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Thread: Spider in Santa Cruz, CA

  1. #1
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    Spider in Santa Cruz, CA

    Hey guys, absolutely new here but after two sightings of this relatively large spider (and a paranoia of living with venomous spiders), I decided to take the plunge.

    I've encounter two of these guys - one high up on a wall (semi textured - the wall) and another scurrying across my bedroom floor. They were identical to each other, approximately 2 inches across legs spread.

    My searches online (which I'm not sure how valid they are) have yielded anything from Brown Recluses to Hobo spiders to Giant House spiders. Fortunately - and I hope this is true - there are no brown recluses or hobo spiders in Santa Cruz, CA. I'm hoping the resident experts here can verify this for me.

    I froze both of them with compressed computer cleaners. Unfortunately, I already dissected this latest one before thinking about using spider.us to help identify it. The images below are the best I have and show the main abdomen (I ripped the sac off in my silly quest to dissect it). I also put a penny next to it for a better sense of size.


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    My understanding is that brown recluses are not this big and although hobo spiders can attain this size, they are really poor climbers - which doesn't explain the spider that was high up on my wall.

    Any and all help - as well as advice - is much appreciated. Thank you!

    P.S. After browsing the forums and searching for "northern california" in particular, I stumbled upon this identification thread and I believe its the same spider!

    http://www.spiders.us/forums/showthr...ght=california

    There's not much info on that thread...any more information that anyone can yield please?
    Last edited by xbiter; 11-02-2012 at 01:27 AM. Reason: Additional information

  2. #2
    Community Guide Itsy Bitsy's Avatar
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    Titiotus does look like a possibility. I don't know much about them other than that they aren't considered dangerously venomous. The only species that are widely considered to be of medical concern are Widows and Recluses. This is a map of the areas of the US that have established populations of Recluse species: http://bugguide.net/node/view/33527
    Last edited by Itsy Bitsy; 11-12-2012 at 05:57 PM.
    "Creep beneath the spider's web.... Ready, set, let's go!" - My Neighbor Totoro

  3. #3
    Community Guide Eric's Avatar
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    Actually, the abdomen *was* the "sac" you ripped off. So, there is no way this specimen can be reliably identified. Period.

    Eric

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    Moderator Ungoliant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbiter View Post
    Fortunately - and I hope this is true - there are no brown recluses or hobo spiders in Santa Cruz, CA.
    You are correct. The brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is not found in California. There are other species of recluse in California, but they tend to be found in sparsely populated deserts. Rick Vetter wrote a detailed article about this topic if you are curious.


    Hobo spiders (Tegenaria agrestis) are native to Europe, but they have been introduced to the Pacific northwest.


    However, even if they were in your area, they are not dangerous, despite the scary stories that you can find on some Web sites. The only American spiders that are widely recognized by scientists as being potentially dangerous to humans are widows (family Theridiidae, genus Latrodectus) and recluses (family Sicariidae, genus Loxosceles).
    Helpful Links: ID Guide ID Resources Species Guides FAQ Spider Bites Glossary

    "There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance." --Neil deGrasse Tyson

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    Thank you all for the replies.

    After catching another two I can say with a fair degree of certainty that this [http://bugguide.net/node/view/542887] is the species I'm dealing with.

    I have now found 4 in two weeks...only 4 I've found in over 6 months living in this apartment. Even though they may not be brown recluses or hobo spiders, this is a bit unnerving.

    Is there anything I should do? I'm not sure if these guys are wandering around in search of a female but I've found two in my dinky little room, one in my roommates and another in the hall.

    Any more information on this species would be of great help. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member alexdesignz's Avatar
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    I used to worry about every spider, and after looking at these forums I realized spiders are not the scarey thing we imagine. I have a pet Black Widow and she is timid and shy. I bought a bug sucker http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2943523 for my daughters and I ended up relocating spiders instead of killing them.

  7. #7
    Moderator Ungoliant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbiter View Post
    Is there anything I should do? I'm not sure if these guys are wandering around in search of a female but I've found two in my dinky little room, one in my roommates and another in the hall.
    Sudden spikes in the number of spiders in your home are often temporary increases in activity due to mating. (A lot of spiders are mating at this time of year.) If that's the case, you will find mostly males, since they are the sex that actively looks for mates. Spiders that hunt on foot may occasionally wander indoors as well.

    I can't give you any specific advice on Titiotus spiders, but the safest, most effective way to reduce the number of spiders in the home is to physically exclude them. Seal potential access points, such as gaps in weatherstripping, screens, and around plumbing and electrical conduits. (You may need the cooperation of your landlord, depending on your rental agreement.) Remove any spiders and vacuum any webs that you find inside.

    Sticky traps are an effective way to catch the wandering spiders you don't see, although this will be fatal to the spider. (I'd rather relocate spiders than kill them, since they are good for pest control.) Wandering spiders tend to follow the perimeter of spaces, so this is the best place to deploy traps if they are needed.

    It also helps to reduce clutter in and around the home. Try not to stack things against the building, as this attracts insects and the spiders that feed on them. If you have a porch, don't leave the light on all night. (Again, this attracts insects and therefore spiders.) Really, any measure that makes the home less attractive to insects is likely to make it less attractive to spiders.

    I hope this helps!
    Helpful Links: ID Guide ID Resources Species Guides FAQ Spider Bites Glossary

    "There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance." --Neil deGrasse Tyson

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    Alex and Ungoliant, thank you for your replies. Although I was secretly hoping for a panacea, I'm not surprised to find out that there isn't one

    I won't destroy a spider unless it has the potential to inflict serious injury. I did kill these simply bc I had no clue what they were. Having figured out that they aren't terribly nasty, I will remove them from my apartment rather than freezing them (I did that so I could take a look at the intact specimen).

    There are definitely gaping holes in my apartment - I get loads of crickets and Armadillidiidae (rolly pollies). Time to take a sweep of the place and close any gaping holes that I see.

    Thanks again for your help - this website and forum have been tremendous help!

  9. #9
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    That's a great little toy - even I want one now!

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Community Guide Eric's Avatar
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    xbiter:

    Thank *you* for sharing; you are obviously quite knowledgeable in your own right, and/or do your homework. We love helping people like you :-)

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