Currently viewing the category: "Funnel Web Spiders"

Subject: Tengellid family, I hope?
Location: San Francisco CA USA
May 23, 2014 7:40 pm
In late-February this year, I saw a small almost black-looking spider run across a cabinet and disappear down the side by the stove, too fast to catch. It was probably the size of one of the now-dead-and-dried-up babies in the pictures. I almost never find any bugs other than an occasional moth, fruit fly, or tiny pantry beetle (identified on your great site!) in my large work-space. (No windows, no plumbing, few critters.) I left for a month in Mexico the next day and forgot about the spider. When I returned in late March, there were two small dead-and-dried spiders in an empty plastic bin on the floor under the cabinet where I’d seen the live one a month before. I saved them in a jar for a possible art piece. There didn’t appear to be any webs or more spiders in the cabinet when I poked around a bit, so I forgot about them again, because spiders in the house scare me unreasonably, though I’m not afraid of them when I garden, and admire them very much outdo ors. But YESTERDAY, when I pulled out the plastic bin, there was the HUGE one lying in the bottom, still very-um– flexible, as I discovered when I stopped freaking. I got it spread out and photographed (a LOT because of shaking hands), then thought to put a quarter by it for scale. The flash on my OLD digital camera makes it look lighter then it really is, plus I have fluorescent work lights overhead, but wanted you to see as much detail as possible. Today I realized the markings seem the same on the two dead small ones I found in March, so I put them all together in the other two photos. From the info I found in WTB about “false Brown Recluse” and Tengellid/Titiotus examples, I think this may be what I have, but I’d really like to know for sure. AND when I tear the cabinet apart and really search under and in everything in the vicinity, how DANGEROUS, if at all, is their bite? Also, am I likely to find clusters or heaps or large groups of them? Do they make webs? Or do they just stomp around independently? How big do they get, and WHAT DO THEY WANT???? I KNOW you’re swamped with questions, so thanks VERY much for any info YOU can give me, or point me to the best places to look for as much information as I can find. I LOVE your site and tell as many people as I can about it. I find it fascinating and a very reassuring learning place!
Signature: Maude

What's That Spider???

What’s That Spider???:  Male Barn Funnel Web Weaver

Dear Maude,
In our opinion, the images of the spiders you submitted look nothing like the Tengellid Spider we have pictured in our archives
We are requesting assistance with its identification and we hope to get back to you soon with an identification.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some information.

Thanks, Daniel–I never expected such a quick reply! And of course you’re quite right. I was looking at it out of fear, seeing violins and colors far from reality, and ran screaming to your site for a tranquilizer…! Later, I checked some links you have listed and did some READING about recluse spiders, then looked at many, many pictures of other more possible types, including various Grass Spiders and even Wolf Spiders, which a friend suggested. But what I learned about the Brown Recluse of my fear and the myths associated with it (especially here in Northern California, for pete’s sake!) blew the handcuffs off my brain. I’ve copied some facts about them and cited sources, which will be shared with every gardener and camper I know, so we can all stop being afraid of instant death from the brown (and black and tan) spiders that DO live among us, and start being “cautious but curious” instead! I no longer feel that my studio is in danger of being overrun by packs of snarling arachnids sporting violin-shaped tattoos and thirsting for blood. I feel foolish for acting foolishly, and hope I haven’t wasted your time. Thanks ever so much, Daniel and all, for referring “my” spider to readers who may have come across this type and can identify it and its behavior, so I can learn how to behave!


Spiders including Male Funnel Web Weaver on right

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Male funnel-web weaver, family Agelenidae.  Can’t tell more from the image.

