Currently viewing the category: "Spiders"
Tarantula

Tarantula

Subject: Big spider in Arizona
Location: Central Arizona
October 11, 2014 5:38 pm
Dear What’s That Bug?,
While backpacking in the Mazatzal Wilderness near Payson, Arizona I saw this amazing spider! I thought it was my first tarantula, but after looking up pictures of tarantulas, I’m not sure. It was in early October in the morning and it was walking across the path. I managed to take two pictures, but it was moving pretty fast for a spider, so they aren’t great.
Signature: Jason

Tarantula

Tarantula

Hi Jason,
This is definitely a Tarantula, and our best guess is that it is a Desert Blond Tarantula based on images posted to bugGuide.

Subject: Michigan Funnel Web Spider
Location: Millington Michigan
October 4, 2014 1:54 pm
Will you please help me identify this spider for my sister? She was pulling tall-ish (around 2′ tall) weeds when this spider jumped at her. She told me that a thick, funnel web was located close to where the spider came from. I would like to be able to give her more information than “It’s a funnel-web spider sis.” . Especially since spiders have the ability to scare the bejeebers out of her! No one should have to go through life without their bejeebers. Thanks for your help.
Signature: SuziQ

Possibly Funnel Web Wolf Spider

Possibly Carolina Wolf Spider

Dear SusiQ,
With all due respect, we find it somewhat odd that your sister had the bejeebers scared out of her, but the spider appears to have died because of the encounter.  We actually think this looks more like a Wolf Spider than a Funnel Web Spider, and in trying to research its identity on BugGuide, we are struck with the similarity of its appearance to members of the genus
Sosippus, the Funnel Web Wolf Spiders.  BugGuide only has reports of the genus Sosippus from Florida and California, so we don’t really believe this spider is a Funnel Web Wolf Spider.  Our money is on this being a Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis, based on this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Orange paturons (chelicera) and black around the the “knees” ventrally are characteristics of the species.(Jeff Hollenbeck)” and your individual does appear to have the orange chelicerae or fangs.  BugGuide also notes:  “Considered to be the largest wolf spider in North America.”  Large Wolf Spiders may bite, but they are considered harmless.  Somehow, no matter what we have to say about the harmless and beneficial attributes of spiders, we would not be able to convince your sister to attempt peaceful cohabitation.  If our suspicions about how this individual met its fate are correct, our Unnecessary Carnage tag is duly warranted.  If we are wrong and this spider met with a natural death, let us know and we will remove the tag.  

Possibly Funnel Web Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider we believe

This was definitely an “Unnecessary Carnage” incident.  My sister has been excessively frightened by spiders her whole life.  Thank-you for the I.D.  I have let her know what the result was and that she should not kill them in the future.  Hopefully she will just run away if she encounters any other creepy crawlies.

 

Subject: “Thorny” spotted spider

Location: Houston, TX
September 23, 2014 9:29 pm
We live in the Houston, TX area. I’ve lived all over and never seen a spider like these anywhere. Found about 8 of them and their lovely webs all over our yard — some yellow, some red. An online search turned up some similar spiders from far-reaches of the globe, but nothing definitively local. I’m curious to know what type and whether they are native.
Thanks in advance for any information.
Signature: Kelly in TX

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Dear Kelly in TX,
The Crablike Spiny Orbweaver,
Gasteracantha cancriformis, which is quite variable in terms of coloration, is native to Texas and a significant portion of the warmers parts of North America as well as the Central American neotropics and the Caribbean.  We would love to post images of your red and your yellow individuals shot in the same manner as the white individual we posted.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Crablike Spiny Orbweaver, which is harmless.

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Crablike Spiny Orbweaver

Subject: Close ups of the Cellar Spider
Location: Leamington Ontario. Old farm house
September 22, 2014 7:24 am
I’ve looked to see what my little alien being was called and have seen old posts of fuzzy pictures. So i figured for the sake of science and imagination! This guy was hanging from a web. I’m almost positive it’s dead.
Signature: Adrienne

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Hi Adrienne,
Thanks for adding to the images we have of Cellar Spider infested with Fungus.

Subject: Spider
Location: Barbados
September 20, 2014 1:21 pm
Has been in my bathroom in Barbados for the last few days. Shows no fear of me but tends to stay high on the wall.
Signature: Huh?

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Dear Huh?,
This is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae.  These are hunting spiders that do not build webs, and their presence is frequently tolerated in warmer climates as they help to control the populations of Cockroaches and other undesirable insects inside the home.  We believe this is a female
Heteropoda venatoria.

Subject: Tarantula maybe
Location: San Antonio, TX
September 19, 2014 6:16 am
Can you help me identify this spider I found floating in my pool. When I got it out I was surprised it was alive. It is about 2 inches long and the body is 1/2 inch wide. I did not see it spread out its legs. Is it dangerous?
Signature: Lisa

Trapdoor Spider

Trapdoor Spider

Dear Lisa,
This is a Trapdoor Spider, and though it is theoretically not a Tarantula, it is classified with the Tarantulas in the infraorder Mygalomorphae, and according to BugGuide, the Mygalomorphs are:  “Easily distinguished from araneomorphs by two pairs of booklungs; fangs and chelicerae are parallel to the body axis.”
  BugGuide also notes:  “This is a more primitive group of spiders which includes the infamous tarantulas, primarily represented by members of Family Theraphosidae. Other familiar members include the trapdoor spiders and purseweb spiders.