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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Male hobo spider confirmation


Mr.  Eaton:

I believe the photo attached shows a male hobo spider, but  I'd love your opinion. Additionally, I would like to hear your perspective on how dangerous these spiders actually are (particularly to three-year-old children), and what, if any, steps I should take to control them or keep them off my property. I'm a spider lover, but this guy did make me worry.

Thank you!


It certainly *could* be Tegenaria agrestis , but the details I need to confirm that are in his pedipalps, and I'd need the dead specimen under a microscope.

Dr. Greta Binford at Lewis and Clark College in Portland is probably the foremost authority on Tegenaria and other dangerous spiders.  I'd consult her, or at least her web page, for the straight dope on how potentially hazardous the species is.  It is clearly *NOT* dangerously venomous in its native Europe, so whatever is happening with the North American populations is not venom-related.

The above link is to Dr. Binford's lab.  I'm sure someone there could answer your questions or refer you to the appropriate authority.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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