I’m sending this to you, Daniel, because I’m not sure if I should send it with the photos to the “Comment” section on your site. You’ve been so generous with your time and knowledge and I’m very grateful! I extend many thanks to Eric for the identification, and apologies for the hasty images. I’m adding a few more that may be more helpful (at least when zoomed somewhat in Windows Picture Viewer). SPIDER_013 is an underside flash shot of the big guy, (also a copy, Spider_013, over- sharpened in Elements 9, hoping for better detail), and SPIDER2_040 is an underside flash shot of the two small ones I found dead in the empty plastic bin the last week of March. SPIDER_007 is probably the best shot I have showing EYES (when zoomed), and SPIDER_008 is the back end (sort of amazing when zoomed). Now that I know more about what kind of web(s) to look for, I’ll have to start checking my cluttered space for any kids or relatives, and move them to a more appropriate OUTDOOR environment, if I can. And if these photos help narrow down the I.D. possibilities, I’ll have even more information to gather, because this is becoming a VERY interesting learning experience. (At least when I’m not jumping at shadows…) Thanks again. A small donation will be coming to your site in a day or two. Wish it could be more, but artists in San Francisco are also working mostly for the love of it, not money…

Hi Maude,
Images cannot be attached to comments, only to identification requests.  We are posting the image you have indicated that shows the eyes the best.  Thanks for your kind words and support.

Male Funnel Web Weaver Spider

Male Barn Funnel Web Weaver Spider

Mandy Howe provides some input:  June 8, 2014
Hi Daniel,
Very sorry for the delay, I was visiting family in Utah, so am behind (don’t have a laptop or anything that I take with me on trips).
The “larger” spider on the right in both images is definitely just a common adult male Tegenaria domestica, found in almost every house in North America. Not dangerous to humans, and is typically found during mating season when they roam at night. They often crawl into sinks or bathtubs for a drink of water and then can’t climb the slippery surface to get out, so people find them most often in those places in the morning.
The other dead spiders on the left in the first image are in the family Gnaphosidae so, in San Francisco, they could be Scotophaeus blackwalli (the “mouse spider”) or Herpyllus propinquus (the “western parson spider”)… those are the two most common species found in homes on the west coast, at least. (I can’t see the abdomen on them to tell which species.)
Hope that helps!

Subject: What’s this spider?
October 22, 2013 6:19 am
I shot this spider on the small island of Hajo-Do, at the far south-western edge of South Korea, in June or July 2011. From comparing it to images from google, it resembles a Wolf Spider, to my untrained eye, but I have also read reports that the Funnel Web Spider has somehow found its way here, and this spider had a funnel shaped web. (If it was the latter, I was courting disaster, as my hands were only a few cm away as I adjusted my lens…) So, I’ve supplied 2 photos – One from a little further back, showing the web, and a second, much closer, getting down to macro detail.
I’m a very keen macro shooter, and am especially crazy about bugs, although my knowledge of genus etc is very limited. Feel free to explore my blog posts on my macro work on insects, and any help with identifying them would be very much appreciated.
Relevant blog posts…
Signature: richarquis de sade

Spider from South Korea

Funnel Weaver from South Korea

Dear richarquis de sade,
We do not recognize your spider, and we do not have the time to research at this moment, so we are posting your excellent photos in the hope that one of our readers can provide a comment as to its identity.

Unknown Spider from South Korea

Funnel Weaver Spider from South Korea

Hi Daniel and richarquis de sade:
I believe your spider is a Funnel Weaver (Agelenidae), probably in the genus Allagelena. At least three species are native to Korea: A. opulenta, A. donggukensis and A. difficilis. All three species are highly variable in appearance but I did find several images posted by Daniel Ruyle of A. opulenta spiders from Japan that look very similar to richarquis de sade’s spider. Allagelena opulenta is native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.  I tried to find out if it was considered dangerous to humans but my search was inconclusive. One site did indicate that its toxin is “insect-selective”, suggesting that it is probably not dangerous. However, I would probably not be inclined to test this if I was ever confronted with the opportunity. Agelenid spiders are sometimes referred to as Funnel Web spiders but they should not be confused with the very dangerous Australian Funnel Web spiders, most infamously the Sydney Funnel Web, which belong to a different spider family altogether, the Hexathelidae. Regards.  Karl


Subject: dangerous?
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
July 24, 2013 7:12 am
This fellow has set up camp inside my kitchen window. While I find it interesting to watch him catch his food, I miss having an open window. Can I safely move him to the back of the yard? What is he?
Signature: Sally B

Grass Spider

Grass Spider

Dear Sally B,
We believe because of the prominent pair of spinnerets, that this is a Grass Spider in the genus
Agelenopsis, as pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Agelenopsis spp. spiders are “lightning-quick”; often people only get a glance of it before it disappears behind or under something” and “These spiders are docile and non-aggressive. They will flee at the first sign of a threat and will not bite unless they feel threatened without an option to escape. (e.g. – Trying to pick the spider up).”  The best way to relocate the Grass Spider is to trap it under a glass, slip a postcard under the opening and transport to a more suitable location.

