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Sac Spider (Trachelas spp.)

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

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

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Venomous insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Corinnidae
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          Genus: Trachelas
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            Species: spp.

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Trachelas spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.19" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; brown; tan; green; yellow
Descriptors: biting; venomous

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 8mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 8mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Sac Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Sac Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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