The white stripe on the abdomen of the black Parson Spider is said to resemble the cravat or ruffled neck tie commonly used by men of the clergy in the 18th century. It is a medium-sized spider and wickedly fast. This species of spider does not spin a web to catch prey. Instead, it roams the ground and walls, searching for insects to eat. They are ambush predators, running up to and quickly biting insects they they come across.
While the Parson Spider's venom is not lethal, this particular species has a bite has been known to have caused an allergic reaction in some people. Most people consider it a nuisance though it does consume many of the common household pests that could populate a home.
Common name: Parson Spider
Scientific Name: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus
Other Names: Eastern Parson Spider
Adult Size (Length): 10mm to 20mm (0.39in to 0.79in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: black; brown; ivory
General Description: cross, biting, venomous
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.