colts foot's picture

Large hairy house spider

Observed: 11th September 2011 By: colts footcolts foot’s reputation in Invertebratescolts foot’s reputation in Invertebratescolts foot’s reputation in Invertebrates
spider11.09.11 035
spider11.09.11 006

I found this spider caught in the bath last night. I read that males go walk about this time of year to look for a mate, so it could be a male.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


ktmartin's picture

It's a boy spider allright!

Male spiders have swellings on the end of their palps. ("Boys wear boxing gloves" is how I remember this). The palps are the small sticky out bits on the head and you can clearly see the 'boxing gloves' on this one. Females have straight palps.

colts foot's picture

it's a boy!

Thank you that is fun to remember, I know which bits that you mean. I Put him outside, but I have seen another two on various occasions. I hope that he does not find his way back into my house again.

He seemed to arrange his legs according to the direction that I was pointing the camera and he stood very still. I am not sure what effect the flash had on his eyes, I hope that is was not a cruel thing to do.

mustang sally

macstu23's picture

Definitely a boy

Genus Tegenaria can often be hard to tell apart. T. duellica (which used to be known as T. gigantea until reclassification in 1995) tends to be slightly larger than T. domestica, and usually has light stripes on its legs, but these can be hard to spot without shining a torchlight through it...As if anyone wants to get that close !
Enlarged nodes on the end of the pedipalps indicate a male spider for sure. They are used in the transfer of spermatophores during reproduction.
Camera flash won't hurt him. I've noticed some spiders have reflective retinas like a cat.

colts foot's picture

Sexing a spider

Thank you for the scientific vocabulary regarding the enlarged nodes on the end of the pedipalps and the reproductive information.

PS: also pleased to know that it is likely that spiders have reflective retinas.

mustang sally