Currently viewing the category: "Funnel Web Spiders"

Large Tegenaria, not sure what type
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
October 30, 2010 7:51 pm
Saw this spider outside my house Oct26,2010 late fall in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Very large spider for these parts, body 1.5cm long, tip to tip from legs was around 8cm.
I think its a Tegenaria but not sure if its type is a atrica or duellica
Signature: junponline

Funnel Web Spider

Dear junponline,
We agree that this is a Funnel Web Spider in the genus
Tegenaria, but any attempts at our making a species identification are purely speculation.  Our guess is the Giant House Spider,Tegenaria gigantea (synonym for Tegenaria duellica), though there are a few snags in that line of possibility.  This is a European species that was introduced to the Pacific Northwest along with several other European species, including its relative the Hobo Spider, Tegenaria agrestisBugGuide does not list Nova Scotia as a sighting location, and all sightings are confined to the west coast.  The physical description of the Giant House Spider on bugGuide is “No banding on the legs, but proportionally longer legs than its cousins T. agrestis or T. domestica” and that fits your spider.  BugGuide also indicates:  “The greater European house spider (T. gigantea) is not dangerous to people. Some people may be intimidated by their size as male legspans can reach 4 inches (100 mm). However, Rod Crawford has never known one to bite a human (though they certainly could if they tried); they are so docile he uses them as hands-on demonstrators for school children.  You may want to post your photo to BugGuide to see what their large group of contributors has to say, because this may prove to be the first eastern report for the Giant House Spider.

Tegenaria something…
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
October 26, 2010 7:23 pm
First off, I love your site and check it religiously to see the variety of ”bugs” that people find out there.
Second, I’ve searched your site and found that you don’t have any pics of the infamous hobo spider. I’m hoping to be the first to provide one, though I understand you can’t really make a positive ID without physically examining the spider itself. I didn’t really feel qualified or equipped to do that…
I found this spider in late September hanging out and apparently eating flies in a shoebox I was using to store fishing equipment in my garage. I may be very lucky that I didn’t just stick my fingers in the box to grab something without looking around first, although the spider seemed to be more interested in getting away from me than anything else. I figure its body was about 1/2 inch long – including the legs, it was about an inch in diameter. I’m sorry, but it was moving around too quickly for me to run in and get a ruler or something else to give the photo scale.
Unfortunately, the poor spider didn’t survive our encounter. I’m perfectly happy to live and let live outside, but when it comes to any spider that has the possibility of being a hobo in any part of my house, my policy is, ”photograph and squish first, ask questions later”.
Again, thanks for keeping up your great website!
Signature: Jason

Hobo Spider

Hi Jason,
Thanks for your kind words.  This really does appear to be a Hobo Spider,
Tegenaria agrestis, and you are correct that we do not have any photos of Hobos in our archive.  You are also correct that we are often very reluctant to identify questionable species.  Though we try to convey tolerance on our website, we fully understand why you decided you did not want a Hobo Spider reproducing in your home, and we are not tagging your letter as Unnecessary Carnage.  Perhaps one of our readers will weigh in, or compare your photo to the images on BugGuide, and confirm that this is actually a Hobo Spider.

Spider in Germany, Deployed Husband OH MY!
Location:  Southwestern Germany
September 26, 2010 2:57 pm
Hello! I am coming across these fabulous creatures almost daily in my home and can’t take much more. My husband is currently deployed and I can only handle so much. We are currently stationed in Germany, and while I love it here, I can’t take these guys greeting me when I first wake up. Plus, my son and I have been experiencing bites on our face and arms, and can’t help but wonder if these guys have something to do with it? Some are as big as my palm!
Please help so I can make it through the last 6 weeks of this 6 month deployment. I appreciate your help!
Signature:  Scared Military Spouse in Europe

Grass Spider

Dear Scared Military Spouse,
WE do not recognize your Spider, but in the interest of providing you with some information, we are posting your letter with the image of an unidentified Spider in the hopes that our readership will be able to come to your assistance.

