Currently viewing the category: "Funnel Web Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help with ugly spider id
Location: Modesto, California
April 28, 2015 3:14 pm
I was wondering if you could help us identify the spider we found outside our door today?
Signature: Michelle

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Hi Michelle,
We believe, because of the large, prominent spinnerets at the tip of the abdomen, that your individual is a Funnel Web Spider in the family Agelenidae, and a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis, and you can compare your individual to this image from BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “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. Agelenopsis spp. also have somewhat indistinct bands on their legs.” 

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Subject: Tengellid family, I hope?
Location: San Francisco CA USA
May 23, 2014 7:40 pm
In late-February this year, I saw a small almost black-looking spider run across a cabinet and disappear down the side by the stove, too fast to catch. It was probably the size of one of the now-dead-and-dried-up babies in the pictures. I almost never find any bugs other than an occasional moth, fruit fly, or tiny pantry beetle (identified on your great site!) in my large work-space. (No windows, no plumbing, few critters.) I left for a month in Mexico the next day and forgot about the spider. When I returned in late March, there were two small dead-and-dried spiders in an empty plastic bin on the floor under the cabinet where I’d seen the live one a month before. I saved them in a jar for a possible art piece. There didn’t appear to be any webs or more spiders in the cabinet when I poked around a bit, so I forgot about them again, because spiders in the house scare me unreasonably, though I’m not afraid of them when I garden, and admire them very much outdo ors. But YESTERDAY, when I pulled out the plastic bin, there was the HUGE one lying in the bottom, still very-um– flexible, as I discovered when I stopped freaking. I got it spread out and photographed (a LOT because of shaking hands), then thought to put a quarter by it for scale. The flash on my OLD digital camera makes it look lighter then it really is, plus I have fluorescent work lights overhead, but wanted you to see as much detail as possible. Today I realized the markings seem the same on the two dead small ones I found in March, so I put them all together in the other two photos. From the info I found in WTB about “false Brown Recluse” and Tengellid/Titiotus examples, I think this may be what I have, but I’d really like to know for sure. AND when I tear the cabinet apart and really search under and in everything in the vicinity, how DANGEROUS, if at all, is their bite? Also, am I likely to find clusters or heaps or large groups of them? Do they make webs? Or do they just stomp around independently? How big do they get, and WHAT DO THEY WANT???? I KNOW you’re swamped with questions, so thanks VERY much for any info YOU can give me, or point me to the best places to look for as much information as I can find. I LOVE your site and tell as many people as I can about it. I find it fascinating and a very reassuring learning place!
Signature: Maude

What's That Spider???

What’s That Spider???:  Male Barn Funnel Web Weaver

Dear Maude,
In our opinion, the images of the spiders you submitted look nothing like the Tengellid Spider we have pictured in our archives
We are requesting assistance with its identification and we hope to get back to you soon with an identification.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some information.

Thanks, Daniel–I never expected such a quick reply! And of course you’re quite right. I was looking at it out of fear, seeing violins and colors far from reality, and ran screaming to your site for a tranquilizer…! Later, I checked some links you have listed and did some READING about recluse spiders, then looked at many, many pictures of other more possible types, including various Grass Spiders and even Wolf Spiders, which a friend suggested. But what I learned about the Brown Recluse of my fear and the myths associated with it (especially here in Northern California, for pete’s sake!) blew the handcuffs off my brain. I’ve copied some facts about them and cited sources, which will be shared with every gardener and camper I know, so we can all stop being afraid of instant death from the brown (and black and tan) spiders that DO live among us, and start being “cautious but curious” instead! I no longer feel that my studio is in danger of being overrun by packs of snarling arachnids sporting violin-shaped tattoos and thirsting for blood. I feel foolish for acting foolishly, and hope I haven’t wasted your time. Thanks ever so much, Daniel and all, for referring “my” spider to readers who may have come across this type and can identify it and its behavior, so I can learn how to behave!


Spiders including Male Funnel Web Weaver on right

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Male funnel-web weaver, family Agelenidae.  Can’t tell more from the image.

