Currently viewing the category: "Ground Spiders and Ant Mimics"

Location: Houston Tx
December 28, 2012 12:00 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this guy in my sink. As soon as i noticed it was there it ran and hid in the crevice under the countertop. I was only able to get a picture of the back end of the spider because of its stealthiness. Please help me identify what kind of spider it is because I am mostly worried it may be some kind of widow spider. I have 3 children in the house that I have to keep away from my bathroom area for fear of getting bit.
Signature: Thank you ever so kindly. Iris S.

Ant Mimic Spider

Dear Iris,
This is a harmless Ant Mimic Spider in the genus
Castianeira.  You can verify the ID on BugGuide.

Subject: What is it?
Location: Houston, Texas
November 2, 2012 9:29 pm
Found this spider crawling away from my bed and I freaked out. I really dislike spiders. I tried searching online to see if it is venomous. The search just left me confused…black widow family or red stripe spider from Australia? It looked more like a red stripe spider from a image I saw online. What do you think?
Signature: Cyn

Ant Mimic Spider

Hi Cyn,
Though the coloration and markings are superficially similar to the dangerous Australian Redback Spider, this Ant Mimic Spider in the genus
Castianeira is perfectly harmless, and you can read more about it on BugGuide.

Redback in Louisiana
Location: Louisiana
April 19, 2012 12:02 am
I found this spider on my sister’s door (in the door jam)of her apartment. I got it in a cup, took a picture, and let it go outside.
Signature: Kristi

Red Spotted Antmimic Spider

Hi Kristi,
The Redback Spider,
Latrodectus hasselti, is an Australian species that is related to the Black Widow and its bite is considered dangerous.  To the best of our knowledge, there have never been any reports of Redback Spiders in North America, but plenty of Australian species have become established here and elsewhere, so anything is possible with global travel being so commonplace these days.  You can read about the Redback Spider on the Australian Museum website.  Our web search led us to the Spiderzrule website where we identified this Antmimic Spider, most likely the Red Spotted Antmimic Spider, Castianeira descripta.  We verified that identification on BugGuide though we would not rule out the possibility that your spider is a relative, Castianeira crocata, also represented on BugGuide.  It is not considered to be a harmful species.  We are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your catch and release of this interesting Antmimic Spider.

Thank you for responding. It is nice to know that it wasn’t poisonous! I prefer to let them go so they can eat our mosquitos! 😉

Hotel Spider
Location: Wilmington, NC
December 23, 2011 1:18 pm
Dear Bugman,
I am a flight attendant and therefore get to see a wide variety of bugs, welcome or not, both on and off the airplanes. This little guy was sharing a room with me in North Carolina. I have been bitten in the past many times in hotels by many things but wanted to know if this guy is a threat or helpful roommate.
Signature: Kelly

Parson Spider

Hi Kelly,
The Parson Spider in your photo is considered a harmless species.  They are Ground Spiders that do not build a web to snare prey.

Unknown spider
Location: VT
December 12, 2011 10:00 pm
I found this spider on my bedroom ceiling. I have never seen one that looks like this and wondering if you have any info. It has a weird white color stripe on head and back. It was roughly about the size of a nickel. This was in the state of Vermont.
Signature: Thank you

Parson Spider

The harmless Parson Spider, Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, has very distinctive markings.  You can read more about the Parson Spider on BugGuide.