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Comb-Clawed Spider (Parasteatoda spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Comb-Clawed Spider.

 Updated: 2/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The itsy-bitsy Comb-Clawed Spider climbs more than waterspouts as it ventures everywhere around or inside buildings.



Comb-Clawed, or Comb-Footed, spiders are the most common type of house spider in North America. They come in a variety of dark colors ranging from brown to almost black. The bulbous abdomen has a mottled pattern on it. Female legs are banded with black and yellowish stripes. Males' legs are mostly orange in color. Females hang brown, papery egg sacs near their resting site and guard them until spiderlings hatch. If the egg case falls, the mother will fetch it and reattach it to her web.

Comb-Clawed Spiders typically form webs in the corners of buildings like sheds, garages, and homes. These sticky cob webs collect dust as well as insects, and commonly are mimicked in set design for scary movies as well as for Halloween decorations. The Comb-Clawed Spider is active at night, building its web under the cover of dark. It rests on its webs during the day, waiting for a meal. It uses the nearly invisible comb-like hairs on its 'ankles' to fling strands of web at its recently snared prey, further securing the soon-to-be meal.

This family of spiders includes species like the black widow, the brown widow and the American house spider, however, this species does not have a toxic venom like its more nefarious widowed cousins. Fans of the fictional hero Spiderman may recognize this spider's body shape since it is the same as the one that bites Peter Parker, imbuing him with spider powers.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Theridiidae
          Genus: Parasteatoda
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Parasteatoda spp.
Other Name(s): Comb-Footed Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 6mm (0.20in to 0.23in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; tan; beige; white; black
Descriptors: tiny, speckled, biting
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).