Hobo Spiders

Characteristics:

Size: Hobo spiders grow to about 1/2 inch long with a leg span of up to 1 1/2 inch.

Color: They are grayish brown with dark stripes and zigzag lines. They have long, hairy legs.

Habits: The hobo spider is also known as the aggressive house spider and is notorious for biting humans with little or no provocation. Like many spiders, it injects toxic venom when it bites that leads to tissue death and a lingering open wound. If the bite is delivered in fatty tissue, the lesion can be very deep and extensive, sometimes not healing for years. The hobo spider is very common in the Pacific Northwest, and is the most likely cause of serious spider bites there. The hobo spider creates a non-sticky funnel shaped web close to the ground often near a home?s foundation, under the siding or on plants and weeds. The hobo web has strings that trip the prey, which the hobo spider then attacks before it can escape.

What Do Hobo Spiders Eat?: Hobo spiders are hunters and eat any small invertebrate that touches their web.

Reproduction: The female hobo spider stays stationary in her web so the male must approach her for mating. The male bobs and taps at the funnel web?s entrance in a precise pattern. If his signals are not clear, the female may attack and kill him. If the female is responsive, the male slowly adds silk to her web and gradually approaches her. After mating, he leaves in search of other females. The female produces one to four egg cases, each one holding 50-100 eggs. The female attaches the egg cases underneath outdoor objects, although occasionally in crawlspaces. Hobo spiderlings hatch in June.

Other Information: The hobo spider's web is unusual, because the funnel opening is oval and not circular. The spider has very poor eyesight which explains why it is much more aggressive toward humans then other spiders. They have to attack to eat otherwise they would die of starvation.

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