Friday, June 18, 2010

Barn Funnel Weaver (Tegenaria domestica)

click for large

Generally I have to go out looking for the spiders I photograph, but this one was an exception. As I was doing some laundry, this one ran right over my foot. It was pretty large, about the size of a quarter, and very fast.

These spiders are often found in darker areas, such as flower beds, wood piles, and areas where they can weave a funnel-web. When it is found in homes, it often is found in the basement, in the darker recesses such as closets and corners. It is a nocturnal spider, so generally it is discovered when the lights are turned on and the spider darts for cover. These spiders are not seasonal, but rather, can be found year round, if in a survivable environment.

This species was imported from Europe into the shipping ports when large numbers of settlers immigrated from Europe (starting around the 1600s), and it has steadily spread throughout the United States and Canada.

This spider is not dangerous to people, but is often confused with the Hobo Spider of the same genus, (Tegenaria agrestis), which may or may not be dangerous to humans. Unless you live in the northwest US, it's probably not a Hobo Spider. Look here for the Hobo Spider's natural range. If you are unsure of the exact species, just be mindful of this confusion, and use caution when dealing with the spider.

Raynox DCR-250 mounted on my Panasonic Lumix FZ8.

4 comments:

  1. I enjoy your photos. Really fascinating. We stumbled upon your site as we were looking to identify what we thought was a spider but it seemed to have a claw. (It also looked like it was missing two of its legs on one side.) Any ideas? Do you ever take pictures of spiders from above?

    Thanks!

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  2. I'm not aware of any spiders with visible claws. All spiders have very tiny claws on the ends of their feet to traverse their webs and grip what they walk on, as for being visible claws? I have no idea.

    My best guess is that it was some kind of pseudoscorpion. The U of M has a page on them here:
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/e610pseudoscorpion.html

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  3. Your blog is great! I found a Barn Funnel Weaver in my house last night and I took it down to a local nature preserve today for some help with identification and relocation:).I have never been a spider fan but for some reason I found him fascinating and enjoyed reading up about them and other spiders. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I have a newfound appreciation!

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  4. Hobo Spiders can be found in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Washington and Southern British Columbia in Canada. They're not really into dry regions so it's impossible to encounter a hobo spider in South Utah. Source: http://www.hobospiders.net

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