Information

What is this spider found in day time?


.

South India Arm to arm about 3 inch in length. Day time. was hiding inside a cardboard storage box.


It's definitely a species of Huntsman spider maybe of the genus "heteropoda" or "olios". Sorry I couldn't be more help.


Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Lions and tigers and spiders? Oh my! Zoo Miami is already a fan favorite for animal and even reptile lovers and now Zoo Miami staff is being credited with discovering a brand new species of spider, and it’s a large spider too.

The spider was discovered in the critically endangered pine rockland forest surrounding the Zoo in Southwest Miami-Dade.

The Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia richmond) was first found by a zookeeper who was checking reptile research traps in 2012. The zookeeper shared the photo of the spider with the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Department for identification, but it didn’t match any existing records for known species in the region.

More than two years later, another spider was found and sent out to experts for an evaluation.

New spider species known as the Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider was discovered in the critically endangered pine rockland forest surrounding Zoo Miami in Southwest Miami-Dade. (Courtesy: Zoo Miami)

Eventually, it made its way to Dr. Rebecca Godwin of Piedmont College in Georgia who was in the process of looking at this group of spiders, which are related to tarantulas, and making detailed classifications and descriptions of the members of this Genus Ummidia found in North America. Dr. Godwin confirmed that it was a previously undescribed species.

“The fact that a new species like this could be found in a fragment of endangered forest in the middle of the city underscores the importance of preserving these ecosystems before we lose not only what we know, but also what is still to be discovered. Venoms of related species have been found to contain compounds with potential use as pain medications and cancer treatments,” said Frank Ridgley, DVM, Zoo Miami Conservation & Veterinary Services Manager.

Spiders of this type are usually habitat specialists and can live for decades in the same burrow for their entire life. They are known to be some of the longest-lived spider species known.

At this time, it has not been documented for 35 years anywhere else except the pine rockland fragments around Zoo Miami.

Only a handful of spiders have been found through the years and none of them were female.

Considering only about 1.5% of the pine rocklands outside Everglades National Park are left in Miami-Dade County, it is likely that this endemic and elusive spider is already imperiled.


Huge spider thought extinct in Britain discovered on MoD training site

One of Britain’s largest spiders has been discovered on a Ministry of Defence training ground in Surrey having not been seen in the country for 21 years.

The great fox-spider is a night-time hunter, known for its speed and agility, as well as its eight black eyes which give it wraparound vision. The critically endangered spider was thought to be extinct in Britain after last being spotted in 1999 in Dorset’s Morden Bog. The arachnid, two inches wide (5cm) including legs, had previously also been spotted at another Dorset site, and on Hankley Common in Surrey. These are the only three areas in Britain, all in the comparatively warmer south, where it has been recorded.

Mike Waite from Surrey Wildlife Trust discovered the elusive spider after two years of trawling around after dark looking for it on the Surrey military site, which the MoD is not naming for security reasons.

“As soon as my torch fell on it I knew what it was. I was elated. With coronavirus there have been lots of ups and downs this year, and I also turned 60, so it was a good celebration of that. It’s a gorgeous spider, if you’re into that kind of thing,” said Waite.

Mike Waite of Surrey Wildlife Trust. Photograph: Surrey Wildlife Trust

The great fox-spider is one of the largest members of the wolf-spider family, hunting spiders that do not use webs to catch prey. It chases down beetles, ants and smaller spiders before pouncing on them and injecting deadly venom. The prey is immobilised and its internal organs liquefy. The spider – which poses no risk to humans – feeds using fang-bearing jaws.

M0D sites are often kept open because military exercises cause minor disturbance to the vegetation, which stops succession of shrubs and trees. Waite used aerial photos to find bare sandy patches, which suit the spider’s ambush-style hunting techniques, and spotted the first one next to Jeep tracks. In total, he found several males, one female and some unidentifiable immature spiderlings.

Nick Baker, president of the British Arachnological Society. Photograph: Juliette Mills Photography/Surrey Wildlife Trust

Nick Baker, TV presenter and a patron of the British Arachnological Society, described the discovery as “the most exciting thing to happen in wildlife circles for quite some time”. He said: “It’s about as handsome as a spider gets, it’s big and now it’s officially a member of the British fauna again.”

