February 18, 2010
I spotted this spider lurking on my bedroom ceiling this evening. My first thought of course was “Is it the dreaded recluse?” So I got on to comparing it to pictures on the internet. Since it was up on the ceiling it was hard to get a good look at it in detail without putting my face under it. Using my camera’s zoom function I managed to take a whole bunch of really blurry pictures, finally getting 2 decent ones before I ran down the batteries 🙂
For size reference the extents of its legs would poke just a bit beyond the edges of a half-dollar coin.
I read on wikipedia that recluses don’t have patterns on their abdomen/legs so I’m thinking it’s not one of those. Also his little head-crest looks like it is light on a dark background as opposed to the dark on light that I see in the recluse pictures. I wasn’t quite close enough to count the eyes in my picture so I’m not sure how it stacks up on that feature.
I just moved a bunch of empty cardboard filing boxes that were stacked up to the ceiling near the spot where I saw it so it may have been hanging out in those and got out in the open during the disturbance.
I am in central Texas and it is mid-February. We just had some cold-warm-cold weather transition which I think woke up all the bugs and then sent them indoors looking for warmth. A week or two ago I found a scorpion moseying across my bedroom floor a couple of feet away from my bed. I was able to catch/relocate him. This guy though will have to come down off the ceiling to where I can reach him. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch him.
I’m considering sleeping in the living room tonight though… 🙂
Thanks for sharing all the cool bug pictures you get, I learn something new every time I wander by this page.
Dear prospective couch-potato,
Your spider is a harmless Fishing Spider in the genus Dolomedes, probably Dolomedes tenebrosus, which is pictured on BugGuide.
Correction thanks to Eric Eaton
The “fishing spider” from Austin, Texas, dated Feb. 18, is actually a species of “running crab spider” in the genus Philodromus, family Philodromidae.