Spider – kukulcania, southern house spider?
We saw this spider on the side of our apartment in Las Vegas, NV. We’re not entirely sure what it is, but the best we can identify is the perhaps Kukulcania hibernalis (or loxosceles, but we hope not!) You can see in the picture that it has big black hairs on the legs, and the legs start out as a beige/yellow and end with a darker brown/black at the “feet.” We couldn’t exactly identify a “violin” on the back, but we didn’t have much for a frame of reference; however, the kukulcania seems to have the squarish abdomen, while the recluse seems to have a larger, bulbous abdomen. We also didn’t observe the double row on 3 eyes that the recluse is said to have. Overall, the spider’s diameter including its legs and feet were about the size of soda can. We were about to give up and call this a violin spider/recluse, but then saw on page 9 of the Spiders the conversation about the kukulcania, and are happier with that identification in regards to correctness and the related degree of danger! We hope this picture will be a good addition to your pages, and thanks so much for having a great website to research through! Best wishes,
Trish M., Las Vegas NV
We disagree with both of your suggestions, but are unsure ourselves. We are thinking perhaps one of the Tengellid Spiders in the family Tengellidae based on images we found on BugGuide. Wikipedia has some information. We will try to get Eric Eaton’s opinion. If we are correct, this is a new family for What’s That Bug?
Correction: We Were Wrong and Trish was right!!!
Daniel: No, but if I hadn’t seen the thing before, I would have absolutely no idea where to begin! The image is of a male “crevice weaver” in the genus Kukulcania, family Filistatidae. Many folks mistake them for a brown recluse, which they do resemble at a cursory glance. Females look more like diminutive tarantulas and are darker in color. Crevice weavers are not dangerously venomous to people, but are common inhabitants of homes, usually on the exterior of the house, though.