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Grass Spider (Agelenopsis spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Grass Spider.

 Updated: 11/1/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Funnel-Web Spiders, or Grass Spiders, build a small vortex of web into the grass, lunging at any insect prey that has the misfortune of passing too closely.



Grass Spiders are common sights throughout North American summers and belong to a family of Funnel Web Weavers.

Noted for the shape of their webs, Funnel-Web Spiders, or Grass Spiders, create cave-like webs and hide in the back of them. They have large spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen and use them to build webs that resemble non-sticky black holes. Males are smaller than females.

Grass Spiders are fast movers and catch their prey, dragging their catch into the funnel. Unknowing insects can also wander into the opening of the funnel and become entangled, triggering telegraph lines for the spider in the back to respond to. The speedy Grass Spider pounces on the prey and eats it at its leisure. Theses funnel webs can usually be found on grass, in low shrubs,in the crevices of buildings, or along the bottoms of fences.

Females lay egg sacs that overwinter, hatching spiderlings in the spring. Sometimes the egg sac is found at the edge of the web, sometimes at the feet of the dried up, dead mother. The spiderlings hatch and yield a bounty of hatchlings that will scurry about and build individual nests spread away from one another. These small webs will increase in size and visibility the bigger the spider gets. These webs are most visible after a rain, when water droplets cling to the silk and reflect light.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Agelenidae
          Genus: Agelenopsis
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Agelenopsis spp.
Other Name(s): Funnel-Web Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59in to 0.78in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow; gray; brown; ivory
Descriptors: fast, stripe, tunnel
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).