Funnel Web Spiders are common in Arizona and the US

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.

spider web that looks like a tunnel
Brown Funnel Web 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 spider web
the web that looks like a tunnel

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.

Funnel Web Spider
Funnel Web Spider carrying a large egg sac

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.

brown spiders in the garden grass
round egg sac attached to a female funnel web spider

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.

funnel web brown spider
spider web that looks like a tunnel

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.

PLEASE NOTE:

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.

brown spider with long legs
Medium sized brown funnel web spider

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.

desert spiders long legs
large gray male wolf spider

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.

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Identify a spider with white spots, striped legs, yellow, white design abdomen stomach – Orb-weaver

This spider’s wheel shaped round web made identifying this striped legged spider easier.  Orb-weaver spiders are the most common garden spiders and love to hangout in the middle of their round webs.

spiders with striped long legs
spiders with white markings abdomen, Orb Weaver spiders

This chromatic spider made a web marvel between two large yucca plants.  It was a medium sized spider, a bit scary looking up close; but I was so intrigued with her massive silky web!

orb weaver spider
striped legs spider with large abdomen markings is an orbweaver
Orbweaver spider
spider striped legs abdomen yellow design

The insect that wonders into the female Orb weaver’s viscid web will receive a quick stunning bite.  This spider has over 3,000 species and belongs to the family Araneidae. 

spiders with white marks on belly stomach
Common spiders with striped legs and white spots markings
spider 4-6 spots on abdomen
spider with white spots on abdomen

Within a few minutes an insect settled on her web and provided a meal for this female Orb weaving spider.  All Orbweavers spin webs.  According to bugguide.net:  Female Orb-weavers spin the webs and are seen more often than the male spiders.

a baby orb weaver garden spider
white spider with black markings, a young orb weaver spider

It is late summer and spiders are everywhere!  Fall is typically the time the female Orb weaving spiders will lay their last clutch of eggs.   The spider eggs survive the winter and will hatch in the spring.

Orbweaver
gray spider white markings orbweaver

Another female Orb weaver was nearby on her wheel shaped web.  This spider was gray colored with striped legs and a white design on the abdomen.   The white design on the spider’s abdomen is clear in the photo below.

abdomen with white design
brown gray spider with white markings

Orb-weaver spiders only bite if they feel threatened.  Their venom is not harmful to humans.   The bite of Orb weaving spiders feels like a bee sting.  They stay active at night rebuilding and repairing their round shaped webs.

Are Orb-weaver spiders poisonous?    Spiders have venom.  Orb-weaver venom is potent but this spider venom is NOT dangerous to humans.    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_an_orb_weaver_poisonous

eight eyes
eyes of an orbweaver spider

Orb-weavers and all members of the family Araneidae have eight similar eyes in 2 rows of four.  The spider’s eyes are pretty clear in the photo above.

large abdomen with markings
round spider web with yellow on a large abdomen – orbweaver spider
Orb-weaver spider
spider with white spots on abdomen

In the picture above, this species has 2 white spots on a large abdomen.  

Orb-weaver spiders can help control your mosquito population and are considered beneficial to have around!

orbweaver spider
spider yellow markings striped legs large belly

For identifying the spiders I posted today:

  • gray, brown colors
  • striped legs
  • spider with yellow markings on the abdomen
  • 2-5 white spots underneath the belly
  • spider with white markings on a gray abdomen

What kind of spider makes a tunnel web – funnel web spiders in Arizona

This medium sized light brown spider with dark stripes built his tunnel web in our aloe and cactus plants.  Funnel web Spiders are known for their tunnel looking, funnel shaped webs.

webs that look like tunnels
Funnel Web Spider has a tunnel

These spiders are found all over the world.  There are over 600 species of funnel-web spiders, belonging to the Agelenidae family.

web with a hole in it like a tunnel
spider web looks like a tunnel

We have several species of aloe desert plants on our property which the funnel web spiders seem to keep occupied.  It is a fact that funnel-web spiders prefer moist environments.

brown grey spider in a tunnel web
funnel web gray brown spider

Funnel web spiders are shy and come out at night.  It was a cloudy day around the Tucson area and I was able to spot this arachnid repairing their web.

web with a hole entrance
spider tunnel web with an egg sac, funnel web
Funnel Web Spider
Funnel Web Spider carrying a large egg sac

The broad funnel shaped web, looks like a tunnel ( see photo below )  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.

fennel web
the web that looks like a tunnel

The Arizona funnel-web spiders are NOT the same as the deadly Australian Funnel-web spiders, Atrax robustus, and are NOT dangerous to humans.

  • The Australian Funnel-web spider is in the family Hexathelidae.
  • The Arizona Funnel-web spider is in the family Agelenidae.

If you were bitten by SEVERAL funnel web spiders the venom could make you very ill and you should see a doctor.

fennelweb spider
funnel web spider

Identifying a funnel-web spider:  These spiders have distinctive grey and brown stripes and patterns.

webs that look like tunnels
funnel web spiders make tunnel webs

Funnel web spiders have long legs with little bristles and small eyes in 2 rows of four.

Funnel web spiders have been mistaken Wolf spiders.  When identifying a wolf spider remember wolf spiders DO NOT spin webs.

spider with long legs
Wolf Spiders do not make webs
skinny spider with long legs
Wolf Spiders have smaller abdomens

I am not crazy about spiders but they are very important to the ecosystem and health of our planet.

SPIDER identified in my garden – black, gray, large abdomen, 4-6 white spots on belly

Our quest to identify a spider near our pond as it is eating the damselflies **.  In the middle of a well engineered round web was a black, brownish, gray spider with striped legs.

**Damselflies are beneficial to the health of the pond.

spiders with striped legs and spots
Orb weaver spider eating

The wheel shaped web made identifying this family of spiders easy.

Orb Weaver spiders, common
spiders with spots and large abdomen

Orb-weaver spiders are the most common garden spiders and love to hangout in the center of their round webs.

 

poisonous spider with large abdomen
Orb weaver spider with white spots, striped legs

QUICK FACT:  Spiders are venomous.    Spiders use venom to subdue their prey.  Fortunately, very few spiders are dangerous to humans or even capable of penetrating the skin of a human.

white marks on spider
common Orb Weaver spider with 4 white spots
garden spider with striped legs
spiders with 4 marks on a large abdomen

 

Orb Weaver common spider
yellow design on the Orb Weaver spider
most common spiders, orb weaver
brown spider with yellow markings

This florid spider made a round web marvel between two plants.  Intimidating up close, this female Orbweaver lingers patiently for her next meal.

spider with its prey in the web
common garden spiders are Orb Weavers

The insect that wonders into the Orb-weaver’s sticky web will receive a quick formidable bite.  This spider has over 3,000 species and belongs to the Araneidae family.

spider with stiped legs
the 4 spots on a common Orb Weaver spider
spider with large abdomen and round web
an Orb Weaver spider caught a bee in her web

All Orb-weaver spiders spin webs!

spider with big yellow belly
the round spider web of the Orb Weaver

Fall is typically the time the female Orb-weaving spiders will lay their last clutch of eggs.  The spider eggs survive the winter and will hatch in the spring.

white markings on belly of spider
grey Orb Weaver spider carrying a damselfly

Orb Weaver Spiders have poor eyesight even though they possess eight eyes that are arranged in two rows of four eyes each.

spiders with round whell shaped webs
garden spider with yellow markings on its abdomen

Orb weaver spiders have many exquisite patterns and colors.  We’ve included many photos to help you identify the spiders in your area.

common garden spider
Orb Weaver spider’s  large abdomen
Araneidae family of spiders
Orb Weaver spiders have designs on their backs

Note:  Orb-weaver spiders only bite if they feel threatened.  Their venom is not harmful to humans.

What does a spider bite feel like?  The bite from an Orb-weaver spider feels like a bee sting.

At night is a good time to see these spiders working hard to rebuild and repair their round, wheel-shaped webs.

identify spider with striped legs
identify a spider with white marks

For people searching to identify a spider that looks like the one I found in the above picture.  This is a spider with a large abdomen, gray and black striped legs, 4-6 white marks underneath the abdomen.

orb weaver garden spiders
spiders with 4 to 6 white marks on the bottom of the abdomen

Like all spiders, the young Orb-weaver looks like a tiny adult when it hatches.  As the spider grows it sheds it’s skin.  Spiders hatch in the spring.

juvenile orb weaver spiders
young orb weaver spiders with white legs

For identifying the spiders I posted today:

  • gray, brown colors
  • striped legs
  • spider with yellow markings on the abdomen
  • 2-6 white spots underneath the belly
  • spider with white markings on a gray abdomen

Orb-weaver spiders are good because they help control mosquito, fly and ant populations;  therefore, beneficial to our planet.

TIDBITS:  How long does a spider live?  Most spiders live for only one year.