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.