Funnel web spiders are known for their “tunnel looking“, funnel shaped webs. There are over 500 species of funnel web spiders belonging to the Agelenidae family. This esoteric arachnid is very common in the United States and Canada. These spiders are medium size with the females being larger than the males which is called sexual dimorphism. Only the body length is measured when determining the size of a spider.
This distinctive tunnel shaped web is constructed close to the ground in the grass or low vegetation. The web is not sticky; instead the strands slow down prey that walk on it and catches their feet as they fall through. The spider can walk on top of it and sprint out of her funnel to grab and bite. Fun fact: These arachnids are shy and come out at night to do repairs and work on their webs.
Funnel web spiders hide in their funnel. The web is open at both ends, so this spider can run away if attacked. We have several species of aloe plants which the funnel web spiders seem to keep occupied. It is a fact that these arachnids prefer moist environments. Once sexually mature, the males spend the rest of their life wandering in search of a mate. Shortly after mating a few times, the male often dies.
These female spiders build their tunnel shaped web and stay with it their entire life. She spends most of her time capturing and eating prey; while building up her strength to mate and lay eggs. This female arachnid does not search for mates, but rather, waits for the males to wander by and find her.
Spiderlings that hatch out of eggs look like tiny adults. They have to shed their skin (molt) in order to grow. Spiders have exoskeletons on the outside of their body.
The broad funnel shaped web, looks like a tunnel ( see photo above ) and is made by the spider to connect to their burrow. When an insect enters the web the spider feels the vibrations and rushes out from the narrow end to bite its prey and inject it with venom.
The Arizona funnel web spiders are NOT the same as the deadly Australian Funnel-web spiders, Atrax robustus, and are NOT dangerous to humans.
If you were bitten by several funnel web spiders the venom could make you ill and you should see a doctor.
Funnel web spiders have been mistaken for Wolf spiders. When identifying a wolf spider remember wolf spiders DO NOT spin webs. Wolf spiders are larger.
I am not crazy about spiders and they make the hair on my arms stand up; but spiders are very important to the ecosystem and health of our planet.