Subject: Web ID
Geographic location of the bug: New Jersey
Time: 09:33 AM EDT
I see these webs all over the ground in the field where I walk my dog. Do I need to worry about either of us being bit by what created it?
How you want your letter signed: Susan L Gardner
This is a Funnel Web, probably from a Grass Spider in the genus Agelenopsis. Of the Funnel Web Spider family Agelenidae, BugGuide states: “For this family of spiders, the web is a horizontal, sheet-like web with a small funnel-like tube off to a side (or for some species, the middle of the web). This funnel is what the family is named for, and is used by the spider for hunting and protection. The spider will lay in wait in the funnel, and when an insect flies into, or lands on the web, the spider will rush out, very quickly check to see if it is prey, and if it is prey, bite it. The venom is fast-acting on the prey, so once the prey is subdued (within a second or two), the spider will drag the prey back into the funnel (for safety while eating, and to prevent other insects from recognizing the danger that lurks on the web…) Depending on the species, the web may or may not be sticky. If the web is not sticky, the web will actually become tangled around the prey’s feet, ensnaring it in the web. Sometimes this may cause hardship for the spider later, because if the spider wanders across a web that is sticky… the spider may walk clumsily and become prey for another funnel weaver. Web Locations: The funnel web for the genera Agelenopsis and Hololena are distinctive, and often are noticed in bushes and grass, especially in the early fall mornings where the dew has collected on the web. The webs can be expansive, covering several square feet, or just small webs in the grass.” Grass Spiders are not considered dangerous to humans or dogs.