Subject: Spider Zoropsis spinimana
Location: Oakland, California, USA
December 22, 2014 6:01 pm
I found this fellow (and I do believe it is a male) lurking on my living room wall in Oakland, California. At just over 2″ he’s too big to live with comfortably. So, into a capture jar, smile for a close up and then away to the garden with you.
I was able to get a few good photos and with a quick internet search had the spider ID. Seems that Zoropsis spinimana is an exotic introduction to Northern California and is native to the Mediterranean. Our local nature authority, the California Academy of Sciences of San Francisco, has been tracking its spread since it was first found in the San Jose area in the mid-1990’s.
It’s not aggressive, slow moving and not believed to be harmful. Likes crawlspaces, attics and houses.
I’ve written to you to help out others like myself who are curious about these critters.
Thanks so much for your well researched submission and the helpful information you have provided for our readership. As you have indicated, BugGuide states: “Native to the Mediterranean coastal countries and northern Africa” and BugGuide also reports: “This is the only species in the family found in BugGuide’s range.” According to the UC Davis website: “In the mid-1990s, Zoropsis spinimana, a large spider from the Mediterranean region, started showing up in homes around the San Francisco Bay area. It has since become well established around the southern, eastern, and northern portions of the Bay and has become a permanent member of the California spider population. Although the known distribution is not very extensive, this spider does inhabit a part of the state that is densely populated by humans and Zoropsis is routinely found in homes, causing concern among the people who encounter it. However, it is harmless to people. This Pest Note was prepared to provide information regarding this non-native resident. The first California reports of Zoropsis spinimana were from the Sunnyvale area in Santa Clara County in 1992. Since then the spider has mostly spread north and east around the San Francisco Bay area with specimens found throughout Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Marin, and Santa Cruz Counties. Scientists at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco are tracking the spider’s spread. So far, Zoropsis spinimana seems to be found only in and around human dwellings. However, it is also possible that this spider is establishing itself in natural vegetation areas.”