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Large spider in basement - Amaurobius ferox

Large spider in basement - Amaurobius ferox
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, USA
March 11, 2010
Size: 1.75 to 2 inches
Occasionally, these large brown spiders appear on our basement wall. There is a design on the top side of the abdomen and the legs are striped with alternateing brown/dark brown bands.

Moved from Amaurobius.

Moved from ID Request.

Hacklemesh Weaver
Your listed size seems exaggerated possibly, unless you're counting the legs. Spider size is measured with body only.

This is a Hacklemesh Weaver (Family Amaurobiidae).

Possibly Genus Amaurobius.

This is a male.

They're quite harmless.

Hacklemesh Weaver Identified
You're right, I was measuring the spread of the legs. Thanks for ID! I really appreciate it.


Ken Muckenhaupt

I'm sure our experts
will provide you with a more definitive ID, but I can tell you a couple of things about your spider in the meantime:

1. It's NOT a dangerous species (in case you were wondering).
2. It's a male, which means it probably wandered into your home in search of female companionship.

I'm guessing (based mostly on size) that this is a wolf or nursery web spider of some variety. Let's wait and see what the experts have to say.

Welcome to BugGuide!

Wolf Spider or Nursery Web Spider
Hi Ken,

Thanks for the quick response. I look forward to hearing from the other experts. I suspected a wolf spider when I checked my field guide for spiders and insects; but, the pictures did not match exactly.


Ken Muckenhaupt

Agree with Jebus.
I agree with Jebus on this one. They eye arrangement is all wrong for a wolf spider or nursery web spider; the chelicerae (jaws) are swollen, which is typical of Amaurobiidae. True that this is *not* a dangerously venomous animal, and that it is a male.

Hacklemesh Weaver
One question: How do you identify the sex of these spiders?

Thanks... Ken

Swollen palps means male. See explanation here.

I'm sure both you and Jebus are correct.
I couldn't make out the eye arrangement in any detail--even at full size--so that was of no use to me (gotta see about that eye exam).

At any rate, I appreciate the both of you keeping me honest. :)

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