Karl bails us out again: Unknown Spider from Germany – September 26, 2010
Hi Daniel:
I think this is probably a Funnel Weaving or Grass Spider (Agelenidae) in the genus Tegenaria. A family characteristic is eight eyes, in two rows of four, and I think I can just make out the top row in the photo. The common English names in northern Europe for spiders in this genus include House, Giant House, Common House and Domestic Spider (and probably more). There are at least 12 representatives in that part of Europe and they look too similar to me to make a call, but I think it may be either T. atrica or T. domestica. The infamous Hobo Spider of western North America is in the same genus (T. agrestis), and is actually an accidental introduction from Europe. Although they are all venomous, other than the Hobo Spider they don’t appear to have a reputation for biting humans (they do frighten them, however). The really long legged ones are males and they are the ones that are commonly seen wandering around homes in the fall in search of females. Regards.  Karl

Karl is my hero! Danke!
I’d like to send some German Spider-Free Chocolate as a thank you. May I please have your mailing address?
Vielen Dank,
Anna Roser

Funnel-web Spider
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
Waiting patiently for your book to arrive soon!
Meanwhile, I’ve been walking in the Smokies almost daily, and it’s always an adventure.  This week, along my path, were four different Funnel-web Spiders working diligently.  All four webs were still intact this morning, though one spider has yet to show itself.
Ducking gossamer already,
R.G. Marion

Funnel Web Spider

Hi R.G.,
Unless you have taken a holiday, we are guessing that this photo is from North Carolina.  We are happy to hear you are excited about Daniel’s book.  He hopes to be receiving a review copy this month.  Thanks for sending your photo of a Funnel Web Spider.

Hello again.  Actually, I’m in Cosby, TN.  The North Carolina State Line is about ten miles from here, as the crow flies.  It is quite a bit farther by automobile.  Both being in The Great Smoky Mountains, East TN and western NC share their flora, fauna, and “bugs!”

Funnel Web Spider
Location:  Mountains of WNC
September 3, 2010 10:24 pm
I’ve figured this is some kind of a funnel web spider. We’ve got at least 4 living in the bushes in front of our porch. This is the best shot I’ve been able to get (taken on 9/3/10). My question is, what *kind* of funnel web spider is it? There’s also some kind of shiny (and kinda slimy-looking) stuff in the web. Any ideas what that is? (If you need bigger photos, please let me know & I’ll be happy to send you the link to the Flickr pages.)
Thank you so much!
Signature:  Michele

Funnel Web Spider

Hi Michele,
We are guessing WNC stands for Western North Carolina.  According to BugGuide:  “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 does not know how to walk on a sticky web, and become prey for another funnel-web spider.
”  It appears that your spider may be a Grass Spider in the genus Agelenopsis, and according to BugGuide:  “The funnel web for Agelenopsis is a distinctive web, and often is 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.

Hi Daniel-
Yes, WNC is Western North Carolina.  Henderson County, to be a little more specific.  Thank you so much for the information!  I also appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.
Thanks again

I think Nursery Web Spider? Southern NJ
Location:  Southern NJ
August 6, 2010 11:54 am
Hi Daniel, I’ve written before with miscellaneous ramblings (most in the vein of adulation) but I understand you’re busy folks. I took this photo of a spider in my garden in the beginning of July. I was trying to photograph raindrops in the web after a short rainstorm, and this guy showed up! I was giddy.
I see them all the time, but I never got around to fully researching what they are. The Nursery Web spiders seem to resemble my spider the most.
Now for the ramblings (abridged):
I love bugs, and I love you guys for loving bugs.
Within the last week I found a wheel bug nymph in my backyard, and rescued a gorgeous house centipede from the office where I work, two insects which I was able to identify at some point in my years-long love affair with whatsthatbug thanks to you and your dedication. Keep it up! No more squishing! (cept the bloodsuckers. they can #^*# off [edited for content])

Funnel Web Spider

Hi Alison,
This is not a Nursery Web Spider.  We believe, based on the eye arrangement, that it is a Funnel Web Spider in the family Agelenidae.  You can compare the eye arrangements for many families of spiders on BugGuide.  Thank you for your numerous compliments.  We have taken the liberty of “bleeping” a word in your letter, but we want to explain our stance.  Though we consider our website to be mature, and we respect free speech and freedom of the press, we also understand that our website is frequently used by educators, grade school students, and minors in general.  With that understanding, we have never shied away from adult themes, but we are always mindful of refraining from using unnecessary profane language.  Though the word we have edited resonates with us as well as many folks who have been plagued by mosquitoes, bed bugs and other blood suckers, discretion has prompted us to replace the word with symbols.  We hope you understand and that you don’t think of us as being overly prudish, which we are not.

Thanks for the reply and the ID. I totally understand, I should have known anyway and edited it out myself. And despite my venom toward bloodsuckers, most of them are very beautiful. And it always ticks (haha, get it? Ticks?) me off when people say they serve no purpose. Hello? Food chain? Not to mention they spread disease, which helps toward population control. But then I’ve found people tend to scrunch their brow whenever I say that.
Have a great weekend 🙂