Common spider species

The majority of spiders cannot harm anyone. They are unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess. From White Tailed Spider to Common House Spider, we can give you more information about these creatures to help you get over your fears. 

Common House spider

(Family Diaspidae)

Appearance

  • Adult – body length excluding legs 6 – 10mm. Yellow brown body with faint markings. Abdomen pale grey brown with short hairs.
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Lifecycle

  • The egg sac produced by the female is spherical, covered with a layer of silk and placed within the web structure. 
  • The male will mate several times with the female before dying. 
  • Adults may live for several years.

Habits

  • Found in buildings, sheds and walls. 
  • This spider produces a sheet web.

Harvestman spider

(Phalangium Opilio)

Appearance

  • Adult – 3.5–9mm body. The upper body surface has light grey/brown pattern, the lower surface is typically cream.
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Lifecycle

  • The females lay eggs in moist soil. 
  • The eggs survive through winter and hatch in the spring. 
  • Only one batch of eggs is laid each year.

Habits

  • They live in fields and forests and climb tree trunks or look for food on the ground. 
  • They feed on many soft bodied arthropods, including aphids, caterpillars, beetle larvae, and small slugs.

Wolf spider

(Trochosa ruricola)

Appearance

  • Adult female: 5/16"; male - 1/4". They are generally brown to grey in colour.
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Lifecycle

  • Wolf spider mothers carry their egg sacs around with them attached to spinnerets under the abdomen.
  • When the young spiderlings hatch, they climb onto their mother's back where they live for the first few weeks of life.

Habits

  • They hunt at night but spend the day hidden amongst moss and decaying matter. 
  • They live in a shallow burrow, with an open and unadorned entrance.

Daddy Long Legs spider

(Pholcus phalangioides)

Appearance

  • 7-9mm long 
  • Characterised by having very long legs
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Lifecycle

  • The female lays eggs, and may sometimes hold her eggs in her palps (short, leg like structures attached to the front of the cephalothorax, between the fangs and the first pair of legs)

Habits

  • The spin a loose web in sheltered areas, often in and around human habitation including houses, garages and sheds. 
  • Apart from the nuisance of their webs, they do no harm and are non-toxic. 
  • They are common in urban areas. 
  • They feed on insects and other spiders.

Banded Tunnelweb spider

(Hexathele hochstetteri ausserer)

Appearance

  • Large, bulky spider. Body length 25 mm.
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Habits

  • Forms a silk–lined tunnel usually under the loose bark of fallen trees. 
  • Threads of silk extend from the entrance of the tunnel to act as triplines. 
  • Captures insects that knock into the triplines. 
  • Eats any insects, including large ground beetles.

Yellow Sac spider

(Cheiracanthium)

Appearance

  • Pale in colour, abdomen can be yellow or beige with a faint dark stripe running lengthwise. 
  • 1/4 to 3/8 inches long 
  • 4 pairs of legs, the 1st pair longer than the 4th. 
  • Eight similarly-sized dark eyes arranged in two horizontal rows.
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Lifecycle

  • A female produces around 5 egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. The female may produce several egg masses during her lifetime.
  • Eggs are laid in Autumn. 
  • Spiderlings emerge the following Spring.
  • Approximately 30 percent of adult males get eaten by females after mating.

Habits

  • Feeding - usually small insects. 
  • Location – They build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area which is used as their daytime retreat. 
  • Externally this can be within a leaf or under logs; Indoors this can be or at the junction of a wall and ceiling or behind pictures and shelves. They are normally outdoor spiders, but will set-up indoors if there are small insects available. They are likely to enter homes during early Autumn when their outdoor food supply decreases. 
  • Visibility - Adults can be seen from April through November. They emerge at night to look for food. They drop to the floor to seek cover when disturbed. 
  • Bite - Their bite is sharp and painful amd will cause erythema and swelling. A wheal may develop, producing a necrotic area which can take eight weeks to heal. Pain or numbness at the site of the bite may be followed by sweating and nausea lasting for up to 24 hours.

NurseryWeb spider

(Dolomedes minor (Koch))

Appearance

  • Medium to large–sized spider. Body length about 18 mm
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Habits

  • Builds a web on shrubs to protect its young 
  • The female sits on the web to guard the nursery at night 
  • During the day she stays nearby until the young disperse 
  • Catches prey on the run

Grey House spider

(Badumna longinqua (Koch))

Appearance

  • Medium–sized spider. Body length about 15 mm
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Habits

  • Untidy webs often found inside and on the outside of houses. 
  • Also on car mirrors Hides in a retreat at the base of the web till an insect is caught in the web 
  • Eats anything caught in the web, – blowflies, houseflies and moths

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