The great fox-spider, a native species, was first found 120 years ago and has been seen only a handful of times since. Despite their size, the spiders are difficult to spot because they are mainly nocturnal and have effective mottled brown camouflage. During winter, they dig burrows under rocks and line them with silk, going into a sort of hibernation state.

The MoD heathland where the spider was found is managed by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. It is recognised as a nationally important site for populations of rare birds, reptiles and invertebrates, especially sand lizards, smooth snakes, Dartford warbler and nightjar. MoD sites are often good for wildlife because they are protected from human activity and are large enough to give wildlife space to move.

A female great fox-spider Photograph: Mike Waite/Surrey Wildlife Trust/PA

The great fox-spider likes warmer climates and is more common on the European mainland, particularly on coastal sand dunes in Holland and Denmark.

“It makes me think how hard have we looked for it on our coasts? Have we been looking hard enough?” said Waite, who believes the spider could be more widespread than people think.

Waite is now conducting nocturnal great fox-spider hunting expeditions on neighbouring sites and hopes one day to write a scientific paper about them. “It seems to be the most important thing I’ve done in a long career. It has inspired me to make something of it and find out as much as I can about this species in the UK,” he said.

This article was amended on 5 November 2020. Based on information provided by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, an earlier version said that the great fox-spider was last seen 27 years ago in 1993 on Hankley Common in Surrey, and referred to Nick Baker as the president of the British Arachnological Society. The last sighting is believed to have been in 1999 on Morden Bog in Dorset, and Baker is a patron of the society.

Find more age of extinction coverage here, and follow biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the latest news and features


Cellar Spiders


Cellar Spiders rightly belong in the common house spiders category. Their long legs makes the nick-name daddy long legs appropriate. However, their two body parts puts them in the spider category rather than the Opilione category of another daddy long legs species. The picture shows a close-up view of the cellar spider’s two body parts.

While cellar spiders might be considered an eyesore, they are harmless.


There’s a Great Whip Spider Boom. What Gives?

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Photograph: MARTIN SHIELDS/Science Source

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This story originally appeared on Undark and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

About 18 years ago, Andrea Colla got an unusual request. Would he come survey the fauna of a Nazi air-raid shelter? Even by entomologists’ standards, the task was weird. This warren lay under the Italian city of Trieste, and it was built in secret between 1943 and 1944 at the orders of a war criminal who wanted a subterranean escape route from his villa. Eventually, the tunnels had become a museum, managed by the cave enthusiasts of the Trieste Alpine Club they wanted to know who else was hanging out down there, besides tourists, school groups, and them.

One afternoon, after finishing his work at Trieste’s natural history museum, Colla went down with a headlamp to poke around and set some traps. For bait, he used Gorgonzola because, he said, it’s “better if it is a cheese that smells a lot.”

Colla is a man of cave insects. Like many Triestinos, he’d grown up spelunking: Instead of going to the cinema, he and his tobacconist dad spidered down ropes and followed waterworn paths through limestone—a hobby that became part of Colla’s job. Aboveground Europe, he believed, had few creatures left uncataloged. To describe and classify new species—advancing the science of taxonomy, one bug at a time—he looked to the isolated spots he’d explored as a child. “In caves,” he said, “there are still surprises.”

But Colla didn’t expect anything too surprising from a bunker. When he went to check his traps, he was right: not much beyond standard basement crickets and spiders.

So he was taken aback in 2019 when one of the air-raid tunnel guides sent him a snapshot of a cartoonishly evil-looking creature—like a cross between a tarantula and a crab, with skin-crawlingly long legs, barbed pincers, and a brownish coat of armor. To Colla, it was unmistakable. This was a harmless arachnid called an amblypygid, sometimes known as a whip spider or tailless whip scorpion, which was actually neither spider nor scorpion. And it was not supposed to be in Italy at all.

Amblypygids were popping up elsewhere too. In 2018, an undergraduate in suburban Athens found a few scuttling through his bathroom and kitchen—now he’s credited with uncovering the species’ presence in continental Europe. In 2019, there was the first confirmed record of amblypygids in Jordan, also in a bathroom. In both cases, the person who helped identify the critters was Brazilian arachnologist Gustavo de Miranda. And he’s just outdone himself: Last year he submitted a paper, the publication of which is forthcoming, describing 33 new amblypygid species, one of which has only ever been seen in the pipes and storage sheds of a Rio de Janeiro museum.

Such findings are more often pictured in treacherous caves and tangles of jungle, or oozing unseen in the darkest patches of ocean. The great whip spider boom shows that’s only part of the story. On the one hand, scientists find it heartening: The planet still seethes with so much undiscovered life that it’s lurking not only in the backcountry but in basements and bathrooms. But the fact that these species haven’t yet been described has more to do with scientific fashion than with the creatures themselves. Though it might seem abstract, what does or does not get attention in the pages of, say, the Journal of Arachnology, can affect the natural world.

As de Miranda put it, “We can only preserve what we know.” His hope is that by filling in those gaps, he can map which species live where, how humans have moved them around—and prevent any more from going extinct before researchers have registered their existence.

When biologists talk about whip spiders, they invariably categorize them as a minor order of arachnids—meaning a branch that encompasses fewer species than spiders or scorpions. But “minor order” also has a whiff of neglect. Among eight-legged creatures, amblypygids are the forgotten stepchildren—footnotes in the natural history of the creepy-crawlies. Though amblypygids range in size, some as small as a thumbnail, others as wide as a pint glass, they tend to be brownish and drab. Some are sold as pets, and one even had a cameo in a Harry Potter film. But even among arachnophiles, they’re only just starting to creep toward the mainstream. “I used to be able to say, ‘I’m one of three people in the world who studies amblypygids,’” said Eileen Hebets, an arachnologist at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. “Now I don’t even know how many there are.”

To Hebets, the reason is simple: In science, attention begets attention. What began as a graduate student’s fringe obsession could become the focus of a whole lab, eventually seeding others in its wake. Hebets saw her first live amblypygid in 1998, during her PhD, the night she arrived in Costa Rica for a tropical ecology course. She couldn’t stop looking at the creature’s front legs. These are the whips that give whip spiders their name—elongated, antenna-like—and they were sweeping around in all directions, as if piecing together a picture of the world. Even now, over 20 years later, she isn’t sure how to describe the grace of that movement. It was like a blade of grass fluttering in the wind, if a blade of grass were purposeful. It was like an octopus tentacle. “I just immediately fell in love,” she said.

Hebets read whatever she could about amblypygids, but there wasn’t much. The only papers that might tell her how to distinguish males from females were in German she had to ask a friend for translations. She wanted to untangle what those wispy legs were sensing. Painstakingly, she and others set up experiments to find out, blowing chemicals over the legs and tracking the resulting electrical jolts, daubing nail polish over the sensory hairs and watching how well the animal could still skulk its way home. What emerged over decades was a dazzling portrait: an invertebrate with super-powers. Some species are powdered with tiny structures that create a kind of diving bell, so they can bubble themselves with air and keep breathing in a flood.

Yet as those observations trickled in, researchers were only just determining what exactly these things were and where they lived. Even as they learned more about the behavior of this or that species, the group’s taxonomy was still fuzzy at best. Mark Harvey, head of terrestrial zoology at the Western Australian Museum, keeps spreadsheets of the minor orders of arachnids—“I have what my colleagues call ‘cataloguers’ disease,’” he joked—and his data showed an amblypygid explosion. “At the moment, there are 216 species of whip spiders recognized from around the world, and half of those—106 of those—have been described since 1994,” he said in January. “That’s a massive increase.”

De Miranda came of age around the middle of that curve. He’d grown up in Porto Velho, Brazil, on the edge of the Amazon. His father was an agronomist, spending weekdays warning farmers about banana blight and weekends showing Gustavo how to use complex, branching charts to identify ants and beetles. When de Miranda went away to college in Rio de Janeiro and learned about the minor orders of arachnids, he saw a weird discrepancy. They were so mysterious, but so easy to find. He could unearth plenty of short-tailed whip scorpions, even in Brazil’s second biggest city.

