Cobweb Spiders The web building habits of cobweb spiders contribute to their pest status. These spiders typically construct an irregular web in sheltered sites indoors or outdoors. The outer sticky threads of the web entangle insect prey. These spiders often are inconspicuous, although their web is not. Some species construct a retreat within the web and hide therein during the day, and the spider hangs upside down in the center of the web at night. Cobweb spiders, including widow spiders, belong to the family Theridiidae and have a rounded globular abdomen (black widow spider shape). One member of this family, the common house spider (Achaearanea tepidariorum) is about 1/3 inch long (female), gray to brown, and its spherical abdomen has several dark stripes near the tip. The common house spider requires high humidity and plentiful prey; it typically occurs in damp basements, cellars, crawl spaces, and outbuildings. This species frequently abandons webs that do not yield prey, and then constructs new ones until it finds a productive site. Webs become dust covered when abandoned.
Orb Weaver Spider Orb weaver spiders construct the familiar circular, flat, elaborate web in which flying insects are trapped. Each species of orb weaver typically constructs a web with a distinctive design. Webs usually occur outdoors. These spiders have poor vision and locate their prey by feeling the vibration and tension of the threads in their web. They use silk to wrap the victim. Many species of orb weaver spiders are large (approximately 1 inch), but others are quite small (approximately 0.1 inch). Some have oddly shaped abdomens (pointed spurs, conical tubercles, etc.). Some are very brightly colored. One common spider, known as the yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia), has silver hairs on the back of the cephalothorax and a large abdomen marked in black and bright yellow or orange. This spider is about 1 inch long and hangs head down in the center of the web, which is found in brambles, bushes, tall grasses, etc. in open sunny places. Despite their formidable appearance, orb weaver spiders are not considered dangerous. Some species can bite if handled.
Cellar Spider Cellar spiders are frequently found in dark, damp places such as cellars, basements, crawlspaces, and outbuildings. They typically construct a loose, irregular-shaped web in a dark corner. Cellar spiders continually add to their web, which can result in extensive webbing. The male and female live together in a web and can be found hanging upside down in it. They shake the web violently when alarmed. Cellar spiders can quickly establish large populations in a structure. Cellar spiders have very long, slender legs (up to 2 inches long). Their body is about 1/3 inch long and pale colored (whitish-yellow to gray). They are sometimes confused with daddy-long-legs.
Funnel Web Spider
Funnel Web Spider Funnel web spiders construct large, flat, horizontal webs of nonsticky silk. The web contains a funnel at one end that serves as the spider�s retreat. The funnel is open at both ends so the spider can readily escape. The spider hides at the narrow end of the funnel; when it feels the vibration of an insect crossing the web, it dashes out, bites the insect, then carries it back to the funnel. In former times, the silk of funnel web spiders was used to cover wounds to stop bleeding. Funnel web spiders generally are brown and somewhat large (>1/2 inch long). Some species have banded legs. Some species have long spinnerets that extend out beneath the rear of the abdomen. In the family Agelenidae, some species of Agelenopsis (grass spiders) and nonnative Tegenaria (house spiders) will infest structures, but their webs typically are confined to the lower levels. The hobo spider, Tegenaria agrestis, was introduced from Europe and is found in parts of the Pacific Northwest. The hobo spider is known to bite humans, and its venom has similar effects to that of the brown recluse spider. Hobo spider bites are probably from the males, which wander in search of female mates. The bites of other funnel web spiders are not known to be very toxic to humans.
Wolf Spider These hunting wolf spiders are fast runners that will chase their prey. Wolf spiders are hairy and often large, up to 1-3/8 inches long, sometimes confused with tarantulas. Their legs are long and spiny. Many are dark brown. Wolf spiders may hunt day and night. They usually occur outdoors, but may wander indoors in search of prey. They tend to stay at or near floor level. They typically construct web retreats in sheltered sites. Females carry their large, globular egg sac attached to spinnerets under the abdomen. Upon hatching, the spiderlings climb onto their mother�s back and stay there several days or more before dispersing. Wolf spiders frequently alarm homeowners because of their large size and rapid movements. Wolf spiders are not aggressive, but may bite if handled.
Crab Spider These crab spiders are so named because of their jumping ability. They can jump many times their own length. They make quick, sudden jumps to capture prey or avoid a threat. They also can walk backward.These common spiders are about 1/8 � 3/4 inches long, very hairy, stocky built, and short-legged. Two of their eight eyes are very large. They have the keenest vision of all spiders. Many species have patches of brightly colored or iridescent scales. Some are black with spots of orange or red on the upper surface of the abdomen, at times confused with black widow spiders. Jumping spiders are active during the day and prefer sunshine. They normally live outdoors, but jumping spiders can become established indoors and their hunting activities often center about windows and entry doors where their prey is most common.
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