I’m sending this to you, Daniel, because I’m not sure if I should send it with the photos to the “Comment” section on your site. You’ve been so generous with your time and knowledge and I’m very grateful! I extend many thanks to Eric for the identification, and apologies for the hasty images. I’m adding a few more that may be more helpful (at least when zoomed somewhat in Windows Picture Viewer). SPIDER_013 is an underside flash shot of the big guy, (also a copy, Spider_013, over- sharpened in Elements 9, hoping for better detail), and SPIDER2_040 is an underside flash shot of the two small ones I found dead in the empty plastic bin the last week of March. SPIDER_007 is probably the best shot I have showing EYES (when zoomed), and SPIDER_008 is the back end (sort of amazing when zoomed). Now that I know more about what kind of web(s) to look for, I’ll have to start checking my cluttered space for any kids or relatives, and move them to a more appropriate OUTDOOR environment, if I can. And if these photos help narrow down the I.D. possibilities, I’ll have even more information to gather, because this is becoming a VERY interesting learning experience. (At least when I’m not jumping at shadows…) Thanks again. A small donation will be coming to your site in a day or two. Wish it could be more, but artists in San Francisco are also working mostly for the love of it, not money…

Hi Maude,
Images cannot be attached to comments, only to identification requests.  We are posting the image you have indicated that shows the eyes the best.  Thanks for your kind words and support.

Male Funnel Web Weaver Spider

Male Barn Funnel Web Weaver Spider

Mandy Howe provides some input:  June 8, 2014
Hi Daniel,
Very sorry for the delay, I was visiting family in Utah, so am behind (don’t have a laptop or anything that I take with me on trips).
The “larger” spider on the right in both images is definitely just a common adult male Tegenaria domestica, found in almost every house in North America. Not dangerous to humans, and is typically found during mating season when they roam at night. They often crawl into sinks or bathtubs for a drink of water and then can’t climb the slippery surface to get out, so people find them most often in those places in the morning.
The other dead spiders on the left in the first image are in the family Gnaphosidae so, in San Francisco, they could be Scotophaeus blackwalli (the “mouse spider”) or Herpyllus propinquus (the “western parson spider”)… those are the two most common species found in homes on the west coast, at least. (I can’t see the abdomen on them to tell which species.)
Hope that helps!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big beast spider
Location: Australia
January 16, 2014 2:49 am
I live in California, but a friend of mine on the internet lives in Australia and sends me pictures of various critters that live there, including this Australian spider. We were talking about spiders one day and he mentioned that the spiders where I am at are NOTHING compared to the big beast spiders he has there, and according to the picture of this monster spider, this seems to be true. He couldn’t tell me what kind of spider, but he said I could use this photo he sent me to find out. So what kind of terrifying beast spider do we have here? I can tell this thing is angry too…..The fangs on this thing are incredible, I think I will have nightmares for the rest of my life…..O_O;
Signature: Brittany

Male Funnel Web Spider

Male Funnel Web Spider

Dear Brittany,
Australia has several spiders that are considered especially dangerous.  We found a nearly identical image on the Australian Spiders website and it is identified as a male Funnel Web Spider,
Atrax robustus.  The Australian Spiders site indicates:  “The Sydney Funnel-web Spider (Atrax robustus) is one of 36 species of funnel-web spiders in Australia (and it’s the only one that causes trouble).  Funnel-web spiders prefer moist cool habitats and you find them in the south eastern regions of Australia. They live in silk lined burrows and crevices. Their hideouts can easily be identified by the characteristic trip lines radiating from the entrance of the burrow.  The Sydney Funnel-web Spider is mostly found within a radius of 160km from Sydney. (There have been occasional sightings a bit further away.)  It is large (up to 4.5 cm for just the body), black, aggressive, and has powerful fangs.”  The site also states:  “The male Sydney Funnel-web spider is the most dangerous of the Australian spiders. (This is unusual. Normally the female spiders are more dangerous). Actually, I’d say it is the only Australian spider that can be called dangerous at all.”  According to the Australian Museum website:  “Sydney Funnel-webs are shiny, dark brown to black spiders with finger-like spinnerets (silk-spinning organs) at the end of their abdomen. Males have a large mating spur projecting from the middle of their second pair of legs. If threatened, Sydney Funnel-webs show aggressive behaviour, rearing and displaying their impressive fangs.”  The spinnerets are prominently pictured in the image you provided.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this spider?
October 22, 2013 6:19 am
I shot this spider on the small island of Hajo-Do, at the far south-western edge of South Korea, in June or July 2011. From comparing it to images from google, it resembles a Wolf Spider, to my untrained eye, but I have also read reports that the Funnel Web Spider has somehow found its way here, and this spider had a funnel shaped web. (If it was the latter, I was courting disaster, as my hands were only a few cm away as I adjusted my lens…) So, I’ve supplied 2 photos – One from a little further back, showing the web, and a second, much closer, getting down to macro detail.
I’m a very keen macro shooter, and am especially crazy about bugs, although my knowledge of genus etc is very limited. Feel free to explore my blog posts on my macro work on insects, and any help with identifying them would be very much appreciated.
Relevant blog posts…
Signature: richarquis de sade

