What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider I found in my house
Location: Poway, California
November 17, 2013 10:04 pm
I found this spider in my house and I think it might be a brown recluse. But I live in Poway, California and have heard that there aren’t any brown recluse in San Diego. So I was hoping you could shed some light on what kind of spider this is. Besides its appearance the only thing else I know about it is that it jumps a lot.
Signature: Doug

Unidentified Spider

Unidentified Spider

Dear Doug,
This is NOT a Brown Recluse.  The pattern on the cephalothorax is reversed.  In the Brown Recluse, the violin shaped marking is dark against a light background.  While we are uncertain of your spider’s actual identity, we are posting the photo and we hope to have it identified soon.  We are copying Mandy Howe who has agreed to assist us with spider identifications.

Unidentified Spider

Unidentified Spider

Thank you very much for the response Daniel. I really appreciate the info and your help on this. You are correct. This spider definitely does not have a violin shape on its back. So sorry for being one of the many who buy into the hype about brown recluses and/or brown widows. I look forward to hearing what this little guy really is.

Update:  Shortly after posting, we discovered this photo of a Titiotus species on BugGuide that looks identical to your spider.  It is classified as a member of the family Tengellidae.  We will wait to hear what Mandy Howe has to say before we create a new category for your spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Poway, California

6 Responses to Unknown Spider NOT a Brown Recluse: Titiotus Species perhaps

  1. Mandy Howe says:

    I totally overlooked this one, sorry, Daniel! You’re right though, it is a male Titiotus, of family Tengellidae. That genus is confined to California so far, with 16 described species at the moment (though they can’t be told about without a microscope exam). They definitely get mistaken for brown recluses pretty often in CA.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks Mandy,
      I created a Tengellid Spiders category. Does the family have a common name?

      • Mandy says:

        No problem! There’s no official common name for tengellids, unfortunately, but myself and a few other people usually refer to them as “Wandering Spiders” since they hunt on foot instead of using webs. Just have to hope that they don’t get confused with the Brazilian wandering spiders (genus Phoneutria) or something.

  2. Oren says:

    Well, I recently had a run in with one of these lovely creatures. Sadly, I ended up smacking the arachnid off my leg and then later realizing: Gee, that was a spider. Somehow, I didn’t kill it right away, but knocked a leg off and then, I assume, broke the others. It was sad to see that either the spider was trying to wave goodbye or deathcrawl to bite me. Regardless, he went down the drain. Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee

  3. Jack says:

    I’ve recently captivated a little friend that is exactly this spider. I’m assuming that it’s a female based on such, that “she” is very large. For the time being I’ve named her Freja (fre-hah) and I’ve given her a decent sized tank bedded with potting soil, a fake vine to hide in, also a small dish with a thin layer of water for drinking if she does so desire, and a small tree like structure. With that in mind “She” has 6 small cricket friends to play tag with in the mean time. I hope to learn mpre about my new pet in time. =)

  4. Tiffany says:

    So I’m known as my family bug expert (though am in no way an actual expert – I just don’t kill bugs unless necessary whereas my family slaughters indiscriminately lol) – my sister sent me a picture of a spider she had killed worried it was a Brown Recluse and since we live in Tennessee odds were good – but it was missing the violin marking and had some other slight differences. I found this article and after looking at various websites with good pictures I determined it was most likely a female titiotus tengellide – just thought ya’ll might like to know since it seems to be believed that the spider is native to California and any further range appears unknown.

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