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Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Southern House Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/6/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Southern House Spider  
Picture of Southern-House-Spider

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.

Southern House Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Southern House Spider
Scientific Name: Kukulcania hibernalis
Other Name(s): Southern Crevice Spider

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Filistatidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Kukulcania
       Arrow graphic Species: hibernalis

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 13 mm to 19 mm (0.507 inches to 0.741 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown, gray, black
Additional Descriptors: biting, venomous, velvet

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Mississippi; New Mexico; North Carolina; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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