Spider from South Korea

Funnel Weaver from South Korea

Dear richarquis de sade,
We do not recognize your spider, and we do not have the time to research at this moment, so we are posting your excellent photos in the hope that one of our readers can provide a comment as to its identity.

Unknown Spider from South Korea

Funnel Weaver Spider from South Korea

Hi Daniel and richarquis de sade:
I believe your spider is a Funnel Weaver (Agelenidae), probably in the genus Allagelena. At least three species are native to Korea: A. opulenta, A. donggukensis and A. difficilis. All three species are highly variable in appearance but I did find several images posted by Daniel Ruyle of A. opulenta spiders from Japan that look very similar to richarquis de sade’s spider. Allagelena opulenta is native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.  I tried to find out if it was considered dangerous to humans but my search was inconclusive. One site did indicate that its toxin is “insect-selective”, suggesting that it is probably not dangerous. However, I would probably not be inclined to test this if I was ever confronted with the opportunity. Agelenid spiders are sometimes referred to as Funnel Web spiders but they should not be confused with the very dangerous Australian Funnel Web spiders, most infamously the Sydney Funnel Web, which belong to a different spider family altogether, the Hexathelidae. Regards.  Karl


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: dangerous?
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
July 24, 2013 7:12 am
This fellow has set up camp inside my kitchen window. While I find it interesting to watch him catch his food, I miss having an open window. Can I safely move him to the back of the yard? What is he?
Signature: Sally B

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Dear Sally B,
We believe because of the prominent pair of spinnerets, that this is a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis, as pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Agelenopsis spp. spiders are “lightning-quick”; often people only get a glance of it before it disappears behind or under something” and “These spiders are docile and non-aggressive. They will flee at the first sign of a threat and will not bite unless they feel threatened without an option to escape. (e.g. – Trying to pick the spider up).”  The best way to relocate the Grass Spider is to trap it under a glass, slip a postcard under the opening and transport to a more suitable location.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider welcoming committee.
Location: Seattle
February 6, 2013 11:52 am
Dear Bugman,
It was the 3rd night in our new house when thought that our cat had nabbed a mouse. To our (Amityville) horror, we realized it was no mouse, but some sort of terrifying, prehistoric spider. We were able to trap him under a pint glass and snap some shots. The opening of the pint glass is almost 4 inches (3 3/4”?) and there is a slight glare on the glass. Nobody seems to know what this guy is! Some guess hobo, others say too large. It’s the creepy Black Metal type markings that don’t seem to match up with any breed. Upside down cross? Mariner’s fan? Possible Hybrid? Prehistoric creature?
Can you help identify, so we know what we are up against? The house had sat unattended for only a few months before we moved in.
Signature: Frazzled Francine

Giant House Spider

Dear Frazzled Francine,
We don’t know what species of Spider you photographed, but your letter amuses us to no end.  We will post and feature your photo in the hopes that our readers will provide comments, suggestions and possibly an identification.

Giant House Spider, according to Karl
Hi Daniel and Frazzled Francine:
The photo is not very clear so I am not certain but I think this is probably a Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica = T. gigantea), a Funnel Weaver in the family Agelenidae. It is a European species that has been established in the Pacific Northwest and southern BC since early in the 20th century (I believe Canada can be blamed for this accidental introduction).  It is closely related to the smaller Hobo Spider (T. agrestis), another introduced European species that has acquired a reputation, that may or may not be deserved, for causing injurious bites to humans. Although the Giant House Spider is certainly capable of inflicting a bite if provoked, it is considered to be non-aggressive and not dangerous to humans. The dorsal markings on the abdomen are variable but I found several images that resemble yours. There is a lot of online information if you want to read more. Regards.  Karl

Thank you! Fantastic! Just to be clear; not dangerous? I’ll take a blistery, swelling bite over a fatal bite anytime!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination