Subject: Found near our garage
Geographic location of the bug: Fremont, San Francisco East Bay Area
Time: 03:13 AM EDT
Ok, came home after Thanksgiving dinner with the family to find this large spider/tarantula on the wall next to our garage door. It was around 2″ long, healthy, and didn’t seem to be aggressive at all. Temp was in the 50’s, warmer than normally this time of year. We do have some Tarantulas nearby, but this one seemed a bit different.
I can’t easily ID it but after some online searches have narrowed it down to these candidates:
Wolf Spider (Schizocosa mccooki or Pardosa ramulosa)
False Tarantula (Calisoga longitarsis)
California Tarantula (g. Aphonopelma)
How you want your letter signed: Cool but creepy
We are going to go with False Tarantula in the genus Calisoga which is pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, there are: “5 species, all essentially California endemics” and their range is “Kern County north to Shasta County, Coast Ranges + Sierra Nevada. Some isolated populations in western NV.” Now we wonder if any of the spiders from California we have identified in the past as Tarantulas might actually be False Tarantulas.
Thank you Daniel! Was leaning towards this. We have found this spider a few times, but the first was on a box we had in our garage… that was coming from China. My first concern was, of course, an invasive species. We do have Zoropsis spinimana, an invasive Mediterranean Spider (http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74143.html) that is being watched, but is apparently not a danger to the local indigenous species. This was a strong contender when I looked up some images, but think it may be too small for my visitor.