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Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis)

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

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The Southern House Spider is often found indoors, tucked inside wall cracks, windowsills, and the shutters of homes.

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

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

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

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Kukulcania hibernalis
Other Name(s): Southern Crevice Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 19mm (0.51" to 0.74")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; gray; black
Descriptors: biting; venomous; velvet

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 19mm (0.7in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 16mm
Hi: 19mm

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 Southern House 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 Southern House Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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