Currently viewing the category: "Crevice Weaver Spider"
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Subject: Recluse or Harmless?
Location: Antelope Valley, California
July 30, 2015 2:50 pm
I found this big guy in my yard, polled my friends, half say it’s a brown recluse, half say it’s harmless… One guy said “it’s just a penny”…
I live in the high desert in Southern California, it’s super dry and hot. Help me out here!
Signature: -Roni

Male Crevice Weaver Spider, we believe

Male Crevice Weaver Spider, we believe

Hi Roni,
We are going to side with the half that say it is harmless.  Brown Recluse Spiders have a violin pattern on the cephalothorax .  Male Crevice Weaver Spiders in the genus
Kukulcania, including the male Southern House Spider, Kukulcania hibernalis, are frequently mistaken for Brown Recluse Spiders.  BugGuide only lists the Southern House Spider as far west as Texas, but a relative, Kukulcania geophila, is found in California and this image from BugGuide looks very similar to your individual.  Of the entire genus Kukulcania, BugGuide notes:  “Males look very similar to the Recluse spiders, except they have much longer pedipalps, eight eyes (not six as in the Recluse family), and very long front legs.”  Finally, according to BugGuide, the Brown Recluse Spider does not get as far west as California.

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Subject: Southern House Spider
Location: Richmond, VA
February 20, 2015 12:59 am
Some time ago, I think last winter (maybe the one before), I wrote to you about a southern house spider I caught behind my couch and was going to release in the spring — you suggested I keep her, as I have tarantula experience, and I did. She’s fat and happy to this day, and she’s grown some.
This winter, I have another friend. She lives above my bed, behind an animal-skin wall hanging. I saw the web and meant to brush it away, off of my stuff (it makes all of the fur stick together and look bad), but then I saw her and realized the space was occupied. For now, and very probably permanently, she can stay, as it’s somewhere she’s safe from us accidentally hurting her, and from us being bitten on accident. I’m probably going to start feeding her periodically, so she will be more likely to stay put, instead of setting up camp somewhere less safe. I noticed her weeks ago, but I don’t see her very often. She very likely could have been living there for months. In this picture, she is out on her web “patio”, hanging out. I notice she does this at night sometimes, but usually she’s hidden all day. It’s interesting how her web is — it looks like a snowflake against the wall, and seems to exist mostly so that she can sit there with out losing footing and falling.
I’ve seen some males in my house. I think there’s a big “family” living with me.
Here’s some good pictures, if you want to put them on your website.
Best regards,
Denise Elliott

Southern House Spider

Southern House Spider

Dear Denise,
Thanks for updating us on the Southern House Spiders with which you are sharing your home .

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Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
November 10, 2014 11:38 am
Hello Bugman. What kind of spider is this? Our guess is a type of Huntsman, but there are so many different types of Huntsman photos online, and none really match well. The purple leg segments are beautiful. There is the tip of a standard chopstick in the photo for scale: The spider is 2 to 2 1/4 inches long. Thank you.
Signature: Doug

Possibly Male Crevice Weaver Spider

Tengellid Spider

Dear Doug,
We do not think this is a Huntsman Spider.  We are not certain, but your spider resembles a male Crevice Weaver in the genus Kukulcania.  See this image from BugGuide for comparison.  At least one member of the genus is found in California.  We are going to seek assistance from Eric Eaton and Mandy Howe on your spider’s identity.

Possibly Male Crevice Weaver Spider

Tengellid Spider

Eric Eaton Responds
Hi, Daniel:
This is something in the family Tengellidae (no common name), maybe in the genus Titiotus.
Eric

Very cool!  Thanks Daniel and please thank Eric for us.  It sure looks like a Titiotus.  It’s wonderful to learn this Genus is native to CA and bite is harmless.  Sorry, we did not get a close-up of features to identify the species.  It is now roaming around our home in places unknown.  I found other Titiotus observations close-by and around CA on iNaturalist Genus Titiotus after getting Eric’s email.  Also see you have a Tengellid post from almost exactly 1 year ago, ironically from Doug, but not me, and near where we have relatives.  Thank you too for the very fast replies.  Most ironically, my last name is Titus!  Oh the web of coincidence.  Cheers, Doug

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Subject: Hacklemesh Weaver Spider
Location: Central New York
July 7, 2014 6:53 pm
My mom found this spider in her ice cream churn that she kept in her basement and asked me to identify if it was dangerous or not. I took some pictures of it and released it into a pile of slate outside. From what I can tell, I’m pretty sure it is a female Hacklemesh Weaver Spider. Is my id of it correct and should she worry about them?
Signature: good son

What's That Spider???

What’s That Spider???

