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Giant House Spiders
Types of Spiders
Tegenaria agrestis, better known as the Hobo Spider is a recently introduced species to the United States, coming from Europe to the Pacific Northwest.
Hobo Spiders have been labeled as spiders of medical importance because of the belief that their bites can cause severe pain and potentially necrotic wounds. The research on Hobo Spiders is incomplete, and no definitive answer regarding their level of danger exists.
Most experts warn against using a picture for a definitive spider identification, including the Hobo Spider. Given that fact, the top picture shows a spider that has many of the Hobo Spider's physical characteristics. There are no bands on the legs and the abdomen has a "v" pattern down the middle (the "v" is upside down in the picture).
Compare the picture to the picture of the Giant House Spider (the link in the box on the right), another Tegenaria species. The slight differences in the color of the abdomen and cephalothorax provide another comparative identification clue.
The Hobo Spider belongs to the funnel web spider family (Agelenidae), and the two spinnerets extending from the bottom of the abdomen are characteristics of funnel web species.
Like other funnel web spiders, they prefer the outdoors, and tend to come indoors during the late fall, as the season changes. Wandering males also are known to wander through the house.
Persons suspecting they have been bitten by a Hobo Spider should seek medical attention. If circumstances permit, it's also a good idea to trap the spider and bring it along for a positive identification.
© 2007-2009 Patricia A. Michaels