As you recall, I snapped this image of the uninvited guest shortly before crushing her in the iron grip of my household totalitarian regime.
In keeping with my own personal modus operandi, I smashed the little bugger first and asked questions later. The question: What manner of spider is this that insists upon nesting in my laundry room?
Thanks to some great comments from people wise in the ways of insects, and thanks also to Google and Wikipedia, I have come to the following conclusion.
The specimen in question was a Steatoda triangulosa, also known as the triangulate cobweb spider (because of the triangular markings on its back, get it?).
Note the similarities in the markings of this specimen presented by the University of Arkansas entomology department:So now I have a dilemma. As Jane noted in the previous post, this spider belongs to a group of spiders commonly known as "false black widows" because they are sometimes mistaken as such. They also tend to share the same kinds of habitats and, Jane suggests, where there are false black widows, the real things tend not to be far behind.
But according to the wikipdia article and a few others I came across, this particular species includes the black widow and other "harmful" beasties on its dinner menu.
The triangulate cobweb spider is known to prey on many other types of arthropods, including ants (including fire ants), other spiders, pillbugs, and ticks. It preys on several other spiders believed to be harmful to humans, including the hobo spider and the brown recluse.So on the one hand, I don't fancy sharing my home with any bugs. But on the other hand, if this thing is going to keep away the "bad" spiders, maybe it's not so bad.
Better the devil you know than the one you don't, right?
tagged: spiders, spiderman, creepy, arachnid, arachnophobia, false black widow, triangulate cobweb spider, Steatoda triangulosa