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Spiders (Beneficial Arachnids):

Black Widow Spider: Family Theridiidae (Latrodectus mactans)

They are found in old wood buildings, cellars, barns, sheds, wood piles, stored clothing and outhouses. The female has a red hourglass design under her abdomen. She is about 1/2" (13 mm) long; the males are much smaller and usually don't bite. Their venom is a nerve toxin which is felt as pain 1 - 8 hours after a bite and oftern combined with nausea, sweating and stomach cramps. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.


Brown Recluse Spider: Family Loxoscelidae (Loxosceles reclusa)

They are found in sheltered areas like sheds, garages, closets, attics, woodpiles, cupboards, stored clothing, shoes, boots and drawers. It's color is tan with a distinct violin-shaped black mark on the front section of the body. Males are about 1/4" (6 mm) long and females are about 3/8" (10 mm) long; the legs add another 1" (25 mm). Their bite usually is followed by a red pimple that develops into an irregular red spot. The red area is followed by a blister and the skin in that area dies leaving a slow healing hollow spot. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. Reference:

Hobo Spider: Family ?

They are found in houses, sheds, garages, woodpiles, etc. It's color is tan with a herringbone pattern on the abdomen back. They are very speedy and aggressive spiders which are quick to defend themselves by biting so swat them with newspaper or broom; don't try to pick them up or capture them with kleenex, etc. They are not as poisonous as the brown recluse spider but the bite wound is similar and doesn't heal quickly. Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. Reference:

Orb Weaver Spider: Family Araneidae

This family consists of several hundred species which vary greatly in shape, color and size (1/16" - 1-1/8" or 2 - 28 mm). The male is usually much smaller than the female. They spin spiraling sticky orb webs on support lines that radiate outward from the center between a variety of different plants. Many spin a new web each day. They feast on a variety of insects which includes beneficials (fortunately they only consist of 10 - 20% of their diet). They usually rest on the top of the web with their head hanging downward as they wait for their prey. Most spiders live only one year.

Crab Spider: Family Sparassidae, Selenopidae, Thomisidae, Philodromidae Crab Spider

Large variable group which are recognized by their crab-like legs and their crab-like movement. They don't spin webs but wait for their prey on the ground, on plants or on flowers where they ambush them.


Funnel-web Weaver Spider: Family Agelenidae

They weave a funnel-shaped web that they hide in. When a victim such as a moth or grasshopper lands on the web they charge out and grab them. Their color varies from pale yellow with grey marks to red brown with black marks. Size varies from 1/16 - 3/4" (2 - 19 mm) long. They are found in ground debris, fences, low shrubs and grassy areas. One member of this group is called the grass spider since it prefers to create it's web in grass.

Jumping Spider: Family Salticidae

They jump to capture their prey so they have good vision. Some types spin a dragline. They are found in little silk shelters under bark, stone or leaves. They are 1/8 - 5/8" (3 - 16 mm) long and their color varies from green to red to grey with red, white and black marks. Some of their diet consists of spotted cucumber beetles, corn earworms, cotton bollweevils, tarnished plant bugs, cotton fleahoppers and cockroaches.

Lynx Spider: Family Oxyopidae Lynx Spider

They are found on various plants including tall grass and low shrubs. They generally don't spin a web although some spin a dragline to snare a victim. They pounce on tarnished plant bugs, cotton fleahoppers, fire ants and most insects that pass close by. They are green, tan or grey colored and are 1/8 - 5/8" (3 - 16 mm) long.

Mesh-web Weaver Spider: Family ?

Brown, grey or green spiders that spin fuzzy little webs in crevices in tree bark, under leaves and the tips of plant stems. They are less than 1/4" (6 mm) long. They eat aphids, leafminers, flies and sometimes small stinkbugs and plant bugs.

Sheet-web Weaver Spider: Family Linyphiidae

They spin flat, sheet-like webs. They hide underneath and grab their unlucky victim. They are 1/16 - 3/8" (2 - 10 mm) long. They are black to brown and eat aphids, leafhoppers, springtails, flies and other soft-bodied small insects.

Wolf Spider: Family Lycosidae Wolf Spider

Most live on the ground amongst leaves and other debris. They are colored dark green or brown which makes them hard to see by their victims such as aphids, leafhoppers, springtails, flies, grasshoppers and beetles. Some hide in holes during the day. Size varies from 1/8 - 1-1/2" (3 - 38 mm) long.

Last edited: 07/03/98 01:32 AM



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