Eratigena atrica
(Giant House Spider)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Agelenidae
  • Genus: Eratigena
  • Species: Eratigena atrica

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Giant House Spider

Other Common Names

Drain Spider, Greater European House Spider

Author

Carl Ludwig Koch, 1843

Pronunciation

air-uh-TIH-gen-uh ah-TRISH-uh

Identification Traits

Disclaimer: The following table provides a quick overview of the spider's basic attributes. The physical traits are greatly generalized in order to aid in the identification and sorting of spider species using our search feature. This information is not exhaustive, and keep in mind that traits such as color, markings, and overall size and shape can vary widely within a species due to variables such as the spider's age, gender, diet, hydration level, climate, and habitat. Though experienced arachnologists and hobbyists can often classify spiders rather accurately based on their unique markings and general appearance, it's important to know that scientifically accurate spider identification relies on detailed taxonomic keys and microscopic examinations of a spider's reproductive organs.

Female iconFemale Male iconMale
Body size More information icon 11mm - 18mm 10mm - 18mm
Eye count 8
Primary Colors
Identifying Traits Fuzzy or hairy appearance, Unique pattern, Chevron pattern, Visible spines on legs, Legs solid color, Especially long legs
Web style Funnel web, Sheet web


Additional Remarks

  • Can be mistaken for the “hobo spider” (Eratigena agrestis) or the “barn funnel weaver” (Tegenaria domestica), but are actually quite different when seen by an experienced eye.
  • Leg span can be very large; some of the largest ones reach about 4 inches.
  • Often found in bathtubs or showers first thing in the morning (or in the middle of the night) as it seeks out sources of water and may become stuck: able to get in, but not able to climb out.
  • With speeds clocked at 1.73 ft/sec (1.17 mph), this spider held the Guinness Book of World Records for top spider speed until 1987 when it was displaced by “windscorpions” (solpugids).
  • Species is often found living indoors, where it out-competes and displaces the “hobo spider,” helping to keep them from becoming established indoors. Male “giant house spiders” have even been witnessed killing male “hobo spiders” without necessarily eating them.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Male Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Male - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Male - Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Female - Lateral,Webs Enlarge picture icon
  • Check iconFamily Check iconGenus Check iconSpecies
  • Submitted Calendar iconJun 14, 2016
  • Photographed Picture iconAug 27, 2009
  • Copyright icon Nounours15
  • SpiderID
    spiderid (Submitted by)
  • Sex icon
    Female
  • Location iconAuvergne, France
  • Comment icon0 Comments
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Male - Dorsal,Eyes Enlarge picture icon
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View All Pictures


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