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Fun Fact January 31, 2020

31 January 2020


Ever heard of a Hobo Spider?  Me either, until now.  The Hobo Spider, Tegenaria agrestis, is Light to medium brown with dark stripe down center to either side of lighter midline stripes; legs solid light brown with no bands and is about an inch to inch and three quarters in diameter.  It of course has eight legs, an oblong body and lives mostly in the northwestern United States, but it appears to be expanding it’s territory.  How it  moves is how it got it’s name.  Scientists believe that the Hobo Spider is hitching rides with humans along major highways.  The hobo spider was introduced from Europe in the 1930s and has become established in at least 6 states since, displacing many native spider species as it spreads.  Hobo spiders build funnel webs that open at both ends with one end expanding outward into a broad, slightly curved sheet.  Hobo spiders may be found in almost any habitat containing holes, cracks or crevices which can support tunnel formation. Since they are poor climbers, they are rarely found above ground level. They frequent dark, moist areas and are most often found in basements, window wells and crawl spaces.  The hobo spider will bite in defense; however there is debate around the effects of hobo spider bites as these spiders are often confused with other species. In fact, there is so much misinformation on hobo spiders that it was previously thought that they are capable of producing a necrotic lesion similar to that caused by brown recluse spiders. However, much of the evidence in such cases has been circumstantial. The prevailing thought is that hobo spider bites causes only mild pain and redness.  I still don’t want to be bitten by one.


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