Tegenaria domestica male. Photo by Steven Jacobs, Penn State Extension
While not commonly encountered in some areas, this species is found throughout most of the United States, most notably in sheds and barns, around and in the crevices of doors, as well as in the cracks of rock faces and under rocks and boards.
The female barn funnel weavers range from 7.5 to 11.5 millimeters and the males range from 6 to 9 millimeters in length. The cephalothorax is a red-brown with a covering of pale-yellow hairs and two pale-gray longitudinal lines. The abdomen ranges from a pinkish to a pale flesh color with a pattern of gray to black patches. The legs are spiny with very pale gray annulations at the distal end of the femurs.
The webs are similar to those made by the grass spiders, but they are typically smaller in diameter with the retreat within the web sheet rather than off to one side.
These spiders have been reported to live for as long as seven years, producing upward of nine egg sacs. The sacs are placed in many different locations close to the web, often suspended above the web from silk lines. The males are frequently found on the web along with the female during the mating season from May through July. These spiders can be found in structures anytime during the year.
Like their cousins the grass spiders, these spiders are extremely fast and shy. Although there are no documented cases of bites from barn funnel weavers, it seems reasonable to assume they would not produce symptoms greater than the grass spiders regarding pain, swelling, redness, itching, and duration of symptoms.
Baerg, W. J. 1936. The Black Widow. Ark. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 325. 34 pp.
Baerg, W. J. 1959. The Black Widow and Five Other Venomous Spiders in the United States. Ark. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 608. 43 pp.
Bradley, R. A. 2013. Common Spiders of North America. University of California Press. 271 pp.
Breene, R. G., et al. 2003. Common Names of Arachnids. 5th ed. The American Arachnological Society Committee on Common Names of Arachnids. 42 pp.
Gertsch, W. J., and F. Ennik. 1983. “The spider genus Loxosceles in North America, Central America, and the West Indies (Araneae, Loxoscelidae).” Bul Amer Mus. Nat. Hist. 175: 24–360.
Herms, W. B., and M. T. James. 1961. Medical Entomology. 5th ed. The Mac-Millan Company, New York. 616 pp.
Howell, W. M., and R. L. Jenkins. 2004. Spiders of the Eastern United States: A Photographic Guide. Pearson Education. 363 pp.
Isbister, G. K., and M. R. Gray. 2003. “Effects of envenoming by comb-footed spiders of the genera Steatoda and Achaearanea (Family Theridiidae: Araneae) in Australia.” J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 41: 809–819.
Kaston, B. J. 1948. “Spiders of Connecticut.” Conn. State Geol. Nat. Hist. Survey. Bull. 70. 874 pp.
Kaston, B. J. 1972. How to Know the Spiders. 3rd ed. Wm. C. Brown Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 272 pp.
Levi, H. W. 1959. “The Spider Genus Latrodectus (Araneae, Theridiidae).” Trans. Amer. Microscopical Soc. 78(1): 7–43.
Long, D., R. Snetsinger, and K. F. Helm. 1995. “Localized Pruritic Rash Due to Recurrent Spider Bites.” J. Geriatr. Dermatol. 3(6): 186–190.
McKeown, N., R. S. Vetter, and R. G. Hendrickson. 2014. “Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity.” Toxicon 84: 51–55.