Currently viewing the category: "Nursery Web Spiders"
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Subject: Large spider
Location: East Tennessee. Johnson city
April 30, 2016 2:09 pm
Just curious about what type of spider this is.
Signature: Halston Brooks

Male Nursery Web Spider

Male Nursery Web Spider

Dear Halston,
We believe this is a male Nursery Web Spider,
Pisaurina mira, a species well represented on our site, though we generally receive images of female Nursery Web Spiders.  Males have much larger pedipalps, the leglike appendages that are near the chelicerae or fangs.  According to the Spiders of Kentucky:  “Like the chelicerae, a spider’s pedipalps are part of its mouth, and are located just between the chelicerae and first pair of legs on the cephalothorax. Pedipalps are jointed, and look somewhat like small legs. They are not used like legs, though.  Instead, they are more like antennae: pedipalps help the spider sense objects that it encounters.  Some spiders also use their pedipalps to shape their webs and to aid in prey capture and feeding.  Pedipalps are used by male spiders to transfer sperm to female spiders.  In fact, you can usually distinguish a male spider from a female because of the male’s enlarged pedipalps.  All arachnids have pedipalps, but they often look quite different than spider pedipalps.  In Scorpions, for instance, the large pincers are actually modified pedipalps.”  Nursery Web Spiders do not spin webs to snare prey.  The female builds a nursery web to protect the young and both sexes hunt rather than to wait passively for prey.  Here is a BugGuide posting that illustrates the eye arrangement which we used to identify your individual.  Our big doubt regarding this identification was the size of the spinnerets visible in your individual.  We did locate an image of an adult male on the Spiders In Ohio site that possesses similar spinnerets (scroll to view image), the organs used in spinning silk.

Male Nursery Web Spider

Male Nursery Web Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big-ass spider
Location: Manzanillo, Costa Rica
April 21, 2016 1:46 am
So I was fortunate enough to have a visit from this gal (I’m assuming) on my mosquito net over my bed. No mosquitos getting to me tonight!!
Was taken back by the sheer size…. but how impressive!! This is in Manzanillo, Costa Rica.
BTW….. not that I’m taking chances, what kind of spider is she and is she seriously poisonous? Thanks!!!
Signature: Arachnid lover

Possibly Fishing Spider

Possibly Fishing Spider

Dear Arachnid Lover,
We often try to guess an identity prior to viewing the images, and we were certain you were inquiring about a Huntsman Spider, but the front two pairs of legs on your spider are two short for a Huntsman.  We believe your spider may be a Nursery Web Spider in the family Pisauridae, and it reminds us of a North American Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes.  Fishing Spiders are quite large, but perfectly harmless.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  We have not had much luck finding Costa Rican examples online.  The young lady in the image looks quite enthralled with the spider.

Possibly Fishing Spider

Possibly Fishing Spider

Thank-you very much for the information.  It too, reminds me of the spiders that come up from under the dock in the summertime!   The critters down here are a bug lovers paradise!

Some people call Fishing Spiders, by the name Dock Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: South Mississippi
April 6, 2016 7:55 pm
Hi bugman! There seems to be a lot of debate online about what kind of spider this is. Can you help?
Signature: Very scared of spiders!

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Dear Very scared of spiders!,
This is a harmless Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira, and it appears to have met an unnatural end, prompting us to tag this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison, and we believe most people would agree that the living spider is much more attractive than the dead individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider identification.
Location: Burriville, RI
January 10, 2016 5:34 pm
Dear Bugman,
I am curious if you can identify this particular spider. Usually the biggest spider we get around here are wolf spiders but this one is larger and has a different coloration. This was taken in the spring and I found it under my car while washing it. I was able to get close so that tells me it doesn’t scare easy.
Signature: John

Fishing Spider

Fishing Spider

Dear John,
This is a Fishing Spider in the genus
Dolomedes, and we believe it is most likely Dolomedes tenebrosus which you can verify by comparing your individual to this BugGuide image.  Fishing Spiders are quite large and most species are found not far from fresh water.

Wow thank you very much! That makes a lot of sense, because I live pretty close to the town reservoir. I see now you’ve addressed this spider a few times before, my apologies my phone didn’t load the site properly at the time. Again thank you for your time.

