Can someone help me identify this spider?

Can someone help me identify this spider?

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Can someone help me identify this spider? Saw it in Malawi; aprox. 5 to 6 cm. Seems like a Solifugae but I cannot go any further… I thank you in advance!

According to, there are four solifugid species in Malawi. Ceroma johnstonii, Ceroma zomba, Zeria niassa and Zeria paludicola.

Ceroma johnstonii has a grayish-brown tint, not the dark brown, almost black coloration (and red) of your solifugid. Ceroma zomba is only 8 mm in length, much too small even if your estimate of 50-60 mm was referring to the legspan.

Zeria niassa is only 24-28 mm in body length, significantly smaller than what you saw unless you meant legspan. Zeria paludicola is also smaller than your 50-60 mm estimate, so it must have been the legspan, not the length. The only photo I could find of any Zeria species is from and is of an unspecified species. In the photo, it has a dark brown coloration and a very faint tinge of red on the side of the abdomen.

So your image is either of Zeria niassa or Zeria paludicola.

The Society of Biology calls for sightings of house spiders

Each autumn the number of spiders seen indoors suddenly increases as males go on the hunt for a mate. The Society of Biology has launched a new recording scheme and is asking everyone who sees house spiders to report their sightings. The free app 'Spider in da House' is available in the Android and Apple app stores.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit from the Society of Biology says: "We are recording the large, hairy Tegenaria spiders, which are most often called 'house spiders'. The number seen in houses increases in the autumn, and we want to know the timing. Is it the same time everywhere in the UK? Is it the same time each year? Is it related to weather conditions?"

Tegenaria spiders normally live in sheds, garages and wood piles, where they produce a sheet web with a funnel-like retreat at the rear. Both sexes remain in their webs until the autumn when the males become nomadic and search for females. This often leads them indoors where we encounter them in our baths or running from beneath our sofas.

By recording sightings of house spiders, it is possible to investigate the timing of this year's mating.

Professor Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire says: "By eating flies and other insects, spiders are not only providing us with a pest control service, but are important in ecosystems. They often feed on the most common species, preventing a few species from becoming dominant.

"We're interested in sightings from around the UK, and we're looking forward to seeing all the photos coming in from those people brave enough to take them!"
Many species of spider can take a wrong turn and end up in homes by mistake. These generally die unless they find their way back out as it is too warm and dry in our homes and there is no food available to them. A small number of spiders, however, have adapted to living indoors. The Spider in da House app also has photos and information to help identify the spiders we share our homes with."

Tegenaria is actually a group of closely related species, five of which are found in houses, but it is usually impossible to tell them apart without a microscope.
Unlike in most mammals, female spiders are often larger than males. In Tegenaria spiders, males are readily distinguished from females because males have what look like a pair of long thin 'boxing gloves' protruding from the front of their head end. These pedipalps, often just called palps, are used to transfer sperm into the female.

Females usually stay in their webs, which are often found under the shed, and await a suitor. After a male has found a female's web he will stay with her for a number of weeks, mating with her repeatedly.

The female then overwinters with stored sperm, and the next spring she can produce more than 10 egg sacs, each containing around 40 to 60 eggs.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit from the Society of Biology says: "We are trying to collect as much data as possible from around the UK. It is amazing how much there is still to discover about even the animals that live closest to us, but scientists can't collect this much information alone. We can only perform this study with the help of interested people around the UK – thank you very much!"

For more information please visit Records can also be submitted online, and experiences can shared on twitter using #SpiderindaHouse and #SpiderSeason.

The house spider survey follows the success of the flying ant survey, for which thousands of records have revealed a more complex pattern of flying ant emergences than expected. It is a collaboration between the Society of Biology and the University of Gloucestershire.

Before a spider can eat its prey, it must turn the meal into a liquid form. The spider exudes digestive enzymes from its sucking stomach onto the victim's body. Once the enzymes break down the tissues of the prey, the spider sucks up the liquefied remains, along with digestive enzymes. The meal then passes to the spider's midgut, where nutrient absorption occurs.

Not only can all spiders make silk, but they can do so throughout their life cycles. Spiders use silk for many purposes: to capture prey, protect their offspring, reproduce, and assist themselves as they move, as well as for shelter. However, not all spiders use silk in the same way.

Field Biology in Southeastern Ohio

Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever Richard Bradley can. Well it goes something like that. At the Natural History Conference, I finally got to meet Dr. Bradley. Although retired, he is swamped with a backlog of spider specimens. Knowing that, I greatly appreciate the time he has spent with me exchanging emails. My primary question of course, "Can you identify the 700 species in Ohio by photographs?" I already knew what the answer was, a resounding NO! So why am I bothering? Because the second part of that answer is "some of them, yes."

So I gathered many of my old photos and decided to put them together for a spider post. Some of the pics are new, and were previously stored as 'unknown'. With the help of Dr. Bradley, I'll get as close to a species as possible, and hopefully disseminate some new information. The above species is probably one of the easiest to recognize. The common Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia. This is one of the Orb Weavers. The picture is a female. The males are small, skinny, and drab in comparison.

Here are some more of the common members of the Araneidae family. Marbled Orbweavers, Araneus marmoreus, are highly variable. They can be distinctly patterned like this, all brown, or just have a huge abdomen that appears like a yellow or orange ping pong ball. This is just one example of how color alone is not reliable.

Furrow Orb Weaver, Larinioides cornutus. They only come out at night, and are common on buildings.

The Arrowhead or Triangulate Orb, Verrucosa arenata. The pointed yellow abdomen is easy to recognize, plus they almost always sit facing up in their web.

The Spiny Orb or Spined Micrathena, Micrathena gracilis. If I had a dollar for every face full of web I've received from these guys, I'd be retired.

Neoscona arabesca or N. crucifera. Here's an example where a photograph can't narrow it down for sure. There are 4 species of Neoscona Orb Weavers in Ohio. They don't have a common name.

Spiders as a whole do not have established common names. You may see different names applied to the same species. Overall the vast majority have never been assigned any common name.

Thomisidae, the Crab Spiders. They can walk sideways, and they hold their two front pairs of legs in a semicircular shape like pinchers or claws. This is Misumena vatia, the Goldenrod Crab. This is one of several species that hide in flower heads while hunting. If you see a yellow crab spider with this pink stripe, it's the same species.

Speaking of yellow crabs, this is Misumenoides formosipes. Look for the black dots that form a V on the abdomen. Dr. Bradley also says the yellow line below the eyes is also important.

In these specimens, you can see that V shape beginning to fade out. There is a white form of this, and it's often called the Red-banded Crab Spider. The white spiders often have the dark spots colored red.

This little crab is Misumenops oblongus. I call it the Green Crab Spider, and yes, I just made that name up. I usually see it in forested areas rather than open fields.

Oxyopidae, the Lynx Spiders. We have only two species in Ohio. The other one is highly striped. This is the Western Lynx, Oxyopes scalaris. The black marks on the body got me to the species. I narrowed to this family because of the long spines or setae on the legs. They are indicative of the group, but by no means unique to this family.

Dr. Bradley sent me this picture to point out another feature of spiders in the field. This is also the Western Lynx, but looks nothing like the above. The colors are washed and faded because this is in a pre-molt stage. Spiders shed their skin, just like insects and snakes. When a snake is ready to shed, it's eyes become opaque, and the scales all turn dull colored. The same thing is happening here.

The gargantuans of all Ohio spiders, these babys scare the heebee jeebies out of people. Often called Wolf Spiders by mistake, this is a Nursery Web Spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus. Their large relatives you see around ponds are known as Fishing Spiders.

Here's one of them, Pisaurina mira. Some of the Fishing Spiders are adept at catching tadpoles and fish larger than them.

This is "probably" the same species as above, but there's a problem. It's an immature. Young spiders are difficult if not impossible to identify correctly. 90% of the spiders we see in the field are immatures. Only about 5% of them show the typical ID characters used to identify adults.

There are 76 species of Salticids or Jumping Spiders in Ohio. This is the only one I've ever shot. I need to get busy. The Emerald or Golden Jumper, Paraphidippus aurantius, is easy to recognize, once again, if you have an adult. Jumping Spiders have very intricate mating behaviors. Yes they can jump. Often when approached, they raise their front legs like a Mantis, and may even lunge at you.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Get down on the ground and investigate the tiny guys. This is one of the Sheetweb Spiders.

Notice the curvature to the web design inside. This is the Filmy Dome Spider, Neriene radiata.

I'm learning that even a closeup like this is not close enough. From now on I will take shots from every angle, and try to get as close to the eyes as possible. The eye arrangement differs among many of the families.

The Orchard Spider, Leucauge venusta. It's mixture of yellow, black, white, green, and orange, make this species quite ornate. You have probably literally run into it many times walking in forest understories. It's a member of the Tetragnathidae, the Long-jawed Orb Weavers.

Here is another Long-jawed Spider. Either Tetragnatha versicolor or T. guatemalensis. You can't tell which from the pictures.

I got Richards attention when I pointed to a certain picture in his book and said that I photographed this in Ohio. His eyes lit up and said that would be something, since it's only found in Florida. After checking my photos, I realized it was these. I was wrong. I'm a beginner, he forgave me.

But I redeemed myself when I sent him this photo. I first posted on this back in 2011. It is a Bolas Spider, most likely Mastophora bisaccata. If so, there are less than a half dozen records of this ever documented in Ohio. There are three other Bolas species in the state. Look up the behavior of these spiders, they will amaze you.

If you have followed my blog regularly, you know how thrilling it is for me to find rare or unusual things. It's even more special when others get equally excited.

How to Identify a Brown Recluse

This article was co-authored by Samuel Ramsey, Ph.D.. Dr. Samuel Ramsey is an Entomologist and a researcher with the United States Department of Agriculture. Dr. Ramsey has extensive knowledge of symbiosis and specializes in insect disease spread, parasite behavior, mutualism development, biological control, invasive species ecology, pollinator health, and insect pest control. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Entomology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Maryland. Dr. Ramsey’s research on bees has enabled researchers to develop targeted control techniques to restore honey bee populations worldwide. He also hosts a YouTube series called “Dr. Buggs.”

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 51 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 2,661,951 times.

The brown recluse spider, also known as the violin spider, is a venomous creature whose bite can cause children and adults to become ill. The brown recluse is unusual because it has only six eyes (most spiders have eight) and wears a violin-shaped marking on its back. If you live in a region that is home to brown recluse spiders, it's a good idea to learn how to identify them. Read on to find out more about how to spot a brown recluse.


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Here is our expert guide to British spiders, including how to identify different species and where to find (or avoid!) them.

Garden or diadem Spider Araneus diadematus

Named for the diadem on its back (a pale circle and four radiating gleams), this has many colour forms including brown, yellow-green and orange. It spins spiral webs along hedges and between tall stems.

Four spot orb-weaver Araneus quadratus

Britain’s largest spider is plumper, broader, rounder than the garden spider, with four indented dimples on its abdomen, usually outlined with four white spots.

Makes webs in long grass and dense shrubs.

Bridge orb-weaver Larinioides sclopetarius

Elegantly marked, this has velvety grey-and-white colouring (brown hints sometimes) and an undulating white line down each side of its abdomen. Its webs are over water on bridges, lock gates and wharves.

Water spider Argyroneta aquatica

Britain’s only subaquatic spider is reddish brown and grey, streaked, but appears silver because of an air bubble over its abdomen. It makes an air-filled silk-stranded diving bell in pond and stream weeds.

False widow Steatoda nobilis

Glossy black, sometimes with pale crescent on front of abdomen male has pale mottled fleur-de-lis mark on back of abdomen. It makes a scaffold web in sheds and can give a painful nip if picked up. So don’t.

Walnut orb-weaver Nuctenea umbratica

Glossy dark-brown above, fawn at edges, separated by undulating pale line on each side of abdomen. Broad and flattened, it hides in cracks in fenceposts or under tree bark by day and spins web at night.

Wasp spider Argiope bruennichi

Unmistakable, massive, barred black-and-yellow female the male is smaller, narrower with orange abdomen. Its low web in long grass has a broad vertical stripe of fuzzy white silk. Grasshopper predator.

Raft spider Dolomedes fimbriatus

Huge and dark chocolate brown, this is edged with two contrasting yellow-white stripes down sides of abdomen legs are paler. Common in lowland wetlands, fens and boggy upland moors, it walks on water.

Giant house spider Tegenaria gigantea

In browns and greys, its abdomen chevron-marked, very long legs. It makes an untidy web with tubular retreat behind furniture or loose skirting, but also under logs and in hollow trees – its original habitat.

All you need to know about spider bites

Spider bites are uncommon, but they can be painful and sometimes dangerous. However, very few species in the United States can harm humans.

A spider will only bite in self-defense, for example, when they feel trapped or under threat. This could happen if a person puts their hand in a box where a spider is living or puts on a jacket that has a spider hiding inside.

Most spiders use venom to kill their prey. In this sense, most spiders are venomous.

However, in nearly all spiders, their venom is too weak to have a significant effect on a human. Also, the fangs of many species cannot pierce human skin. If a spider does bite, it will usually cause no more harm to a person than a moderate insect bite.

However, some species produce venom that is powerful enough to harm a person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list two types of spider as venomous in the U.S. — black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders.

This article will look at how to identify a spider bite, which species in the U.S. and nearby are dangerous, what to do if a venomous spider bites, and how to prevent bites.

Spider bites are often hard to diagnose.

Spider bites do not produce many distinctive features by which people can identify them. They can look similar to many other bug bites. According to a 2011 study, they can also resemble a number of bacterial and other infections.

For this reason, a spider bite can be hard to diagnose, unless the person takes the spider that bit them to the doctor.

General symptoms of a spider bite may be:

  • swelling around the bite
  • itching or a rash
  • pain radiating from the bite
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • skin blisters that turn reddish purple
  • nausea and vomiting , chills, and sweating
  • difficulty breathing
  • increased blood pressure or restlessness

People who experience these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.

In time, a bite from a brown recluse spider can result in ulceration and tissue death. In rare cases, some types of spider bite can be life threatening.

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