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The Hobo Spider

By Anders Nielsen, Ph.d.

Sometimes the hobo spider is called the aggressive house spider. This is misleading because it's a "non-aggressive" spider. The "hobo" has very poor sight and can see for only about one or two meters. It is, however, very fast, and its rapid movements might be interpreted as aggressive.

The hobo spider is a highly poisonous (venomous) and dangerous spider but not because it's aggressive. If it runs towards you, it’s probably safest just to step aside. The hobo spider is originally foreign to the USA but is believed to have been transported to the country by ship. It's an unpopular spider because it is mistaken for the seemingly more aggressive brown recluse spider. Hobo spiders can be difficult to identify, and making a proper identification requires a microscope and a study of its reproductive structures.

Appearance

Tegenaria agrestis are brown and measure around 1 to 2 cm in length. Their legs have short hairs, and their abdomens have tree shaped markings.

Males have two palps looking like gloves, which are not found in females. Females tend to have a larger abdomen than males.

Visit this site for hobo spider pictures: Hobo Spider

When disturbed by light or movement, it normally remains still. If a hobo senses danger, it runs. It can't really see, so sometimes it runs towards a person.

LifeCycle

Details about the lifecycle of the hobo spider have not been established. Entomologists from different parts of the country have observed differences among populations. In some areas, it’s reported that the hobospider can complete its life cycle within one year; in other areas,its longer. This might be due to the fact that all stages of the hobo spider can be observed at the same time, which might suggest a longer life-time than just one year.

The female hobo spiders lay their egg cases in late September, October, and early November. Often it lays up to four egg cases, each with several layers of silk covered with debris if available to the spider. Each of the sacs can contain more than 100 eggs. After mating, the males die, while females begin to construct egg cases so that the species can survive. The females usually die in their web after they've constructed their egg sacs and deposited them in sheltered areas.

Hobo Spiders:- Hunting for Prey

Hobo spiders construct snares, which are horizontal webs usually found in a crack between bricks or under stones or vegetation. The spider waits for its prey in the mouth of the funnel. Sometimes prey fall onto the horizontal surface, and then the hobo rushes out and grabs the prey. It takes the prey back into its funnel, where it’s consumed.

Hobo Spider Bites

Quite a large percentage of hobo spider bites are so-called dry bites. No venom is injected into the prey during a dry bite, and it is thought that 50 percent of bites on humans are dry bites. The reason for this may be that most bites from the hobo are very fast and a defensive response from the spider.

This might happen when the spider gets trapped between skin and something else and needs a fast way of solving the problem. Multiple bites also occur in situations when the first bite doesn't achieve anything in terms of improving the situation of the spider.

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