There is no need to apologize.  We like being able to post new content to our site daily.  We also like having multiple examples of the same species as that helps in future identifications as well as acting as a species range indication.  Your posting did get 11 likes from our readers in just three days.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hello and hairy spider
Location: Hollywood California
November 25, 2015 8:24 pm
Hello bugman! So at work today we found a nice sized brown spider, and it is not one I have seen before. I work in North Hollywood California at a warehouse near the Burbank airport. We get shipments in from Japan, Korea, & China (and I mention this only if this species is found outside of the US). It is fairly active, and I am assuming that it is a male due to the size of its Pedipalps (I can be totally wrong tho haha). As for its description, it is brown, hairy, roughly about 2 inches wide (with legs spread out). It has eight eyes, 4 in a row stacked (Top are larger, with the 2 center being the biggest)and the 4 below it are much smaller. Its fangs rest underneath it, folded in. I decided to take it home and made a small enclosure for it which is roughly 4x4x8. I have a few more pictures of it if needed, and I hope I can get an ID with the info that I provided haha. Thanks a bunch! You are the best!
Signature: Jeeb

Spider

Spider

Dear Jeeb,
You have us stumped.  The only spider we can think of with this general size and coloration that we would expect to find in Southern California is a Giant Crab Spider,
Olios giganteus, but the front two pairs of legs on your individual look far too short and the chelicerae seem much too light.  What your spider really reminds us of is a Nursery Web Spider like this lovely golden Pisaurina mira pictured on BugGuide, but they do not range into the western states.  It doesn’t appear your individual has spun a web, so we are concluding it is some species that hunts rather than a species that waits to snare prey, but we do not believe this is a Wolf Spider.  We are contacting Eric Eaton and Mandy Howe for some assistance.  Stay tuned.

Spider

Spider

Eric Eaton agrees with our ID of a Nursery Web Spider
Daniel:
I agree it looks most like Pisaurina mira.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Spider

Spider

Mandy Howe confirms identification
Hi Daniel,
Weird! (In California, I mean.) It looks like a Pisaurina mira to me, too. It’s a penultimate male and it seems “big” so I tried to use the ruler to estimate the size and looks like he’s about 15mm in body length, which is the upper limit for the males already (they’re described as being 10-15mm full grown). Never really seen one of these get transported before, but anything’s possible! Maybe in shrubs or plants from a nursery or something? There are some similar-looking spiders in the family Pisauridae from around the world, but I’d guess our native P. mira would be more likely. I’ll ask around and see if anyone else has seen these in CA. The last time I was surprised was when I saw some hobo spiders from Pickering, Ontario and it turned out to be a “known” established population that arachnologists just hadn’t published or publicly talked about. So I’ll ask about this one too and see if anyone “knows” anything.
(The eye arrangement rules out the Ctenidae species from Central/South America; I just mention that because some ctenids can look similar to this too, and occasionally get transported.)
Happy Thanksgiving to the both of you, too! I’m still in a turkey coma at the moment….
Mandy

Thanks for the confirmation Mandy.  We will attempt to get additional information from Jeeb, or request that he keep an eye out for any females to determine if there is an established population in Southern California.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you very much for this update and I hope you had a good thanksgiving! This has been pretty exciting ha ha, i’ll keep an eye out to see if there are any other of these guys at work, especially if its a female. Where is this species normally found?
I am glad to help out in anyway I can, please let me know if you need anything from me. As for housing it/keeping it, let me know if there is any place I can take it to, or if you guys would be interested in taking it. Ha ha, if I hold onto him it would most likely be as a pet, so if I can take him somewhere that would benefit any sort of research I would be more than happy to oblige.
Thanks again!

Hi again Jeeb,
Pisaurina mira is found in eastern North America and it is nit reported west of Texas according to BugGuide.  We don’t believe Nursery Spiders are commonly kept as pets as they do not live very long.  You can try contacting the LA County Museum of Natural History Spider Survey.  We recently conated a large gopher snake that was struck by a car in front of our offices and we got a very nice behind the scenes tour.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Spider in Michigan
Location: Big Rapids, MI
September 15, 2015 11:31 am
Hi,
I’m just trying to help a friend ID this spider he came across while clearing some brush out in the woods near Big Rapids, MI. It was the size of a half dollar.
Signature: CC

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Dear CC,
This gorgeous spider is a harmless Nursery Web Spider in the genus
Pisaurina, and it is more brightly colored than the typical common member of the genus Pisaurina miraBugGuide includes some images of orange individuals.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination