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The Southern House Spider is often found indoors, tucked inside wall cracks, windowsills, and the 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 in the assistance, consistent cleaning of corners, baseboards, and window frames with a vacuum will help prevent one from taking up residence.
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 it is their tendency to wantonly crawl over human body parts to get where they want to go that gives most people the heebie jeebies. 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 that 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)
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.
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).