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The Southern House Spider is more often found indoors in wall cracks, windowsills and shutters of homes.
On first glance, homeowners may think a male Southern House Spider is a Brown Recluse thanks to similar colors and body shape, however, Southern House Spiders do not have the violin-shaped mark on their heads. Their venom is not toxic like the Recluse, but they may bite if they feel trapped and that bite may cause some pain. The Southern House Spider actually does homeowners a good service by eliminating pest insects like flies, roaches, beetles and wasps. For those not interested, consistent cleaning of corners, baseboards and window frames with a vacuum will help prevent them from moving in.
Males are large and fast-moving wanderers, searching for both prey and females to mate with. They tend to frighten people because of their size and speed, but mostly for their tendency to crawl over body parts to get to where they want to go. They have spindly legs and look different from females. Females have fat, bulbous bodies and thicker legs. Females prefer to stay in their webs, hiding away in the crevice of a wall or floor. They do not produce a sticky web. Instead, the spider silk is teased to form a mess of threads that entangle insects walking across it. Females build the silk into large, flat sheets of webbing. Over time, the web becomes littered with dust, debris and dead carcasses of meals, but it does not bother the spider.
Scientific Name: Kukulcania hibernalis
Other Name(s): Southern Crevice Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 19mm (0.51in to 0.74in)
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Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
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).