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Check out some of the unique characteristics of common pests in our area. Send us a photo of your pest for better identification.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusaor) or violin spider is a well-known member of the family Sicariidae (formerly placed in a family “Loxoscelidae”). Brown recluse spiders are usually between 6-20 mm (¼ in and ¾ in), but may grow larger. They may be brown, gray, or a deep yellow color and usually have markings on the dorsal side of their cephalothorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nicknames fiddleback spider, brown fiddler or violin spider.
Adult brown recluse spiders often live about one to two years. Each female produces several egg sacs over a period of two to three months, from May to July, with approximately fifty eggs in each sac. The eggs hatch in about one month. The spiderlings take about one year to grow to adulthood. The brown recluse spider is resilient and can tolerate up to six months of extreme drought and scarcity or absence of food. On one occasion it survived in controlled captivity for over five seasons without food.
Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae. They are robust and agile hunters with good eyesight. They live mostly solitary lives and hunt alone. Some are opportunistic wanderer hunters, pouncing upon prey as they find it or chasing it over short distances. Others lie in wait for passing prey, often from or near the mouth of a burrow.
Wolf spiders resemble Nursery web spiders (family Pisauridae), but they carry their egg sacs by attaching them to their spinnerets (Pisauridae carry their egg sacs with their chelicerae and pedipalps). Wolf spiders have two eyes out of eight that are large and prominent. The eight eyes of the Nursery web spiders are all of approximately equal size.
Funnel Web Spider
The Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus), is a notoriously dangerous Australian funnel-web spider, usually found within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The spider can be very aggressive when provoked. The long-lived female funnel-webs spend most of the time in their silk-lined tubular burrow retreats. Males, recognized by the modified terminal segment of the palp, tend to wander during the warmer months of the year looking for receptive females to mate with.
Funnel web spiders are attracted to water and hence are often found in swimming pools, into which they often fall while wandering. The spiders can survive such immersion for up to twenty-four hours and can deliver bites when removed from the water.
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