Subject: Spider welcoming committee.
Location: Seattle
February 6, 2013 11:52 am
Dear Bugman,
It was the 3rd night in our new house when thought that our cat had nabbed a mouse. To our (Amityville) horror, we realized it was no mouse, but some sort of terrifying, prehistoric spider. We were able to trap him under a pint glass and snap some shots. The opening of the pint glass is almost 4 inches (3 3/4”?) and there is a slight glare on the glass. Nobody seems to know what this guy is! Some guess hobo, others say too large. It’s the creepy Black Metal type markings that don’t seem to match up with any breed. Upside down cross? Mariner’s fan? Possible Hybrid? Prehistoric creature?
Can you help identify, so we know what we are up against? The house had sat unattended for only a few months before we moved in.
Signature: Frazzled Francine

Giant House Spider

Dear Frazzled Francine,
We don’t know what species of Spider you photographed, but your letter amuses us to no end.  We will post and feature your photo in the hopes that our readers will provide comments, suggestions and possibly an identification.

Giant House Spider, according to Karl
Hi Daniel and Frazzled Francine:
The photo is not very clear so I am not certain but I think this is probably a Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica = T. gigantea), a Funnel Weaver in the family Agelenidae. It is a European species that has been established in the Pacific Northwest and southern BC since early in the 20th century (I believe Canada can be blamed for this accidental introduction).  It is closely related to the smaller Hobo Spider (T. agrestis), another introduced European species that has acquired a reputation, that may or may not be deserved, for causing injurious bites to humans. Although the Giant House Spider is certainly capable of inflicting a bite if provoked, it is considered to be non-aggressive and not dangerous to humans. The dorsal markings on the abdomen are variable but I found several images that resemble yours. There is a lot of online information if you want to read more. Regards.  Karl

Thank you! Fantastic! Just to be clear; not dangerous? I’ll take a blistery, swelling bite over a fatal bite anytime!

*URGENT*~Brown Spider with Black Stripes~PLZ IDENTIFY~*URGENT*
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA- near cut firewood in the back yard
September 20, 2011 12:15 am
Dear Mr. Bugman, I live in Columbus, Ohio & I just moved from the west side (Hilltop) to the north side (easton) area. Right outside my apartment at night on the 19th of September, almost midnight I went to sit on my step to smoke, since I do not smoke indoors. I actually seen something kinda looked balled up but in the dark I really couldn’t tell so I actually kinda scooted it off my step with my bare hand. I thought nothing of it & continued on smoking my cigarette & entered back into my house. Going out a second time to smoke, this time I turned the porch light on & right where I had kinda flicked the thing was a big, nasty looking spider. There is a big wooden stand that holds cut firewood right on that side of my door, in the back yard. This spider was bigger than most I have seen around here, in my house as well as from what I have ever seen around the Hilltop. So, naturally I am looking for markings immediately. I have been bitten by a nast y- poisonous spider before & it has left it’s mark on me permanantly. I have the scar till this day, not a pretty memory I care to remember or even admit. So, I do have some fear. However, I also have what I call ’population control’ around my house; which is where I determine by the size, quantity, location, & just pure looks which spider I shall allow to live on, in, & around my house. If these spiders do not meet my standards of ’safety versus benefits’ I am sorry to say, they must die & I take them out immediately. Most of the time- a shoe, sometimes the occasional death by being flushed down the toilet or rinsed with water down the sink, shower or bath. Anyhow, this spider out back of my new house has me worried & I cannot quite put my finger on what type of spider it is. Before I should decide this spiders fate, I am trying to give it the benefit of the doubt here. I need your expertise… It is brown, slightly hairy but not too much though. It has what looks like 2 black stripes from his head down his back to the very end of him. I did notice on his (but) area, it looks as if whatever those things are, (two somethings) maybe his spinners or what he uses to make his web, but they look rather long or protruding. I have never seen them so defined on other spiders before. They are easily recognizable on the end of the back of his body. I cannot see his face though. Just 2 black stripes from what looks like end to end. Please, if you can help me with the identification of this, I almost want to say beast because he is sooo scary… but of this creature. I would greatly appreciate it. I think from the pictures I have seen, I would say he is either a ’Wolf Spider’ or a ’Grass Spider’. To me, he does not match perfectly with either. I am concerned because of my kids. They play in this yard as well as walk in & out of that door when needed. The difference between the two spiders I mentioned are extremely important. From what I have gathered a ’Grass spider’ can be very poisonious? A ’Wolf Spider’ doesn’t look too pleasant either. so, if you would ever so kindly please help me, I will forever be ever grateful to your cause & your generousity. thank you kindly, with love from The Hall Family……Sincerely, Lilly Hall
ps. It is the beginning of Fall here & it did just rain today. When I went back outside to see if I could get better quality pictures. I went to take a picture of the web it spun inbetween the wood logs & discovered another one already. Now, Im freaked out there is a whole family out there. Also, I caught a slug, worm & God only knows what else all these bugs are- coming from underneath my step. It’s like a jungle out there. AHHHH, somebody help me. Then I remembered it did rain…. I sure hope the pics are good enough to help u indentify the species. I took it from my 3.0 megapixel Samsung rogue cell phone. You can always zoom in on it,especially if u have some good software. I am sorry I didnt have a better camera. thanks for listening. Plz email me back, thx so much….
Signature: Authentically, I’m not sure I understand. Please, by any means you wish. whichever way is best I would guess. thank you. sorry I do not understand what this is asking….


Dear Authentically, I’m not sure I understand. Please, by any means you wish. whichever way is best I would guess. thank you. sorry I do not understand what this is asking….,
Our staff is speechless.  If the spider spun a web that looked like a funnel with a retreat hole, then it is most likely a Funnel Web Spider, a family that includes the Grass Spiders in the genus
Agelenopsis.  If it hunted without a web, it is most likely a Wolf Spider.  Any Spider might bite if provoked or carelessly handled.  Some people might be allergic to the bites of certain Spiders because not all spider venom is the same.  If you are nervous about Spiders and other bugs, we suggest you get rid of the wood pile by the house.  In our opinion, smoking is a bigger threat to your health than either spider.


Location: Ede, The Netherlands
August 23, 2011 2:04 am
This spider was spotted in the Netherlands last Saturday (20th of August). Including its legs it was about the same size as a streched out hand. I’ve never seen anything like this before, that’s for sure!
Signature: Hello!

Giant House Spider

This appears to us to be a male Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, a mainly tropical species that sometimes is introduced to cooler climates because of shipments of bananas and other items.  They are not dangerous despite their large size and frightening appearance.  They are nocturnal hunters that will prey upon cockroaches.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your swift reply! It sure is reassuring to know it only eats cockroaches! 🙂
Kind regards,
Ruben Maas

Hi Ruben,
They will prey upon more than just Cockroaches, though that seems to be a favorite prey for them.

Hi Daniel,
I meant reassuring more in the way that it would not prey on me while I sleep. Most indiginous spiders here are the size of a fingernail, not an entire hand, hence my discomfort 😉
Cheers, Ruben

In many tropical countries, they are allowed to live in the house.  We imagine in The Netherlands, they might not survive the winter outside, but it might survive the winter indoors.  Your individual is a male, as evidenced by his large pedipalps, so you don’t need to worry about him laying eggs and being overrun with Huntsman Spiders.  If we were you, we would make him a pet.  Just warn your visitors who your newest roommate is.

Correction:  February 25, 2018
We just received a comment from Curious Girl questioning this identification.  We agree with Curious Girl that this appears to be a Giant House Spider, not a Huntsman Spider