Giant House Spider terrorizes Francine

Subject: Spider welcoming committee.
Location: Seattle
February 6, 2013 11:52 am
Dear Bugman,
It was the 3rd night in our new house when thought that our cat had nabbed a mouse. To our (Amityville) horror, we realized it was no mouse, but some sort of terrifying, prehistoric spider. We were able to trap him under a pint glass and snap some shots. The opening of the pint glass is almost 4 inches (3 3/4”?) and there is a slight glare on the glass. Nobody seems to know what this guy is! Some guess hobo, others say too large. It’s the creepy Black Metal type markings that don’t seem to match up with any breed. Upside down cross? Mariner’s fan? Possible Hybrid? Prehistoric creature?
Can you help identify, so we know what we are up against? The house had sat unattended for only a few months before we moved in.
Signature: Frazzled Francine

Giant House Spider

Dear Frazzled Francine,
We don’t know what species of Spider you photographed, but your letter amuses us to no end.  We will post and feature your photo in the hopes that our readers will provide comments, suggestions and possibly an identification.

Giant House Spider, according to Karl
Hi Daniel and Frazzled Francine:
The photo is not very clear so I am not certain but I think this is probably a Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica = T. gigantea), a Funnel Weaver in the family Agelenidae. It is a European species that has been established in the Pacific Northwest and southern BC since early in the 20th century (I believe Canada can be blamed for this accidental introduction).  It is closely related to the smaller Hobo Spider (T. agrestis), another introduced European species that has acquired a reputation, that may or may not be deserved, for causing injurious bites to humans. Although the Giant House Spider is certainly capable of inflicting a bite if provoked, it is considered to be non-aggressive and not dangerous to humans. The dorsal markings on the abdomen are variable but I found several images that resemble yours. There is a lot of online information if you want to read more. Regards.  Karl

Thank you! Fantastic! Just to be clear; not dangerous? I’ll take a blistery, swelling bite over a fatal bite anytime!

1 thought on “Giant House Spider terrorizes Francine”

Leave a Comment