their own, and as Atticus is a tarantula, I must admit to bias in this.

As an arachnaphobic, I almost shit myself.

At least you weren't an ass and put a gigantic picture of a spider as your coverart.

*shiver...*

-Cyneryk

Just read the fucking comments.

omfg why...

there's shit everywhere.

-Cyneryk

5032472 I hate wolf spiders, they're one of the VERY FEW spiders species that lives around where I live that can actually harm humans directly... one of my neighbors got bit by one once... He's fine now...

5035288 You realize wolf spiders aren't dangerous to humans? Your friend may have suffered from the bite getting infected, though it's perfectly possible he had a reaction to the venom.

I was bitten once by a HUGE wolf spider that I'd been walking around with in the end of my shoe. When it finally bit it didn't inject any venom at all; it was a purely dry bite. After that level of provocation they must be very gentle animals.

They make good pets also.

5035666 My friend's dad actually, but then again he gets a life threatening reaction from chocolate, CHOCOLATE OF ALL THINGS!!! so it's not that big of a surprise...

5035732 I am truly sorry about what happened to your friend's father. The fact remains, however, that wolf spider bites are not considered medically significant to humans. That's a simple fact, not an argument or an excuse for what happened.

5027234
I don't often get ponies flat-out telling me that they disliked the story. I'm not going to fault you for it, but just look at the like/dislike ratio. You are literally the only one who disliked the story.

5027191
that first one was supposed to be "just look at them". I'll change it right now.

5040547

its not even the story, I just hate spiders with a fierce sexual burning passion, and I thought it would have been obvious that I was making a joke:twilightblush:

5041009
I don't take things like that jokingly. Basically you were the first one who ever said that they disliked my story. Everyone else just dislikes and runs away.

5041065

well I opologize, maybe I should have put a [/sarcasm] tag on it, but I thought the jest was obvious:applejackunsure:

5041522
lesson learned for next time. :pinkiesmile:

Gzefrgl.:applecry:

You warned us, and I read it anyway. 'Cause I'm stupid like that.

5062718
I take it you're not fond of our eight-legged freaks friends?

5073959
It definitely doesn't help that I live in the Mojave, where they get both big and poisonous.

5030575
literally, that's the same kind of spider I had when I was a kid. I named her Rosie. (yeah, real fuckin' original, I know...) they're only supposed to live for 2-4 years, is what the pet shop guy told me. mine lived for 14 years (from the time I was 3 til I was 17) and the only reason why it died was because my cat got hungry. :rainbowlaugh:

5032472 Who are you people...

Spiders: Nature's ninjas!

*shudders* oh god, I hate spiders. Good fic, real fun

5032472
I would not personally call spiders adorable. Bats yes, but not spiders.
These I think are at least somewhat cute looking.
hdwallpapers.cat/wallpaper_mirror/squirrel-spider_morphed_funny_cute_hybrid_hd-wallpaper-775315.jpg
squirrelworld.lincatz.com/spidersquirrelbest.jpg
With a keen eye one can tell there are missing spider limbs in those two pictures. One may also notice the limbs are from a tarantula. I am sure of it. :twistnerd:

I do find spiders fascinating. I do get this argument about their leg count from others on this subject. As the spider lover you are, I am interested in your take on this. Perhaps you may have something less of an opinion and more scientific about this phenomenon. I have noticed a count of ten legs on a tarantula, and a camel spider that they walk on instead of eight. Arguably the two short ones in the front of a tarantula are not legs, even though they do seem walk on them.
With most spiders those two appendages are too small to walk on, except the long ones on a camel spider or even the shorter ones on a tarantula. And a few rare spiders have them as claws much like those found on a scorpion, or the modified pincer fangs on a camel spider.
So without going into it more, my question to you is, are those actually a tenth set of legs? My take on this phenomenon is that they are legs, at least they are for these two spiders, and likely a few others. What do you think? :rainbowhuh:

I know those extra legs in question are more then likely their pedipalps. And in one set of definitions describes the various uses of them. Reproduction is one of the many. They are variously specialized as pincers in scorpions, sensory organs in spiders, and locomotory organs in horseshoe crabs.

I would also like to add as locomotory organs in some spiders as I described above.
My limited knowledge of pedipalps used in reproduction lead me to check this story out in the first place. :derpytongue2:


Getting back to this-

Finally, a pony fic about the sweetest, most adorable creatures in existence!

Have you seen Rainbow Dash Presents_ Spiderses, by Dawn Somewhere? If not you should also check out the one that follows it- Rainbow Dash Presents_ Haunting Nightmare. It is one of the funnest things I have seen. :pinkiehappy:

Now if we could just get some stories showing bats in a positive light!

I think you might mean more stories, that is if you count the one on the show about Fluttershy as a bat.
I really liked that one. I even have a poster in my room of a fox bat. As far as bats go, those to me are quite adorable. :twilightsmile:

A little shameless self promotion here, but I think you might like the little short I just put together just this week- Love at First Bite. :raritywink:

5033338

"Arachnophobia"

Love that movie. That and Eight Legged Freaks. If you have not seen that you must! Talk about a movie that is a real hoot. :rainbowlaugh:

Luna's spider "Atticus" in the story is hilarious.

I think I will have to look that one up. Even though I have many in my backed up "to do list" of stories to read. Currently I am reading The Incredible Flutterhulk by spideremblembrony. Then next to Batmare Begins by Batbrony. That one is "Derpy!" as Batman. Don't really know what to say on that one but it looks good, well possibly funny at the least.

I am speaking as someone with a pet tarantula of their own, and as Atticus is a tarantula, I must admit to bias in this.

Not at all.
Though I say this as one who likes most to all living things, much as Fluttershy would. I do have my limit as to what I will like. I am not fond of parasites, just to name a few. Even though I do have a fascination of all living things, yes including even parasites. Not that I wish to have much of anything to do with them other than know how to avoid them.

5040547
You know, the name of your story without any other descriptions, is enough to give the implications of what might possibly be found within. To read it knowing one might not like it, to me is self punishment, not the other way around.

I do admit to reading a story or two I felt I might not like, just to have a look, and fund I indeed did not like it. Derpy's Finest Hour is one such story. It is not a habit of mine to read such things. I do prefer something more pleasant than that story.

6417144 That extra pair of "legs" you're referring to are the pedipalpi. Spiders don't have ten legs; and "camel spiders" aren't spiders at all, so I don't know how many legs they have.

I didn't really like the episode "Bats." While they tried to portray them somewhat sympathetically (and made clear that they ate fruit juice, not blood), they still portrayed them as reptilian with reptilian eyes hisses. I am unaware of any bat that hisses or that has eyes like a cat. And they made them red, too! And "Flutterbat" was so menacing. No wonder all the stories about her have her living on blood and sometimes even being an actual supernatural vampire.

Fortunately, there's the little bat that's always hanging around Fluttershy's cottage. His fan name is Bacardi, and I think he's pretty sympathetic.

Yes, I've already listened to the two fics you mention. And they are pretty good. (Merriam Webster! Ha!)

6418481
really. I did not know that was his fan name. and being a fan of the, erm, finer spirits, I can see why he was named that. :D

I finely read this short. Very nice. You get a like from me. :twilightsmile:

Two things though. One: To me the title is a little misleading. By the title I was expecting something real odd, along the lines of Applejack getting matted by some giant male spider. Know the kind of stories that get put up on this site by some, it would not have surprised me. But you did not have an adult tag, so I should have ruled that one out. Seeing that you have a comedy tag on it, well that all depends on what the writer feels is funny. Not everyone agrees on what is considered funny, unfortunately.

The other thing I wished to point out was the color of Applejack's main. Applejack is a blond. So a hair from her mane would not have been orange. But that is a simple small fix.

I may have missed something but I still don't get how the spiders got into the house so fast. Unless they hitched a ride on Rainbow Dash, or Fluttershy, when they came to visit the farm. little in it suggests to me that they got in on Applejack, other than the one that had been on her. Though there is this also-

She started heading back to the Acres

That suggests to me they the met up to talk about the spiders elsewhere (like at Fluttershy's place) than at the farm, and would suggest that they did indeed all take a ride on Applejack, back to her place.

In any case it was a funny little short. And I did like it.

6418481
Thank you for your input, confirms part of what I thought. Some tarantulas seem to walk on their pedipalps as it they where an extra set of legs. And thank you for clearing that misconception I had based on their name of "camel spiders" not being spiders at all. Kind of like the book scorpion is not a scorpion, but something classified as a false scorpion. That is, as one book on them told me.

Yes those fruit bats in that cartoon episode where odd.

And "Flutterbat" was so menacing.

That I actually thought that was funny. I got for myself a real kick at seeing her like that. :rainbowlaugh:
And her flying was impressive!
Yes, I can see how one who is a fan of bats, and/or Fluttershy would not have liked it all to much. You have my sympathy, despite that I enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

Bacardi. I wonder if that was the bat who tried in the race for getting to be Rainbow Dash's pet? I guess it really doesn't matter if it was.

(Merriam Webster! Ha!)

He as well as a Fluttershy spider got crushed in that. And Spike ate the Fluttershy spider. That was sad and funny at the same time!

"I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the ponies I created are for more than I had planed." :pinkiesad2:

Speaking of witch, I am sure that is what the FIM show creators had though of on how the fans of the show took off with it, and did their own things with their little ponies in the show. :pinkiecrazy:
Rainbow Factory just to name one example. Lullaby for a Princess Animation's new release to name another. And that was so well done! :rainbowkiss:

6419844

Bacardi. I wonder if that was the bat who tried in the race for getting to be Rainbow Dash's pet? I guess it really doesn't matter if it was.

Yes. That's "Bacardi."

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