Subject: Large spider
Location: East Tennessee. Johnson city
April 30, 2016 2:09 pm
Just curious about what type of spider this is.
Signature: Halston Brooks
We believe this is a male Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira, a species well represented on our site, though we generally receive images of female Nursery Web Spiders. Males have much larger pedipalps, the leglike appendages that are near the chelicerae or fangs. According to the Spiders of Kentucky: “Like the chelicerae, a spider’s pedipalps are part of its mouth, and are located just between the chelicerae and first pair of legs on the cephalothorax. Pedipalps are jointed, and look somewhat like small legs. They are not used like legs, though. Instead, they are more like antennae: pedipalps help the spider sense objects that it encounters. Some spiders also use their pedipalps to shape their webs and to aid in prey capture and feeding. Pedipalps are used by male spiders to transfer sperm to female spiders. In fact, you can usually distinguish a male spider from a female because of the male’s enlarged pedipalps. All arachnids have pedipalps, but they often look quite different than spider pedipalps. In Scorpions, for instance, the large pincers are actually modified pedipalps.” Nursery Web Spiders do not spin webs to snare prey. The female builds a nursery web to protect the young and both sexes hunt rather than to wait passively for prey. Here is a BugGuide posting that illustrates the eye arrangement which we used to identify your individual. Our big doubt regarding this identification was the size of the spinnerets visible in your individual. We did locate an image of an adult male on the Spiders In Ohio site that possesses similar spinnerets (scroll to view image), the organs used in spinning silk.