Amblypygids became his version of Colla’s caves. It was hard to find a lab at first. Once he did, though, he became a prolific contributor to Harvey’s spreadsheets, describing new species everywhere from Timor-Leste to Belize. Glancing at his oeuvre, it may seem that there’s an inexorable army of amblypygids on the move, but that isn’t it. Mostly, de Miranda said, “it’s just the lack of people looking.”

Colla had been looking, though—not for amblypygids specifically, but for whatever was living in the Italian bunker in 2003. He wasn’t the only one. Trieste sits near the top of Italy’s boot, between the Slovenian border and the Adriatic Sea. To the east lies a plateau so riddled with galleries and grottoes that Colla calls it the birthplace of cave science. The claim is arguable, but the region’s longstanding obsession with caves isn’t: Between 1880 and 1920, some 2,000 local caves were described, and members of the Trieste Alpine Club have been exploring everything from mushrooms to caverns to historical sites since 1945. With so many people popping into the natural tunnels outside of town—and the human ones beneath—it seemed unlikely that the amblypygids had simply gone unnoticed.

The whip spider research world is small, and de Miranda had gotten involved with Colla’s study soon after the club had seen the first amblypygid. This wasn’t a new species. It was, in fact, widespread, a denizen of Jerusalem’s sewers and Turkish caves—a species he’d recently helped document for the first time in Jordan, where it was expected, and in mainland Greece, where it was not. Amblypygids are tropical and subtropical, and Jordan has the right climate, the kind of place where no one had bothered to record the species until recently, but where the bug was presumed to be. Athens, though, is chillier, and de Miranda wasn’t sure whether the population there was native or introduced. But Trieste is over 1,000 miles to the northwest. Hebets, who wasn’t involved in the project, had heard rumors of unreported amblypygids in Italy. To de Miranda though, this particular region seemed improbably cold.

The bunker is known as Kleine Berlin—Little Berlin—a complex of four different shelters, three built for Italian civilians, one for German soldiers. Inside, Colla could see the earth reclaiming part of the past, wartime graffiti in some places, stalactites in others, here a toilet, there the lava-like overlay of minerals on the wall and the floor. The whip spiders were found on the Nazi side, in a wet, 260-foot-long tunnel near the courthouse, littered with rusted relics and off-limits to tourists. There they were, clinging to the wall: Not just one amblypygid, but a whole population. He and his colleagues would count nine in total. Eventually, greenish babies appeared on an adult’s back, the little antenna-legs crisscrossing, de Miranda said, “like a noodle soup.”

But as far as the researchers could tell, the entire Trieste population was female. That meant they were likely reproducing without any males, using a strategy called parthenogenesis—Greek for “virgin birth.” It’s a trick seen in certain arachnids, insects, crustaceans, and even reptiles, laying viable eggs with no sex involved. Many—including these amblypygids, it seems—are versatile, sometimes mating, sometimes making babies solo.

The trigger for going one way or another can be environmental. “It could be a factor of density, where you reach a certain age—‘I haven’t run into any of the same species as me, I’m just going to start producing eggs,’” explained Mercedes Burns, an arachnologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. How it works in amblypygids is still fuzzy, but in other creatures, the egg’s chromosomes double on their own, or the egg undergoes a kind of faux-fertilization. Some of the cells involved in egg development also contain chromosomes, and instead of being sloughed off as usual, they can act a little like sperm, providing the missing piece so the offspring has all the genetic material it needs. Generally, the maneuver is risky—one lousy curveball and the whole population might go bust—but it's handy for stowaways: A single female can go anywhere and found her own outpost of clones.


The diving bell and the spider

In the days before scuba tanks, people used to explore the underwater world with the aid of diving bells. These large open-bottomed chambers were dunked into the water, and divers used the air trapped inside them to breathe. The bells have been around since at least the time of Aristotle, but in the rivers and lakes of Europe, one animal has been using similar structures for far longer – the diving bell spider.

The diving bell spider is the only member of its group to spend its entire life underwater. But it still needs to breathe air, and it does so by building its own diving bell. First, it spins a dome-shaped web between underwater plants. Next, it rises to the surface and traps bubbles using the fine hairs on its legs and belly. It carries them down to its web and releases them, gradually filling the dome with air. After a few trips, the spider has amassed a bubble so large that it can fit inside.