Dear good son,
Alas, we aren’t certain.  Your spider does resemble this female Hacklemesh Weaver,
Amaurobius ferox, that is posted to BugGuide, however the BugGuide individual seems to have longer and thinner legs than your individual.  Our first thought was female Southern House Spider, but BugGuide does not report them as far north as New York.  Perhaps one of our readers can assist in this identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Las Vegas Black Hairy Spider
Location: Henderson NV, Las Vegas suburb
July 4, 2014 12:48 pm
I love your site. I looked at your spiders for a few days but although I found the trap door spider to be close, the rear body tank is not the same shape as my unknown spider. I never saw this 2-inch spider before. It was found on the wall of my garage, in June, 110 F weather day. I captured it, took the photo then released it in some rocks at a nearby park. You can zoom in my photo to see the eyes and hair. Thank you.
Signature: Boyd in Las Vegas

Female Southern House Spider

Female Southern House Spider

Dear Boyd,
Unfortunately, you cannot really make out the eye arrangement of this spider in your image.  This is a female Southern House Spider,
Kukulcania hibernalis, and according to BugGuide:  “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”

Thanks, Dan.     Now when I walk by the park, I will say hello to her.    I never feared her but just wanted to get her farther away from human danger.
Boyd

Hi again Boyd,
Because of your sensitivity toward the natural world, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Southern House Spider?
Location: Richmond, VA
December 17, 2013 10:22 pm
I found this little friend behind my couch while looking for something. She appears to be a southern house spider.
What are they like — temperament, environment, bite, etc?
I have her in a jar. I might find a more semi-permanent solution for her later (a container I used to house a baby terrestrial tarantula who outgrew it). I don’t want her to go back to her home behind my couch (I found her webs as well as evidence of past feasts she made of escaped tarantula food — I think we’ve been “roomies” for some time, and I’ve found young males inside before as well) because I don’t want her to get squished or for her to end up in a situation where she might feel the need to bite — or to get eaten by my dog. However I don’t want to throw her outside because it’s very cold right now (I realize she is a native wild animal, but I don’t know what her species does to combat the cold, if anything special — I don’t want to just throw her out into the cold unprepared). I was thinking I could feed her for a few months and release her in an abandoned barn on a local plantation this spring.
Can you give me any general information on these guys, and confirm that she is what I think she is? Thanks!
Signature: Denise Elliott

Female Southern House Spider

Female Southern House Spider

Hi Denise,
We concur with your identification of this female Southern House Spider which looks exactly like this individual posted to BugGuide.  There is not much information on the Southern House Spider on the BugGuide info page, except for this comment: “Females are frequently mistaken for small tarantulas or trapdoor spiders. Males are often mistaken for recluse spiders (Loxosceles). This is a totally harmless species that builds “messy” webs emanating from crevices, often on the outside of homes.”  So, she is totally harmless, but that does discount that a large individual might bite if carelessly handled.  We will turn elsewhere to seek additional information.  According to Featured Creatures:  “Females may live up to eight years” which means you might want to entertain the idea of keeping her as a pet as long as you have tarantula rearing experience.  While Spiders.us does not have any information on the bite, there is a photo of a large female being held.  Some of the best firsthand information we found is on a BugGuide posting by Mamata Polle who writes:  “These make suprisingly good house guests if you can tolerate their highly effective, (Though not very pretty,) web making style. Females tend to stay put until either they grow out of their retreat, they are starving to death, or their web is destroyed. For the past 13 years I’ve been living with this type of spider and have never been bitten by one, they are docile and very good at snaring flies, roaches and other household invaders. Usually when I see their webs I just leave them be, but one of our cats has recently decided he likes to eat spider webs… (Weird huh,) and that is how I ended up with Kholi, (Pictured above.) She was wandering around looking to rebuild her web where it had been, (And said cat would have come back to eat it again!) so I decided to capture and provide a home for her. She produces webbing as needed and without hesitation, which is good because she won’t eat without it! Southern House Spiders totally depend on their webs to catch food; their eyesight is poor, so they seem to, “Feel” their prey when it gets stuck and squirms, then they pounce. It is VERY dificult to get them to eat from a pair of tweezers, one must be very… patient. However they will take water very easily when they’re dehydrated, even off your finger. The first time I had one do this I thought it was biting me, but it wasn’t, it was just sucking the water out of my damp hands, which didn’t hurt. One of the best ways to distiguish this species other than their general appearence is the very fine silver hair they possess, which is most visible at the joints.  BTW: They will sometimes very convincingly play dead when threatened…:P And if they don’t mate, they can live an incredibly long time. (I have been watching one adult female for three years!)  Be Well, God Bless and Thanks for Reading. :)”
Regardless if decide to keep her as a pet or to release her back into a plantation barn in the spring, because of your sensitivity regarding the welfare of this female Southern House Spider, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination