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Sac Spider (Trachelas spp.)


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

 Updated: 3/5/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Sac Spiders like to hide in piles of laundry, desperately biting their way out if they get crushed.



When it comes to catching prey, Sac Spiders are predatory hunters, not web weavers. They may appear tan, brown, yellow, or even slightly green. Pale legs have dark feet. The abdomen has a short dark line in the center of it. This type of spider is a fast runner and it uses spider silk to weave tent-like sacs between leaves or on tree trunks for retreats. Only 8 native species inhabit North America.

Sac Spiders are known to deliver painful bites to humans. Though not naturally aggressive, if threatened it will bite defensively. This usually happens inside of homes or buildings when people surprise a hiding spider. Because it wanders for food, it sometimes seeks rest in a pile of clothes usually left on the floor. When someone finally picks up and moves the pile, the spider may feel like it is getting crushed and rushes out, biting whatever appears to be trying to kill it. The Sac Spider may get trapped inside a piece of clothing that is chosen for wear and bite to escape confinement between the person's skin and the clothes. Bites take some time to heal and may remain tender for days, but Sac Spiders do not have lethal poison in their venom. If a victim frequently scratches or touches the bite wound, it can get infected adding to the time it takes to fully recover.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Corinnidae
          Genus: Trachelas
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Trachelas spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; brown; tan; green; yellow
Descriptors: biting, venomous
Territorial Map
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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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).