Currently viewing the category: "Funnel Web Spiders"
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Subject: What is this guy?
Location: central NJ
August 31, 2016 11:17 am
I saw this spider in the gym today and nearly left (I’m not a big fan of spiders). we tried to shoo him out the door but he kept running the wrong way. Finally we convinced him to go outside. He was probably the size of a half dollar and he was quite fast.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Andy

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Dear Andy,
The spinnerets on the tips of the abdomen help to identify your spider as a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis which you can verify by comparing your spider to the one in this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “These spiders are very common throughout the United States and Canada. Their webs will ‘litter’ the low-hanging shrubs and grass in summer to early fall, and are really noticable after a nice early morning dew. They are fairly easily identified: a “small” brown spider with longitudinal striping, the arrangement of their eight eyes into two rows. (The top curved row has four eyes and the bottom curved row has four eyes).   They also have two prominent hind spinnerets. A spinneret is a spider’s silk spinning organ. They are usually on the underside of a spider’s abdomen, to the rear. On many spiders, the spinnerets cannot be seen easily without flipping the spider over; however, with Agelenopsis, the spinnerets are readily seen without having to flip the spider over. “

Thank you. I thought it might be a wolf spider. Good to know it’s not.

They do look quite similar to Wolf Spiders.

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Subject: Spider is checking me out!
Location: Mount Lowe/Angeles National Forest, California
June 26, 2016 1:43 am
Dear Bugman,
I see these tunnel shaped webs all over Angeles Forest. I found this one at the tope of Mount Lowe, near Mount Wilson. When I began to edit the photos, I was surprised to see the spider made his way to the opening of his little cave, his many eyeballs staring right into my camera lens! Is he a trap door spider of some sort?
Signature: Jessica Chortkoff

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

Hi again Jessica,
This is NOT a Trapdoor Spider.  It sure looks to us like a Funnel Web Spider in the family Agelenidae.  According to BugGuide:  “For this family of spiders, the web is a horizontal, sheet-like web with a small funnel-like tube off to a side (or for some species, the middle of the web). This funnel is what the family is named for, and is used by the spider for hunting and protection. The spider will lay in wait in the funnel, and when an insect flies into, or lands on the web, the spider will rush out, very quickly check to see if it is prey, and if it is prey, bite it. The venom is fast-acting on the prey, so once the prey is subdued (within a second or two), the spider will drag the prey back into the funnel (for safety while eating, and to prevent other insects from recognizing the danger that lurks on the web…).”  Eye arrangement is one of the methods that one can distinguish the correct family for taxonomic classification, and upon enlarging your image, the eye arrangement on your individual appears to match the eye arrangement for the family of Funnel Web Spiders.  BugGuide also indicates:  “Like most spiders, funnel weavers are nocturnal. They are often seen when the lights are turned on, or at least the ambient lighting changes enough that the spider feels it must run for cover. There are approximately 1,200 species of funnel weaver world-wide, and a little over 100 of them are found in North America ((1)(accessed October 2012). Sometimes, if you slowly approach the web, and look around the funnel or down into the funnel, you might see the spider. (Sudden movements or changes in light (like your shadow) will cause the spider to retreat deep into the funnel so you most likely will be unable to see it).”

Funnel Web Weaver

Funnel Web Weaver

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Subject: How many species of wolf spiders
Location:  Cleveland, Ohio
September 19, 2015 4:41 pm
I know you can’t tell me exactly, but I just keep wondering if every nasty and huge spider we see is a wolf spider. We recently moved to my grandmothers (west of Cleveland Oh) to help out and her yard is like upper class Manhattan for spiders (or any bug) …. Overgrown everything from weeds to grass. Stick piles, a garage no one goes in, overgrown brush and thicket. My husband started clearing everything up and WOW! Just the amount of spiders was ridiculous but the size and ugliness worse. And now that he is taking away their homes, they’re going anywhere and everywhere else. At night you can go outside the back porch and see at least 6 just hanging there. I have the true definition of arachnophobia and even I know it’ll get worse before better. But just wondering that maybe these are all just ugly wolf spiders?
Signature: Misty

You probably have orb weavers if they are just hanging in webs.

I believe that the hanging ones are but the attached are not.
Thanks

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

The one with the spinnerets on the end of the abdomen is a Grass Spider, the other a Wolf Spider.

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Subject: Spider in my home
Location: Uk
July 27, 2015 3:28 am
Hi there,
I have this spider in my home. I have not seen one like it before and I don’t know if it’s dangerous or not please help.
Signature: Michael

Common House Spider

Common House Spider

Dear Michael,
We believe this is a House Spider in the genus
Tegenaria, and according to the British Arachnological Society site:  “There are five species of ‘House Spider’ – the big hairy ones that come out at night and occasionally end up in the bath. These large, long-legged, brown spiders produce a sheet web that leads to a tubular retreat. … Tegenaria species very rarely bite and if they do it is painless. What gives them a bad reputation is their size, speed and nocturnal habits. Females can live for several years, but males, who live for a few weeks with the female, die after mating and are sometimes consumed by the female. Like all spiders living in houses they can withstand the very dry conditions and survive for months without sustenance”  The image on The Guardian site is much better for seeing the resemblance to your image.

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Subject: Mystery Fishing Spider
Location: North Plainfield, New Jersey
July 23, 2015 7:53 am
This guy has been hanging out on my pool these past few days. It’s clearly some kind of fishing spider but I can’t figure out what species. From the markings, it doesn’t look quite like any of the more common local species. Any guesses?
Signature: LaSalamander

Grass Spider Walks on Water!!!

Grass Spider Walks on Water!!!

Dear LaSalamander,
Though it is walking on water, this is not a Fishing Spider, which explains why its markings look different.  Among Spiders, walking on water is not miraculous and species other than Fishing Spiders, including Wolf Spiders are able to walk on water because the spread of their legs helps to distribute the weight of the body.  The pronounced spinnerets at the tip of the abdomen are a factor in identifying this as a Grass Spider, possibly
 Agelenopsis pennsylvanica, one of the Funnel Weavers, which is pictured on BugGuide.

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Thanks so much, Daniel! I wish I had something witty or something more meaningful to say, but that’s all I got. I’m happy to be schooled on the subject of Fishing and Not-So-Fishing Spiders. Hurray!
John

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Subject: Funnel Web Spider
Location: Powell, Ohio
July 22, 2015 6:01 am
This not so little guy has taken up residence in the transom window over our front door. I got the best pictures I could, given the amount of webbing built up around him/her. I told my five year old that I thought it was called a funnel web spider, now she says, “hi tunnel spider, bye tunnel spider”, every time she walks through the foyer. Lol. Enjoy the pics of our tenant!
Signature: Amber

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

Dear Amber,
The distinctive spinnerets are clearly visible in your image of this Funnel Web Spider in the family Agelenidae. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination