This past week I finally got some relatively good shots of the house spider (Tegenaria sp.). I came across this spider multiple times since starting the Spider Sunday series, but photographing one proved to be difficult. I knew where its house was located, but usually they come out at night. Every now and then I did see the spider during the day, only to see it quickly retreating behind the loose tiles in the garden it calls home. The location of its nest in the garden is also difficult to photograph as it is fairly low and behind a bunch of stuff. Nevertheless, persistence pays off so I can add this spider to my blog 🙂
The house spider is a member of the funnel-web spiders (Agelenidae). So named because of the shape of their webs. The webs consist of a flat sheet of silk with a funnel like retreat. At night, they will sit on the web waiting for dinner to arrive. If that somehow doesn’t happen, they leave their house to actively hunt. I noticed that they respond very rapidly to movements on the web and also to light flashes and shadows. According to a source they are indeed photosensitive and hide or come out when stimulated with changes in light.
Even though I’m not scared of spiders, this spider is not my favorite to look at. It looks like it walked straight out of a horror movie. With its long legs, sudden movements and its size (one of the bigger spiders of Europe), I can see why people might be scared when they encounter this spider. In addition, their jaws are clearly visible, so I thought it would be best not to get too close. However, like other Dutch spiders, this spider is harmless although a bite is a bit painful. In the spider’s defence though: you were probably provoking it, if you got bitten by one.