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.
prospective couch-potato
Austin, TX

Running Crab Spider

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
Hi, Daniel:
The “fishing spider” from Austin, Texas, dated Feb. 18, is actually a species of “running crab spider” in the genus Philodromus, family Philodromidae.

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