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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Household spider question

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Question
Hi Jack, I have a question about a household spider we found in our home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The spider has a dome shaped head and abdomen, which are about equal size, so at first we thought it might be a spitting spider. But we've captured the spider and it is now living in a tiny terrarium (my 6 year old daughter is a budding entomologist). The first day we caught it we dropped a stunned fly in its home and it spent an hour eating from the fly. Then it proceeded to build itself a sac home, so now we know it is some sort of sac spider. That was yesterday, and today it has moved to the other side of the terrarium and made itself a new sac home. I thought it might be a long-legged sac spider but it is black in color instead of pale.  We are interested to find out if it is dangerous and also whether or not it is feasible to continue keeping it as my daughter's "pet". Thanks for any feedback you can offer.

Answer
Rose,

There are only a few venomous spiders in the US. In your area the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider are the two most common ones and this does not sound like either of these (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/brown_recluse_spiders.html and http://www.livingwithbugs.com/spiders.html for pictures of these spiders). If you post a picture I may be able to narrow it down a bit (although spiders are notorious difficult to id from photos).

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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