Currently viewing the category: "Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We live in Rwanda and saw this on a walk in Kibuye. Is it a golden orb weaver? It was BIG!
Location: Kibuye, along Lake Kivu, Rwanda
October 26, 2010 4:57 am
We saw this yellow and black orb weaver on a walk near Lake Kivu in Rwanda. It’s abdomen was about the size of a small chicken egg. The silk on the web was golden coloured. The whole spider and legs would have nicely spanned an opened hand. It was beautiful. Our kids were fascinated (as were we!) I wish we could have gotten better scale for you. The web was between two hedges, about 5 feet off the ground. The spider was eating something at the time, so we enjoyed observing for a while. Sorry about the dark and blurry photos. We’ve tried searching online, but haven’t quite found much like it! We’d appreciate your help!
Signature: The Jelsma family in Rwanda


Dear Jelsma family,
Based on the color of the silk and the size of the spider, we suspect this Orbweaver is one of the Golden Silk Spiders in the genus
Nephila, but its coloration and markings are unfamiliar to us.  We will attempt a proper identification, but we will post the image and letter first in the event our readership is able to provide any clues.

Thanks so much for your quick reply! What a beautiful spider!
I took some video of it, with my hand as near as I felt gutsy enough to put it! (With the kids in the background saying: “No, mom, No mom…NOOooo…” Just to show some scale. It is one of the largest spiders we’ve seen here, as well as one of the most beautiful!
Thanks Daniel!
Jocelyn Jelsma

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black and red spider
Location: North East USA
October 25, 2010 8:18 pm
Dear Bugman, I beg of your help. I am finding these red and black spiders (i believe) in the house. I live in CT. These bugs are so tiny maybe the size of a grain of rice. The first thing you notice is a little glossy redish black ball. I only find them on the rugs, havent seen them elsewhere. I have two new babies and I am soooooo scared. I dont have a camera to take a picture but I pray you can still help us.
I provided a picture of the closet spider i can find, this resembles the body structure but not the color or size.
Signature: BR

Redback Spider

Dear BR,
You do have some cause for concern if your creatures are the same as the one in the photo, though we have our doubts since you did not provide your own photograph.  This is an immature Black Widow.  Black Widows are one of only a few North American spiders with a dangerously venomous bite, and young children would be more severely affected by a bite than a healthy adult would.  Again, we really doubt that the creatures you have found are Black Widows.

Ed. Note: It has been brought to our attention in a comment that the spider in the photo is most probably not a North American species, but a mature Redback Spider from Australia, which is why the location in which a creature is encountered is often critical information for proper identification.

i cannot thank you enough for you quick response, I dont believe they are either. The structure is similar but they carry a little ball like on them it allmost looks like a bead, if i look at it very close its a maroonish dark red color. We have recently discovered we have carpet beetles and i dont know if this may be related, again we find these spiders on the rug and between the rug and wall. any other advice would kindly be appreciated i will try to get a picture to you as soon as i can, you are all wonderful people for doing this for others. thank you again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green Lynx Protects Egg Sac
Location: Orlando
October 24, 2010 9:30 am
Hi Bugman. Everytime I hike Split Oak Preserve in Orlando I see quite a few green lynx spiders. You posted one of my photos of a lynx eating a bumblebee. This is the first ”mother” I’ve seen, though. My husband’s arm got too close and she assumed the defensive position over the egg sac quickly. Thought you might enjoy another pic of your favorite spider.
Signature: Elizabeth

Green Lynx guards Eggs

Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you for providing us with this wonderful image of maternal instincts, the Green Lynx Spider guarding her Egg Sac.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gold spider
Location: Birmingham, England
October 23, 2010 7:06 am
I like in Birmingham, UK, and spotted a strange spider today – it was about 3cm across, hairy and the markings on its back were a very bright gold. I took a picture as I’ve never seen a spider like it before, and was wondering what it is and if it’s actually native to Britain.
Signature: Sarah Clark

Cross Spider

Dear Sarah,
The Cross Spider or Garden Spider,
Araneus diadematus, is a European species that is common in the UK and information regarding it may be found on the UK Safari website.  The species has the distinction of providing the first spiders, Anita and Arabella, to be shot into space aboard Skylab II.  Here is some information from the Aerospace Guide website:
“Although the STS-107 spiders were the first Australian animals in space, they weren’t the first spiders in space. Anita and Arabella, two female cross spiders (Araneus diadematus) went into orbit in 1973 for Skylab 3 space station. Like the STS-107 experiment, the Skylab experiment was a student project. Judy Miles, from Lexington, Massachusetts, wanted to know if spiders could spin webs in near-weightlessness. Here is Judith Miles:
In zero gravity, a lot of things tumble, roll, flip and tip. Can you name something that spins in zero-gravity? Hint: it has eight legs and would scare Miss Muffet.
That’s right: a spider. In this case, two of them. Anita and Arabella took off into space way back in 1973. They were on board Skylab, an early, experimental orbiting space station. Also on board were 720 fruit flies, six mice, two minnows and 50 minnow eggs! Busy place.
What was this creature-zoo up to? They were all part of student experiments. Anita and Arabella were onboard for high school student Judy Miles from Lexington, Massachusetts. Judy wondered if spiders could spin webs in weightlessness. Good question.
So, the lucky student got to team up with NASA space scientists to design an experiment that would measure how well spiders weave their webs in space.
So what did Judy and NASA learn? Zero gravity didn’t stop Anita and Arabella from doing what spiders do — spin webs.
This little bit of first spider in space
Spiders have been astronauts in space missions. In 1973, the two common cross spiders “aranous diadematus” Arabella and Anita became famous for their stay in the Skylab space station.
Both spiders were successful in spinning webs in weightlessness; examples can be seen in above images.
Unfortunately, these two spiders did not return safely: Anita died in-flight before returning, and Arabella was found dead after splash-down of the Skylab-3 (2nd manned mission) Apollo CM.
Arabella and Anita have the right stuff. These two common spiders were NASA’s first eight-legged astronauts! Anita and Arabella got their mission because a high-school student named Judy Miles wondered if spiders could spin webs in a weightless environment. She suggested sending spiders into space to find out. NASA space scientists liked her proposal and went to work designing special cages, lights, and cameras.
On August 5, 1973, Arabella and Anita blasted off into space on Skylab II. On her first day in orbit, Arabella didn’t do well. She spun sloppy webs and obviously felt the effects of weightlessness. However, by her third day in space, she was spinning just as though she were back at home. Her webs were finer in space, which was expected. But the pattern remained the same. She proved that spiders can spin nearly Earth-like webs in space.
Though Arabella and Anita have both died, their bodies remain at the Smithsonian, memorialized for their small, vital part in increasing our knowledge of space.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Vietnamese bathroom spider
Location: Hue, Central Vietnam
October 21, 2010 6:26 pm
I have often seen this guy (or gal) and others like him in damp locations inside houses, in Hue, Vietnam. Legspan included, the largest ones are about 4 inches across.The legs, at the thickest section, can be up to 3/8 inch diameter, maybe more. I haven’t ever seen them in the bedroom or living room, so I take it they like moisture. I tried to post 2 photos, but kept getting a ”failed to send message, please try later” warning. The second photo showed that the spider’s legspan matches the length of a soapdish.
Signature: curious traveller

Huntsman Spider

Dear Curious Traveller [sic],
Your spider appears to be one of the Hunstman Spiders, most probably
Heteropoda venatoria, a species found in warm ports around the world that was introduced to many new habitats because of the importation of bananas.  They are nocturnal predators that feed upon cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination