Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

"Hobo" Spider-Tegenaria agrestis - Eratigena agrestis - Female
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
September 19, 2004
Size: 25mm
An older individual found in the basement, fortunately/unfortunately, others have not been found (too many Agelenopsis?). Thanks to Paula E. Cushing in getting to the final ID. Note the lack of banding on the legs.

Images of this individual: tag all

Hobo Spider
Arachnologists consistently warn that a picture does not provide definitive identification.

However, given that your picture does match so many of the basic hobo physical traits, it's pretty sure to be one.

There's some debate in the medical literature about the spider's toxicity. If it's not a spider of medical concern in Europe, why would it be one in the U.S?

In any event, it sure looks like my spider, and at least one tends to pop in for a visit every fall.

Hobo Spider

Eye pattern...
on this one is atypical. Look at the other BugGuide examples. Otherwise the morphology matches. We have a resident population in our basement (and outside), the males will sometimes be found wandering around upstairs (females seem to stay close to their webs). Although they can be aggressive when teased and have formidible fangs, it is not a species I personally worry about. Fall seems to be a time that spiders seek shelter inside (who wouldn't). Have had invasions by Widows in the past that were of concern after getting bitten. The NA Hobo probably became noticed because of it's association with human activities, the European version seems to inhabit farming activities (agrestis.
If your location is outside of the current range, a voucher specimen would be of interest to those tracking the species.

A Word on its notoriety.
This is the famous (or infamous, perhaps) spider found commonly in the Pacific Northwest that is causing widespread panic due to the belief that its venom is similar in toxicity to the brown recluse. Indeed, it appears some bite victims experience a necrotic reaction, but there is 'great' debate as to whether this is due to the spider's venom, an associated microorganism (i.e. bacteria), or something else. Experiments have yielded irreproducible results. The leading authority on this was Dr. Darwin Vest, who mysteriously disappeared several years ago. The plot thickens...The hobo spider is not native to North America, but an import from Europe. It is apparently not a public health concern in its native lands.

Can these Hobo Spiders be found in New Hampshire?
We have had several large spiders this year. They are larger then the normal house spiders we have. They are light brown with long hairy legs and seem to not like to be easily killed. Could this be a Hobo spider? Will someone please help me. I have a three year old who doesn't understand that all bugs souldn't be touched.

Thank you,

Spider ID
The only way to be sure would be having a specimen examined by an experienced individual (local agriculture extensions are a good bet).
Hobo spiders will not have any obvious banding on the legs, although they are not the only spider that lacks bands. The legs are usually not "hairy." Some hairs, just not as much as similar species. Check the images of others in the family. Any spider and little fingers are probably not a good mix. Most likely not Hobos, although you may want to double check.