What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

white triangle on back?
Your site is the most comprehensive collection Ive seen so far. I live in North Carolina. Something has been biting me (but not my wife?) at night. The bites are not painful but can be really itchty at times. I found this spider crawling in our sheets this evening. Given its very distinctive white triangle on the back and striped legs I thought the ID would be cake. After looking at many sites, including yours, I have yet to find a match. We have seen many different kinds of spiders in and around our house so this one may be unrelated to the bites. Still Id just like to know what we’ve got here.

Hi Paul,
We love getting good photos of new species for our site. My old Comstock Spider Book calls your spider Verrucosa arenata and you have a female. Some authors call the genus Aranea. The abdomen is distinctive and triangular in outline. The large triangular spot can be white, yellow, pink or green. It is a Southern species that is occasionally found as far north as Long Island. It is probably not the cause of your wife’s bites. A Google search turned up a site that had this information: “The arrow-head spider, Verrucosa arenata, has three distinct color forms, which occur in the same habitat. Our goal is to understand the ecological and behavioral factors that allow for the maintenance of this polymorphism. More specifically, we are interested in understanding how predation (e.g., crypsis) and assortative mating maintains these color forms.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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15 Responses to Arrow-Head Spider, Verrucosa arenata

  1. Jami says:

    In Carrboro, NC….This spider actually jumped BACK on me from the pavement after I brushed it out of my hair as if attacking. Aggressive. Not sure if this is normal behavior or not.

  2. kim ryan says:

    I killed a spider with a white triangle on its butt. When I smashed it, I looked to see if it died. Well when I opened up the toilet paper I seen it was dead but in its butt there was a little thin gray coil of a worm. An it was hard to kill, I had to masked it like 4-5 times before it finally died. Do you know what that worm like thing would have been? I’m freaked out. Thanks.

  3. Robert says:

    We live in the country above Durham, NC. I went out last night to close up our chicken coops and feed the rabbit when I almost walked into a giant web! I shined my light up to see this spider with a white triangle on its back waiting on the edge of a tree branch. Then not even two feet away was another one with a yellow to green triangle working on its own web. Strangely though there was no sight of them today. One instinct is to agree with my wife and burn down every tree and bush in our yard that doesn’t produce fruit. Evey night like the last brings me one step closer to doing just that. Even though I’m the one trying to convince her some spiders are good for the yard and environment; that sudden awareness you just got web all over your face and head and don’t know where the spider went or what kind it was, is extremely frightening for the most courageous. Needless to say, I am the only one with the faith and stupid willingness to cautiously brave the risk of a face full of web around here. Thank you for identifying my nocturnal nemesis stalker in waiting.

    • Nancy says:

      Spiders get into the house, too. You’ve probably even run into a web there at some point. So, you might need to also burn the house down….. 🙂

    • Deborah says:

      I’m in the Union Ridge area of northern Alamance County. I almost ran into one of those creepy little spiders while cleaning up after my dog late in the evening. The one I saw was red with the white triangle.
      Late August through Sept and Oct is the worst time for tree web spiders. The really big ones that come out in the fall really creep me out.
      I have been out after dark with the dogs and my flashlight, shining the light around the edge of our treeline checking for critters so the dogs don’t go running. I have caught little bright glowing object in the trees or tall grass. With curosity kicking in I had to go check it out only to find out it was the eye of a big creepy spider watching me from its perch on the tree branch.

  4. Steph says:

    This spider was found on my porch in Ohio this morning.

  5. Valerie says:

    I found this spider on my deck when I was covering the grill this morning. I saw it on my shoulder. I felt a string of web so I pulled it away hoping the spider was still attached and it was. It was not aggressive but it could be dying or sick because it didn’t seem very active or interested in a quick get away. It landed on the deck floor. I bent down to see what kind it was and I had never seen this spider before. It had a shiny white triangle back. I took a picture and it looks just like the one above. It’s their world too so just researching to better understand this little guy- is it safe or something I should avoid coming in contact with.
    I’m located in Alabama. I didn’t mention that in my previous post.

  6. Annette Mathis says:

    I also found this spider hanging from my table edge. It has a white triangle on it’s back.I live in Waleska ,Ga.

  7. Damion says:

    I found this same little guy in my yard this morning with him just hanging out in the middle of his huge web stretched across the grass and trees. The web was about 6′ diameter and the spider was a light brown with a large white triangle on it’s back. I live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and the past couple weeks have been running into spiders I’d never seen before. Just the other day I ran into a gray spider with a white cross on its back on my deck also. He has a web on my deck and I have been throwing moths in his web the past few nights watching him feed on those. Its fun to watch that little cross spider run to those moths and wrap them up in a cocoon and carry them to the rest of the cocoons at the top of his web. I don’t think he will ever go away if I keep feeding him every night. I think I will name him cross contamination… C.C. for short! Lol!

  8. Donna Clark says:

    I saw this little beauty in Bristol, TN, last night. 47 years of spider fascination and I’ve never come across one in NC, VA, or TN. “Mine” was solid black, though, which made the perfectly equidistant, white triangle appear even more stark. Quite striking design, evolution! Thanks for helping identify!

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes the one on my shoulder was black too, (while just sitting on the bed!) making the white brighter. Gaffney, SC
      Haven’t seen anyone say they’ve seen one in SC! Im going to keep researchin to make sure they are ok and not poisonous lol.

      • Sydney says:

        Tiffany I see them all the time. Oconee County SC they are not poisonous and are quite beautiful. Spend a moment to observe them.

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