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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Need help nailing down a spider's species


QUESTION: There is a particular type of spider that I commonly see around my house. This time, before breaking out the sledgehammer, I figured I would try to nail down what the species of these things are. I took a few pictures and recorded a short video of one of them (pictures are potato quality, video focus fluctuates but is clear long enough to see the thing clearly,) and will provide a link to download them. Thanks ahead of time.

ANSWER: Dear Riley - I finally was able to download the file. It is a jumping spider (family Salticidae); likely in the genus Platycryptus - see for an example. These are harmless to humans.

Hope this helps,

Dear Riley - Could you please upload the still images to another site or attach them to a follow-up question? I have been unable to download your file


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Found a different species of spider. Of course, after I figure out the species of the typical spider, some other species decides to stroll on in.


The file size is about 539MB. For reference, the other file was about 722MB.

Recording in 1080p at 60fps probably has something to do with the size.

Dear Riley - The only thing that I can tell you with certainty is that your spider is a male. It most likely is a grass/funnel weaver (family Agelenidae), but other possibilities include a running crab spider (Philodromidae) and wolf spider (Lycosidae). Rather than trying to record a video of something this small (not to mention often moving), identification  would be much easier working with a couple of clearly focused macro images, especially a full dorsal view, and if possible, one showing the eye pattern.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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