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

Subject: Spider help!
Location: Northeast, USA
September 7, 2014 8:32 pm
Hi there,
Hoping you can help me identify this big guy. We just moved from Brooklyn to upstate NY (Gansevoort just north of Saratoga Springs to be exact), and we have found 3 of these large spiders hanging around the house/porch. They are about the size of my palm with legs outstretched– big and scary! My main concern is our 2 yr old daughter– are these guys poisonous?
Many thanks in advance for your help,
Sue
(today’s date is Sept. 7th)
Signature: Sue

Barn Spider

Barn Spider

Dear Sue,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, and we are nearly certain it is a Barn Spider,
Araneus cavaticus, a conclusion we reached upon comparing your image to this image on BugGuide.  The information page on BugGuide notes:  “This is the spider in the book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. The spider’s full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica.”  Of the entire family, BugGuide notes:  “Orb weavers are very docile, non-aggressive spiders that will flee at the first sign of a threat (typically they will run or drop off the web). They are not dangerous to people & pets, and are actually quite beneficial because they will catch and eat a lot of pest-type insects. ”  Like most spiders, Orbweavers have venom, but it is not considered highly toxic to humans, and in the unlikely event that a bite does occur, the symptoms are usually not much more than local swelling, redness and tenderness that quickly pass with no lasting effects.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write me back.  Such a relief to know all of this info!  From the image / link you sent, I agree, it does look like a barn spider.  So glad to know they’re basically harmless– the ones we saw were pretty big and intimidating, but sounds like they’re the gentle giant types.
Many thanks again,
Sue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Invading ground spiders
Location: texas
September 7, 2014 8:15 pm
I live down in the Texas costal area. I keep finding these spiders everywhere when I go to take my dogs out at night. Ive seen them range from as little as a dime to about 4 inches big. I always see them on the ground hiding in little wholes kinda like sand crabs and never see any webbing. They are quick and so far haven’t been a issue but I would like to find out what they are and make sure they are not poisonous towards me or the dogs
Signature: Concerned dog owner

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Dear Concerned dog owner,
We can’t help but to be amused that you have referred to this Wolf Spider and its kin as “Invading ground spiders” when they have in fact been present in that area far longer than you, your dog, your ancestors or your dog’s ancestors.  Wolf Spiders are native predators that help to control populations of insects and small arthropods.  Like most spiders they have venom, but that venom is not considered especially toxic to humans, nor do we believe it to be toxic to canines.  Wolf Spiders rarely bite people, and in the event a bite occurs, the effects are generally mild and include local swelling and redness as well as tenderness.  The effects are also short-lived.  Since you indicate these Wolf Spiders are found in holes, we suspect they are Burrowing Wolf Spiders in the genus
Geolycosa, and more information on the genus is available on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is it a Golden Orb Weaver with Prey?
Location: Washington-on-the-Brazos; Washington County, Texas
September 7, 2014 8:47 pm
Hello,
We visited the beautiful and historic Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park today, and saw this large spider hanging from the porch roof at the home of the fourth (and last) President of the Republic of Texas, Doctor Anson Jones.
The docent said she had been told this is a banana spider with an egg sac. I believe it may be a Golden Orb Weaver with wrapped prey, but I didn’t want to disagree with the kind woman donating her time as docent, especially since I have very limited knowledge of the subject.
I don’t know what the possible prey is, perhaps bumble bees (there were many).
Thank you for any information. I appreciate your help.
Signature: Ellen

Golden Orbweaver with Prey

Golden Orbweaver with Prey

Hi Ellen,
We agree with your identification and we believe the docent is wrong, though common names often apply to numerous different, often unrelated species, and we have never heard Golden Orbweavers called Banana Spiders.  There are two different species that we know of that are called Banana Spiders:  the Golden Silk Spider,
Nephila clavipes, and a Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria.  The zigzag pattern in the web, known as a stabilimentum, is characteristic of the Golden OrbweaverArgiope aurantia.

Golden Orbweaver with Prey

Golden Orbweaver with Prey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mud Dauber with Araneus – Square Peg in a Round Hole!
Location: Thousand Hills State Park – Kirksville, MO
September 4, 2014 1:10 pm
Hi, Bugman!
I saw this rather interesting sight at work today. Apparently we have a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber nesting inside the hollows of our steel office door, and she has been getting in through a tiny gap above the door handle. I had seen a mud dauber hanging around the area, but didn’t realize there was one nesting there until I saw her on top of the door lever. At first I thought that she might be injured, but on closer inspection, she was trying to squeeze through the gap with a particularly rotund spider she had caught! I managed to snap some photos of the mud dauber doing some very amusing gymnastics, struggling to get the spider through the gap, before she left. Sadly, when she did give up and fly away, she did not drop the spider, which would have been helpful for identification! The most I can narrow down the spider is to the genus Araneus – which I realize, given the huge number of species under that umbrella, is like seeing an A-10 Warthog and identifying i t as ‘an aircraft of some kind.’ I was hoping you might have more luck in finding out what kind of spider our mud dauber had flown in, but, if not, then I simply hope you get a chuckle out of the photos.
Thanks!
Signature: EB

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber preys on Orbweaver

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber tried to stuff Orbweaver in hole.

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Mud Dauber kicks it with Orbweaver

Dear EB,
We absolutely love your images of a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber attempting to return to its nest with this substantial Orbweaver.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brown and yellow spider
Location: United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania
August 31, 2014 12:55 pm
Hey bug friends,
Any idea what kind of spider this may be? I usually have a pretty good eye, but I couldn’t pinpoint the precise family. Both pictures were taken in a relatively urban part of south central Pennsylvania, late July.
Thanks!
Signature: Sam

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Dear Sam,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae
, and we are uncertain if we will be able to provide you with a species identification in the limited research time we have remaining this morning.  You can try browsing through BugGuide to see if you can identify the genus and species if we are unable to provide that information.  We suspect that based on this image on BugGuide, it might be an Arabesque Spider, Neoscona arabesca, but we are not certain.  According to BugGuide, this is a wide ranging species and it has much variation in the color and markings.

Possibly Arabesque Spider

Possibly Arabesque Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Poisonous spider in Greece?
Location: Kos Island, Greece
August 30, 2014 4:50 pm
Hello,
during my visit in Asklepion on Greek island Kos, we found on the stairs this big black spider, about 7 cm long. It was quite aggressive, when I took it away from the visitors, on a long stick to the nearest forrest, it was biting the stick!
Could you please help me identify what kind of spider it was?
Signature: Olaf

Female Ladybird Spider

Female Ladybird Spider

Dear Olaf,
In our opinion, this looks like a female Ladybird Spider in the family Erisidae, a family with many endangered and rare species.  Ladybird Spiders get their common name because of the coloration and markings of many male spiders in the family, which are red with black spots.  Ladybird Spiders exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and the larger, often black females appear to be distinctly different species from the male Ladybird Spiders.  See FlickR for a similar looking image  and SpiderzRule for additional information on Ladybird Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination