Sun 22 Aug 2010

Two houseguests

Our new house is home to somewhat fewer deadly spiders than our last (I killed one or two widows each week during the summer). That's not to say it's spider-free: I've been keeping an eye on these two little fellows.

The first has an elaborate funnel in the decorative stonework near our mailbox. He or she is there pretty much all the time, rarely retreating. This is Agelenopsis aperta, variously known as the desert grass spider or the North American funnel-web spider. I think its venom is a mild necrotic, causing lesions, but not really harmful to adult humans.

The second has a large flat web and a funnel, in the corner by our garage door. She's very shy, usually dashing away as I return from walking the dog; last night she stayed put for several visits, so I took some pictures. Other spiders were around her web, apparently un-eaten! This is Tegeneria domestica, the barn funnel weaver, and a relative of the hobo spider. It hunts, it's aggressive, and its venom is neuro- and necrotoxic. Fortunately, it's nowhere near as bad as a brown recluse or a hobo spider, and it competes with the latter, so she can stay for now!

As you can see, I've become a lot more tolerant of spiders in recent years!

Posted at 2010-08-22 14:21:00 by Richard NewmanLink to Two houseguests