Currently viewing the category: "Funnel Web Spiders"

Subject:  Web ID
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey
Date: 10/04/2017
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

Funnel Web

Dear Susan,
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.

Subject:  Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  NS, Canada
Date: 09/24/2017
Time: 11:52 AM EDT
The girls found this spider in the bananas at work. Wasnt sure what kind this was.
How you want your letter signed:  Makayla

Male Grass Spider

Dear Makayla,
This is a harmless male Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis and it is the third example we have posted today.

Subject:  Concerned about Brown Recluse
Geographic location of the bug:  New Hampshire
Date: 09/16/2017
Time: 10:05 AM EDT
Thanks for taking a look and getting back to me.
How you want your letter signed:  Brendan

Male Grass Spider

Dear Brendan,
We are sorry about the delay.  Your request has been on our back burner for over a week.  We really only have time to respond to a small fraction of the requests we receive.  Since we just posted an image of what we believe to be a male Grass Spider, we hunted through unanswered mail to locate your request as your individual is definitely a harmless male Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis.  See this BugGuide image for comparison.

Subject:  In the Agelenopsis genus????
Geographic location of the bug:  Canada, Ontario, Ottawa
Date: 09/23/2017
Time: 07:35 AM EDT
Hello! There’s a big spider web on my porch. I’ve been watching it grow, throwing moths in there all summer. Because of how massive the web is, it’s really hard to snap a clear picture of the spider. However, one morning, I spotted a second spider wandering in and around the web. Looks exactly like the one who ones the web but it’s got a thinner body and longer legs. I’m suspecting it was a male wandering for the female. Either way, I’ve made a bit of research in my identification book but can’t find a spot on description/picture of them. Here’s a clear picture of the suspected male and a blurry picture of the suspected female!
Thanks for everything you do, I love wandering on your website!
How you want your letter signed:  Madeleine Blais

Male Grass Spider, we believe

Dear Madeleine,
Though we cannot make out the spinnerets in your image, and the spinnerets of Grass Spiders in the genus
Agelenopsis are generally quite prominent, we believe you are correct that this is a male Grass Spider from that genus. Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.   Since the female has been living in a web, that is additional evidence that this is a Grass Spider or Funnel Web Spider.  Thanks for the kind words.

Female Grass Spider, we presume.


Subject: Big spider takes over rat trap
Location: Kansas City MO
August 6, 2017 11:45 am
Hi! Was wondering if you could identify this big spider. I am in northwestern Missouri.
Signature: Celina

Grass Spider

Dear Celina,
We believe this is a Funnel Web Spider in the family Agelenidae, probably a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis like the one in this BugGuide image.  See BugGuide for more on Funnel Web Spiders.

Grass Spider

Subject: What is this guy?
Location: central NJ
August 31, 2016 11:17 am
I saw this spider in the gym today and nearly left (I’m not a big fan of spiders). we tried to shoo him out the door but he kept running the wrong way. Finally we convinced him to go outside. He was probably the size of a half dollar and he was quite fast.
Any idea what it is?
Signature: Andy

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Dear Andy,
The spinnerets on the tips of the abdomen help to identify your spider as a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis which you can verify by comparing your spider to the one in this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “These spiders are very common throughout the United States and Canada. Their webs will ‘litter’ the low-hanging shrubs and grass in summer to early fall, and are really noticable after a nice early morning dew. They are fairly easily identified: a “small” brown spider with longitudinal striping, the arrangement of their eight eyes into two rows. (The top curved row has four eyes and the bottom curved row has four eyes).   They also have two prominent hind spinnerets. A spinneret is a spider’s silk spinning organ. They are usually on the underside of a spider’s abdomen, to the rear. On many spiders, the spinnerets cannot be seen easily without flipping the spider over; however, with Agelenopsis, the spinnerets are readily seen without having to flip the spider over. “

Thank you. I thought it might be a wolf spider. Good to know it’s not.

They do look quite similar to Wolf Spiders.