The bubble acts as a home, a staging ground for hunting trips, and a nursery for its eggs. It’s also a gill. Human engineers eventually worked out ways of sending fresh air into their diving bells, either via hoses or sunken barrels. But the spider’s bubble does this automatically. There’s typically more oxygen in the surrounding water than in the air within the bell, so the gas naturally diffuses into the bubble. For similar reasons, carbon dioxide diffuses out and the air inside stays fresh and habitable. The bubble acts as a detachable gill that the spider can breathe with and leave behind. It’s like one of the spider’s own organs.

The spider’s diving bell is extraordinarily efficient at exchanging gases. Roger Seymour from the University of Adelaide and Stefan Hetz from Berlin’s Humboldt University have found that it can extract oxygen from even the most stagnant of water. As such, the spiders can stay inside their sanctuaries for more than a day without having to replenish them.

The duo collected diving bell spiders from the Eider River in Germany, and housed them in tanks that were designed to mimic a hot, stagnant, weed-filled pond. They stuck small fibre-optic probes called optodes into the bubble, without popping it, to measure the oxygen levels inside. The probes revealed that scientists have seriously underestimated the diving bell’s abilities.

Previous studies suggested that the spider must replenish its bubble every half an hour or so. But Seymour and Hetz calculated that it only needs to do so once a day because the diving bell absorbs oxygen from the water as fast as the spider inhales it. Over a day, this absorbed oxygen accounts for 70% of what the spider breathes (the rest came with the air originally used to construct the bell). And that’s in stagnant water in ponds with a better supply of oxygen, the diving bells perform even better.

The spider could live in its bubble indefinitely, were it not for the fact that nitrogen tends to diffuse out of it. This means that the bell eventually shrinks. It’s why the spider still has to travel to the surface periodically to top up its home, and prevent it from collapsing.

The diving bell also serves to replenish the spider’s second trick for breathing underwater. Water-repellent hairs on its body trap a thin layer of air whenever it returns to its bubble. The trapped air acts as a scuba skin. It stays with the spider as it moves about to hunt, allowing it to breathe while swimming. It also produces a silvery sheen that gives the animal its scientific name – Argyroneta aquatica, Latin for “silver net in the water”.


Contents

Ballooning is a behaviour in which spiders and some other invertebrates use airborne dispersal to move between locations. [4] [5] A spider (usually limited to individuals of a small species), or spiderling after hatching, [6] will climb as high as it can, stand on raised legs with its abdomen pointed upwards ("tiptoeing"), [7] and then release several silk threads from its spinnerets into the air. These automatically form a triangular shaped parachute [8] which carries the spider away on updrafts of winds where even the slightest of breezes will disperse the arachnid. [7] [8] The Earth's static electric field may also provide lift in windless conditions. [9] Ballooning behavior may be triggered by favorable electric fields. [10] [11]

Many spiders use especially fine silk called gossamer [12] to lift themselves off a surface, and silk also may be used by a windblown spider to anchor itself to stop its journey. [8] The term "gossamer" is used metaphorically for any exceedingly fine thread or fabric. Biologists also apply the term "balloon silk" to the threads that mechanically lift and drag systems. [ further explanation needed ]

It is generally thought that most spiders heavier than 1 mg are unlikely to use ballooning. [13] Because many individuals die during ballooning, it is less likely that adults will balloon compared to spiderlings. However, adult females of several social Stegodyphus species (S. dumicola and S. mimosarum) weighing more than 100 mg and with a body size of up to 14 millimetres (0.55 in) have been observed ballooning using rising thermals on hot days without wind. These spiders use tens to hundreds of silk strands, which form a triangular sheet with a length and width of about 1 metre (39 in). [8]

In Australia, in 2012 and in May 2015, millions of spiders were reported to have ballooned into the air, making the ground where they landed seem snow-covered with their silk. [14]

Most ballooning journeys end after just a few meters of travel, although depending on the spider's mass and posture, [15] a spider might be taken up into a jet stream. The trajectory further depends on the convection air currents and the drag of the silk and parachute to float and travel high up into the upper atmosphere. [16]

Many sailors have reported spiders being caught in their ship's sails over 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) [17] from land (Heimer 1988). They have even been detected in atmospheric data balloons collecting air samples at slightly less than 5 kilometres (16,000 ft) above sea level. [18] Evidently, ballooning is the most common way for spiders to invade isolated islands and mountaintops. [17] [19] Spiderlings are known to survive without food while travelling in air currents of jet streams for 25 days or longer. [5]

Some mites and some caterpillars also use silk to disperse through the air. [ citation needed ]

A close association has been found between ballooning behaviors and the ability for a species of spiders to survive afloat on water. Water-repellent legs keep them alive on both fresh and salt water, enabling them to survive waves up to 0.5 metres in height. In wind many species raised their legs or abdomens to use as sails, propelling themselves across the water's surface. Many species of spiders also drop silk to anchor themselves in place while afloat. Said spiders did not show these behaviours on land, suggesting that they are adaptations to water. [20] [21] [22]


10 Common House Spiders and How to Identify Them, According to Entomologists

Bug experts explain the spiders that like to creep indoors and whether or not their bites can harm you.

Spotting a spider in your immediate vicinity can be a little intense, especially if you have a major fear of the creepy crawlers. And, when one shows up in your home, it can be downright freaky. Unfortunately, you might start to notice more spiders inside your basement, attic, bathroom, and general living spaces now that it&rsquos getting cooler out.

Before you panic, know this: It can actually be a good thing to have spiders around. &ldquoThe majority of the spiders cause us no harm and are predators of pests,&rdquo says entomologist Roberto M. Pereira, PhD, an insect research scientist with the University of Florida. Translation: They get rid of other bugs&mdashlike roaches, flies, and millipedes&mdashthat you also do not want to deal with.

Still, some can be a little more problematic than others. Here are some of the most common house spiders you might see, how to identify them, and whether they&rsquore potentially harmful (heads up: most aren&rsquot).

What they look like: These spiders are on the smaller side&mdashabout the size of a nickel&mdashand have a round abdomen. They&rsquore also usually grey and will have some white markings, says Marc Potzler, a board-certified entomologist and technical services manager with Ehrlich Pest Control. &ldquoTheir web often looks very tangled or messy,&rdquo he adds.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They like to hang out in dark, concealed areas. &ldquoThey hide in corners, underneath cabinets, in basements, sometimes in garages around the windows where flies may be active,&rdquo Potzler says.

Can they harm you? Nope.

What they look like: There are more than 200 species of wolf spiders found around the country, and they can range in size. &ldquoThe largest species can be up to an inch and a half long,&rdquo says Potzler. They&rsquore hairy and tend to be gray, black, or brown. They can also be confused with tarantulas. &ldquoThese are nomadic spiders that don&rsquot spin webs to catch their prey&mdashthey hunt them down,&rdquo says Howard Russell, an entomologist at Michigan State University.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They usually show up in basements, sheds, or garages where insects are, Potzler says. Outside, they like to hide in or around debris, under boards and cinderblocks, or in naturally-occurring gaps in the house.

Can they harm you? No. &ldquoThey would prefer to hide than bite,&rdquo says Russell.

What they look like: Black widows have a shiny black color and are known for their red hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of the abdomen, says Potzler. &ldquoThey may also have red markings going up its back,&rdquo he adds.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They can hide in mailboxes or garages, and they like corners, edges, and tall grass, Russell says.

Can they harm you? &ldquoThis is one of the few species of spider that can be dangerous to people,&rdquo says Potzler. &ldquoThere are approximately 2,200 bites reported each year, but there has not been a death related to a widow spider in the U.S. since 1983.&rdquo If you&rsquore bitten by a black widow, you may have intense pain, muscle stiffness, possible nausea, and vomiting, usually within a few hours of the bite, Potzler says. If you or someone in your family is bitten by a black widow, you&rsquoll want to head to the ER ASAP.

What they look like: The brown recluse is a brown spider with a distinct &ldquoviolin-shaped marking&rdquo on the top of its head and down its back, Potzler says. Also, brown recluse spiders have six eyes, instead of the eight that many other spiders have.

Where you&rsquoll find them: The brown recluse likes to hang out in undisturbed corners of homes, in sheds, and in basements or cellars. &ldquoMany bites occur because the spider is hiding in folded towels and sheets, underneath a pile of clothes on the floor, or in shoes in a closet,&rdquo Potzler says. &ldquoIf you live in an area where brown recluse is common, it&rsquos a good idea to shake out your clothes and shoes, or wear gloves if you are working in your shed or garage.&rdquo

Can they harm you? Yes. &ldquoThe recluse can cause serious damage to people,&rdquo says Pereira. &ldquoBite sites are a serious problem.&rdquo A brown recluse bite can cause necrotizing wounds (meaning, it kills the cells and tissues around it), so you&rsquoll want to see a doctor immediately if you think you&rsquove been bitten by one, Russell says.

What they look like: You&rsquore probably pretty familiar with this one, but just in case: It has one round body part and very thin, long legs coming off of it.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They like to live outside, they can sometimes hide under siding or be found on and under decks. &ldquoFor the most part, you&rsquoll find them on the lawn or up in trees,&rdquo says Potzler.

Can they harm you? No. &ldquoContrary to myths found on the Internet, daddy longlegs are not venomous enough to kill a horse,&rdquo says Potzler. &ldquoThey do not have venom glands. They pose no harm to humans.&rdquo

What they look like: Hobo spiders are tannish-brown and the top of the spider may look mottled, with darker and lighter spots, Potzler says. They look pretty hairy and have spiny hairs coming off the legs.

Where you&rsquoll find them: While they&rsquore usually outside, they sometimes venture indoors. &ldquoIt can hide in clothing, beds, and shoes,&rdquo Potzler says.

Can they harm you? Yes. &ldquoThe hobo spider can inflict a painful bite that results in localized red swelling and some pain, but no necrotic lesion,&rdquo Potzler says. Usually, symptoms will get better within 24 hours with OTC painkillers and ice.

What they look like: There are more than 300 species of these, and they all look a little different. &ldquoTheir colors can vary from solid black with distinctive markings, to striped like a zebra, and some have iridescent markings,&rdquo Potzler says. &ldquoThey are most easily distinguished by their very large, front middle set of eyes, although most people probably don&rsquot want to get close enough to look at their eyes.&rdquo

Where you&rsquoll find them: They can be just about anywhere in your house. They don&rsquot build webs, but they&rsquore what Potzler calls &ldquoactive daytime hunters&rdquo so you can spot them at any time. &ldquoYou may see them both inside climbing walls or ceilings, or hanging out in attics, or outside scaling buildings and trees,&rdquo he says.

Can they harm you? Not really. While Russell says these spiders &ldquomay bite in defense,&rdquo it shouldn&rsquot cause any issues for you.

What they look like: The spider will build a tent-like structure out of silk. &ldquoThey hide in the sac during the day and then hunt at night,&rdquo Potzler says. They&rsquore usually a pale beige or yellowish color and have a dark V shape on its body.

Where you&rsquoll find them: Their webs are usually found at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling or corner, Potzler says. He&rsquos found them most often in living spaces, like living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.

Can they harm you? It&rsquos not common for these spiders to bite &ldquobut there have been some reports of hospitalizations for individuals who have compromised immune systems or pre-existing health conditions,&rdquo Potzler says.

What they look like: These are the spiders that build huge webs that you can see in the morning covered in dew. &ldquoOrb weavers spin their web each day and then tear it down and rebuild the next day,&rdquo Potzler says. They can have spiny or smooth abdomens, and they&rsquore usually brown or gray. However, there are tons of species and some can be difficult to distinguish from other spiders.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They like to build their webs where they&rsquore most likely to grab flying insects, Potzler says. They may build webs on decks or the exterior of your house, especially if you have outside lighting (which attracts the flying insects they like to eat).

Can they harm you? Not really. While they can bite, it won&rsquot usually cause an issue for most people, Potzler says.

What they look like: It&rsquos a &ldquovery ordinary-looking&rdquo brown spider, Potzler says. It can be confused with the brown recluse, but grass spiders have long spinnerets (finger-like appendages at the end of the abdomen), which the brown recluse does not have, he says.

Where you&rsquoll find them: They tend to like to hang out around the foundations of homes, but Potzler says that sometimes males will find their way inside while looking for a mate.

Can they harm you? They can bite but &ldquothere are no reported cases of medical significance,&rdquo Potzler says.


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How Dangerous Are Spiders?

Encounters between people and spiders are usually accidental and bites are a response by the spider when its web or nest (or the spider itself) is disturbed. Most spiders produce venom therefore, they could be considered "poisonous." The venom is stored in glands that empty into the spider's fangs or chelicerae (Figure 4). For the most part, spider bites are insignificant. However, just as bee and wasp stings may trigger allergic reactions in some people, the same can be true for spider bites. Young children, the elderly, and hypersensitive individuals are more likely to react more strongly to a spider bite. In North Carolina, there are few spiders that can inflect serious and painful injury. The two best-known poisonous spiders found here are the black widow spider and the brown recluse.

Black Widow Spider

The black widow spider (Figure 5), Lactrodectus mactans, is probably the most widely recognized of the dangerously poisonous spiders found in North Carolina. Most people are familiar with the large, shiny black body and red "hourglass" markings on the underside of the abdomen, but it is important to note that the coloration and markings are only found on adult females. Young black widow spiders are tan-to-gray in color and have orange and white stripes on their abdomens. These marks may remain visible on adults. The female has a body length of about 1 &frasl2 inch, with a total length (including legs) of about 1 1 &frasl2 inches. The male spider is smaller than the female and, like young spiders, has red and white markings on the back of its abdomen.

Black widow spiders are found in protected places, such as under rocks, wooden boards, and in dense plant growth. They frequently nest in electrical, water, and telephone equipment boxes outdoors. Around homes, these spiders may be found in crawlspaces, beneath appliances, and usually in corners that are dark and damp. The female produces an egg sac containing 250-750 eggs that hatch in two to four weeks, depending upon temperature. The spiders spin a web that is used to ensnare prey, mostly insects, but sometimes other spiders as well. The trapped victim is bitten, then injected with venom to paralyze it.

Black widow spider venom affects the nervous system. Because the bite itself is relatively mild, some people may not even realize immediately that they were bitten. The venom causes pain in the lymph nodes. Other symptoms of a severe bite include nausea, elevated blood pressure, sweating, tremors, and increased white blood cell counts. The wound may appear as a bluish red spot, surrounded by a whitish area. Both male and female spiders bite, but adult females produce the most severe bites. An antivenom serum is available through a physician, but it must be administered soon as possible after the bite occurs.

Brown Recluse Spider

There are actually several species of "recluse" spiders. The one that is found most commonly in the eastern United States is Loxosceles reclusa. The adults are about 1 &frasl4- 1 &frasl2 inch in length. Most people rely on seeing the familiar dark violin or fiddle-shaped mark on the top of the cephalothorax (Figure 6). The "neck" of the fiddle points toward the rear of the body. However, there are several species of brown-colored spiders that have markings that can easily be confused. The key characteristics of the recluse is the arrangement of its six eyes into three pairs (Figure 7). Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal in their feeding habits. Outdoors, they are most common under rocks, debris, wood piles, etc. Indoors, common hiding places are bathrooms, attics, cellars, and storage areas. Problems most often occur when people are accidentally bitten by a recluse hiding in stored clothing, inside shoes / boots, or cardboard cartons. The hands, underarms, lower abdomen and the ankles are the areas of the body most likely to be bitten.

Although brown recluse spiders can be found in North Carolina, they are simply not very common. There are several spiders that closely resemble the brown recluse. Misidentification can cause unnecessary fear and anxiety. The article Identifying and Misidentifying the Brown Recluse Spider by Rick Vetter (University of California - Riverside) talks about recluse misidentification. Also, "identification" of brown recluse spider "infestations" is often based on what appears to be a bite. While recluse bites are somewhat characteristic (see information below), other diseases caused by a variety of pathogens, particularly bacteria such as MRSA, may create wounds that look like a brown recluse bite. Whether it is a brown recluse bite or another organism, always seek prompt medical assistance.