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

I was cleaning my pool last week and this week and I pulled one of these out each time both were dead. Can you please positively identify them for me. Thank you for your time
Hank Schuchardt

Hi Hank,
You have a species of Trap-Door Spider, so called because they build a burrow in sandy soil and create a door. The spiders hide behind the door and jump out with prey, usually small arthropods, pass by. You specimens appear to be males. During mating season, males will sometimes wander in search of a mate. Sadly, they fell into your pool.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Found spiders (as opposed to lost ones…)
I spotted these two spiders on a particularly warm night here in Central Florida. Good night for spiders…bad night for bugs. Are either poisonous? The golden orb weaver is the largest I’ve seen in a LONG time around here (2-3 inches) and is quite alarming when not expected.

The other I have not been able to identify, but is also quite large…about 2 inches and very bulky. Attached are photos of the argiope and a front and back of the brown.
Love the site!
Leslie Lormann

Hi Leslie,
Thanks for sending the awesome photos. Your female Argiope aurantia exhibits a color variation we don’t see often in Los Angeles. She is still young and will fill with eggs, or else she may be very old, haveing already procreated. The bite of the Argiope can be painful, but is not serious. Your brown spider is a member of the genue Araneus, I believe, though we usually see them with striped legs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

These photos were received by me via e-mail to alert people to the danger of its bite. You may not be able to show the reaction on your website but you could alert everyone to be extremely cautious.
Jill Allford living in southwestern Missouri.

Thank you Jill,
We recently received the identical photos from another reader. The Brown Recluse bite causes the tissue around the bite to die leaving a horrible scar. We will build a new page devoted specifically to bites thanks to your letter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spiders, in general, freak me out. Your page makes me squirm and squint. I could use some help identifying a spider I found in abundance in my garage. The brown spider was with a dozen of his buddies… and dozens of eggs. They took over some shelves we had in our garage. I’m an over-protective new parent. Should this spider concern me? I also attached a spider that almost made my hair turn white. My wife and I came across it hiking in BVI. Is that thing poisonous?

Hi Scott,
The brown spider in your home is Theridion tepidariorum, the most common of all house spiders. They spin a tangled maze of threads in the corners of neglected rooms. They are sedentary, spin webs to catch prey and to place their egg sacs. Off all the spiders that inhabit our dwellings, this is the most familiar, so it is sometimes called the Domestic Spider. It is exceedingly variable in color and markings. The female is larger. They are harmless.
The frightening spider from BVI (where is that?) is a silk spider called Nephila clavipes. They build enormous strong webs. They occur in the tropics and the American South. Your photo is the female which is about 100 times the size of the diminutive male. They may bite, but are relatively harmless. They are sometimes called Banana Spiders, but that is a common name used on Giant Crab Spiders as well.

Correction:  May 21, 2014
Just a few weeks shy of the tenth anniversary of this posting, we received a comment from Kalandria correcting our identification and indicating that the Cobweb Spider is
Steatoda triangulosa which we verified on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hairy Black Spider With Fluorescent Green Fangs!
Hellloooooo, Bugman!
This tiny but scary looking black spider with green fangs lunged at me while I was taking it’s picture. It isn’t that big, I’d say about the size of a dime. I found it under a foam swimming pool raft that was hanging over my fence. I live in Northern NJ and I haven’t seen many spiders like this in the area. I’m guessing it’s a jumping spider based on it’s size and the fact that it JUMPED at me!!! Our first child is on his/her way; do I need to worry about this spider being poisonous?
Cool site, keep it up!
p.s., I have high-res (3MP) photos if you want them!

Hi Pete,
Thanks for the beautiful photos of a Jumping Spider from the family Salticidae. This is a large family. The spiders are generally small, hairy and often iridescent or brightly colored. They do not build webs, but leap at their prey. Your action photo is awesome. Perhaps your spider thought you were a fly. There are reports of bites, but they are mild. With infants, though, the bite could be more serious. Spiders are not inclined to bite though unless provoked. Thank you for the offer of higher resolution photos, but we generally post very low resolution images to keep the download time on the site more manageable. Also, thank you for the compliments.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I recently found the spider in my enclosed porch in detroit mich. I have tried to find out what the is to no avail. If you can tell me what it is and if it poisonous I would appreciate it as my son wants to keep it as a pet. Thank you

Hi Michael,
It is a harmless jumping spider of the family Salticidae. It looks like Phidippus audax, which is common and widely distributed throughout the east and as far west as Texas and Colorado. These are very active spiders that hunt down their prey. They do not build permanent webs. They have excellent eyesight. They will jump on flies from quite a distance. It should make an excellent pet.

Thank you for the Excellent advice. My son will be very pleased that I will let him Keep his pet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination