Currently viewing the category: "Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Sphodros rufipes?
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntingtown, Maryland
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 01:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have I correctly identified this guy and his he poisonous to humans and dogs?
How you want your letter signed:  Lori S

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Lori,
This is indeed a beautiful, male Red Legged Purseweb Spider.  This species poses no significant threat to humans or animals.  According to Animal Diversity Web:  “These spiders are rarely encountered by humans and are not pests. While venomous, they only serve as a threat to those who are highly sensitive to insect bites.”

Thank you. I understand that it’s rare to see one….supposedly. Either way, I  thought it was a beautiful sight. Thank you for getting back to me.
Lori Sampson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Ugly spiders
Geographic location of the bug:  Arizona
Date: 02/05/2019
Time: 02:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I’m NOT a fan of spiders in my home, & we’ve seen Huntsmen Spiders here about 6″ crawling on the ceiling @ night-freaked me out!! I do have a healthy fascination for the tarantulas because they don’t come into my home!lol
While cleaning up debris outdoors at our new home we discovered 3 of the UGLIEST spiders, & after closer examination, we realized we uncovered baby tarantulas that grow to be absolutely stunning!! We felt badly as it’s now the cold winter so I felt badly as many species of tarantulas are in a rapid decline due to habitat loss & the pet trade, & we were able to find them a new home, however, we discovered that people who have lived here their entire lives have NEVER seen spiderlings, so here they are!
Desert Blondie (Aphonopelma Chalcodes)
How you want your letter signed:  Sheila

Immature Tarantula

Dear Sheila,
Our first inclination was that your images picture Trapdoor Spiders, which are classified with Tarantulas in the infraorder Mygalomorphae, but upon thoroughly reading what you wrote, and then researching on BugGuide, we agree that these are immature Tarantulas.  Thanks so much for sending in your images, and because, despite your dislike for Spiders, you took the trouble to relocate these immature Tarantulas, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Immature Tarantula

Dear Daniel,
I LOVE Tarantulas, & unfortunately, sadly they’re in decline all over the world, much of it due to pet trade! They are truly peaceful creatures and a threat to no one!
Thanks so much for honoring me with that reward, I feel very humbled seeing that many others do the same, although most everyone that looked at the pics “felt the hair stand up all over”! lol
Keep up the good work as you definitely have people look at bugs differently & in a positive way than they might have previously!

Hi Sheila,
We are presuming you meant “pet trade” and not “pest trade” so we are making a correction.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Dawesville, western Australia.
Date: 01/19/2019
Time: 08:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there can you please help me identify this Spider. It disappears during the day and on dusk creates a beautiful web everyday. The web is always built in the same place between our house and lemon  tree. Its bright orange with no distinct pattern on the top of the abdomen.
Tonight was the first night I have noticed her hanging in a few lines of web but has not create d one. After looking around I have spotted another smaller orange Spider which I assume is a male. I have attached pictures of both
How you want your letter signed:  Stephanie

Garden Orbweaver

Dear Stephanie,
This is a harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  We believe it is a Garden Orbweaver, (
Eriophora transmarina or Araneus transmarina) which is pictured on the Brisbane Insect site where it states:  “Garden Orb Web Spiders are nocturnal spiders. They are large size spiders. The mature female spiders are about 50mm (leg to leg) in size. Males are a bit smaller, about 25mm leg to leg. The spiders are brown in colour with variety patterns on their flat abdomen. They build vertical orb web in garden and bushland. The spiders sit in the middle of the web and waiting for insects in night time. They build webs between trees or shrubs. The webs are usually one meter in diameter and about one or two meters above ground. The spider leaves a hole at the centre of the web.  Garden Orb Web Spiders build webs after sunset and move into retreat during the day time. The retreat can be leaves or tree trunks near by. When they rest, their legs fold up tightly against its body. If their webs are not damaged, they may leave the webs for next night, or they keep the silk material by eating them all before sun rise. When they collect the web silks, usually they will leave the top silk, the bridge thread. (There are some advantages for the spiders to leave the bridge thread on site.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what is this spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  mindanao, philippines
Date: 01/16/2019
Time: 07:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi.. my daughter found this kind of spider which becomes her pet but we cant identify what kind of spidrr is this..hope you can help us..thanks..
How you want your letter signed:  Jean

Tree Stump Spider

Dear Jean,
In our opinion, this is not a Spider, but rather a Harvestman, a group of Arachnids in the order Opiliones.  Harvestmen do not have venom, so they are not a threat to humans.  Alas, we have not been able to find any matching images online, so we cannot verify the species identity of your Harvestman.

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Christoper, who provided a link to Flying Kiwi, we now believe this IS a Spider, possibly a species of Orbweaver.

Update:  February 3, 3019
Thanks to a comment from frequent contributor Karl with links, we now believe we have a species identification for this Tree Stump Spider, Poltys illepidus.  Here is an image from Life Unseen.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Geographic location of the bug:  HOAGLAND INDIANA
Date: 01/16/2019
Time: 10:10 AM EDT
How you want your letter signed:  JODI W.

Sowbug Killer

Dear Jodi,
You are correct.  This is a Woodlouse Hunter or Sowbug Killer and it is not dangerous.

Thank you.  Since it’s winter here, and colder than a witch’s heart, I have it in a small terrarium and offered some crickets.We will see if it survives, it’s worth the effort.   It it such a cool spider.
Thank you so much!!!  I was surprised to find it, they aren’t normally found in Indiana are they?

Hi Jodi,
BugGuide does include Indiana in the range of the Sowbug Killer, and it even ranges north into Ontario.

Cool thanks so much, you are terrific!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Found this beauty in my hotel room!
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix
Date: 01/14/2019
Time: 07:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was laying on my bed in my hotel room looking at the ceiling and suddenly realized I was staring at a pretty good sized spider. I called maintenance for a ladder and the guy showed up with a stick and a wad of duct tape inside out on the end of it. I said I wanted it captured alive so we could release it and he promptly handed me the ladder and a trash can. After some coaxing I managed to get it in the can and released it across the street. It’s January in Phoenix, cool weather (65 by day, 40s by night, but since it was inside that might not matter as much). As you can see it has stripes, and it was almost perfectly flat against the ceiling. My guess is fishing spider but wondering what you think. Thanks for your help in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Erich Walsh


Dear Erich,
We have not awarded the Bug Humanitarian Award in some time, but discovering this Spider in a hotel room, calling maintenance and then capturing and releasing the Spider across the street certainly qualifies you as a bug humanitarian.  Your description that “it was almost perfectly flat against the ceiling” is acknowledged by the common name Flattie for Spiders in the family Selenopodidae, genus
Selenops, which can be viewed on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide: “This genus is found throughout the tropics and subtropics worldwide and can be found in southern parts of the U.S. In Sarah Crews’ 2011 paper, it is noted that there are quite a few unsorted specimens from all over the southwest (so it is best not to take the following ranges as concrete).”  Confusing this Flattie for a Fishing Spider is understandable.

Thank you so much for the identification and the bug humanitarian award! That’s good fun and feels great. You deserve an award more than I do though for being a public advocate for nature and helping people be a part of that.
All the best!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination