Spider Identification Needed (Update)

Unidentified Spider on an Iowa desktop (Trey Hyatt)

SwittersB received this email message seeking assistance on identifying the photographed spider. Any one have a timely suggestion? A Wolf Spider?

“Hello Sir

We live in a rural-ish house surrounded by farmland etc. We found this spider creeping along our stairs, and us being tremendously freaked out sprayed it with ant and spider killer. Upon being sprayed… this thing would charge 1-2 feet straight at you.. or anyone that would get close. I believe I found it to be a Hobo spider based on a picture on your website, or a member of the wolf or grass spider. I really have no idea. Could you confirm or point me in the right direction, please? I attached a few photos, if you wouldn’t mind taking a look.”

Trey Hyatt/Iowa

Identify This Spider for Trey Hyatt of Iowa

This is a response from Rod Crawford, an Arachnologist for UW:

“I am a specialist on spiders of the states of Washington and Alaska. I have never been to Iowa and do not know the spiders that live there visually.The photo showing the spider on the desk shows no significant details, being just about enough to indicate that it’s a spider, but no more.The closeup photo is a little better but also shows no species-ID characters, I can’t even see the eyes which are the first things one looks at in classifying a spider (color and “markings” mean zero). The shape of the carpaace resembles some members of the fishing-spider family. Definitely not a hobo spider or anything dangerous.To get a species ID you’d have to ship the actual specimen here to me in Seattle (or to one of the many arachnologists who are closer to you, like in Ohio or Wisconsin).

Finally – wouldn’t YOU try to defend yourself if some unprovoked assailant sprayed poison gas in your face?”

—Rod Crawford, Burke Museum, Seattle, USA <tiso@u.washington.edu>

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and find out why everything “everybody knows” about spiders is wrong!

Hmmm? “Unprovoked assailant”? 


Update from Trey Hyatt re another spider in the house and a picture (8/24/2012):

“I previously sent you a few pictures of a spider we killed in our house. Think it was up between a wolf / hobo of some sort and you had sent the pictures to a spider expert in washington. Since then, I’ve killed another one in the same spot.. possibly a tad smaller, but just as aggressive as the previous one. I’ve included a few pictures. I have no found anything on the internet that I’ve considered a perfect match other than the hobo spider possibly? Have you found anything else out?

Unknown spider in Iowa. Help ID (Trey Hyatt)

6 Responses to “Spider Identification Needed (Update)”

  1. August 17, 2012 at 09:41

    I can see why your 1st thought may be “brown recluse” but I don’t see the markings of a brown recluse. There is really no need to “freak out” ever time you see a spider, the great majority are harmless to humans and eat insects that we don;t want in the house.


  2. 3 martha
    August 16, 2012 at 21:28

    Maybe a Huntsman spider


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