Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Parson Spider.
Updated: 8/15/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A houseguest like the black and white Parson Spider is a blessing to some and a bother to others.
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, hairy spider and wickedly fast. This species of spider does not spin a web to catch prey. It is part of the Ground Spider family. It roams the ground and walls, usually at night, searching for insects to eat. They are ambush predators, running up to and quickly biting insects they they come across. During the day, they take cover under rocks, boards, and other debris. They are typically a woodland spider, but sometimes venture indoors and are commonly seen in homes and buildings.
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. It is likely to bite when trapped between clothing and skin, or between bedding and skin. Most people consider it a nuisance, though it does consume many of the common household pests that can populate a home.