Hobo Spiders – Facts and Fallacies about the Hobo Spider

December 28, 2013 | By More

hobo spiderBeing one of the most feared amongst the types of spiders, Hobo Spiders indeed has become known for the unsavoury acts and dangers that these spiders supposedly are capable of, but is there any truth to any of those claims? This article aims to shed light to the facts and fallacies concerning this reportedly aggressive spider.




Hobo Spiders – Hobo Spider Facts and Fallacies



Aggressiveness Hobo Spiders are aggressive and will attack unprovoked. Although also known as The Aggressive House Spider, the Hobo Spider is actually non-aggressive unless it is defending an egg-sac. They have been living in Europe for hundreds of years in co-existence with humans before they colonized the US and they have not been attributed with being aggressive prior to being in the US. The misunderstanding is probably from the latin word ‘agrestis’ which is a part of its scientific name. Agrestis means ‘of the fields’ but may be misunderstood as to mean aggressive.
Web Construction Since they are also known as funnel web spiders, all spiders who create funnel shaped webs are Hobos. Other types of spiders may also create funnel shaped webs, hence, not all spiders which has funnel-shaped webs are Hobo Spiders.
Toxicity The bite of the Hobo Spider can kill a rabbit and cause serious impact on a human. Based on toxicology studies done in the US involving rabbits, the bite of the Hobo Spider can cause necrotizing lesions. However, the venom is not enough to kill a rabbit, much more a grown man.
Severity of the Bite A bite from the Hobo Spider can cause tissue death or necrosis. The tissue necrosis has been proven on the case of Hobo Spider bites for rabbits, but supporting data on bites inflicted on humans have inconclusive data on the actual severity of the bite.
Size Hobo Spiders can grow up the size of the palm of a grown man. Hobo Spiders are typically less than two inches in diameter (including the legs). If a spider is much larger than the diameter of a soda can, it is not a Hobo Spider.
Habitat and Range Hobo Spiders can be found in almost every part of the world and has been causing necrotic bites all over the US where they inhabit human settlements. The Hobos are originally from western Europe and has come to the US via shipping crates. Their habitat in the US is in the Pacific North West. If a spider is found around the south or around the east of the United States, it is highly unlikely that it is a Hobo Spider.  They are also a resident of the outdoors, particularly fields. They generally avoid human settlements because of competition with other spiders, such as the much larger Giant Domestic Spider.

Hobo Spiders – How to Identify the Hobo Spider

Detailed information on the identification of the Hobo together with other common or well-known spiders are written on one of our articles. Generally speaking, Hobos are the average diameter of a small can or a soda can, has evenly coloured legs, and has a light line running down the midline of its sternum.

Hobo Spiders on the Rise?

Ever since it has arrived in US shores, the Hobo has been spreading its range from as far north as Canada and as far south as Northern California. Look-alikes and misidentification may have caused the sightings of these spiders far from their verified range.

Category: Spiders

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