Eratigena atrica
(Giant House Spider)

Featured spider picture The spider species Eratigena atrica, commonly known as Giant House Spider, belongs to the genus Eratigena, in the family Agelenidae. Eratigena atrica spiders have been sighted 34 times by contributing members. Based on collected data, the geographic range for Eratigena atrica includes 6 countries and 2 states in the United States. Eratigena atrica is most often sighted indoors, and during the month of September.

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

Primary Colors


Sightings Overview

There have been 34 confirmed sightings of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider), with the most recent sighting submitted on April 16, 2018 by Spider ID member zinc_hydroxide. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 34 sightings because of certain Eratigena atrica sightings reporting incomplete data.

  • Web: 15% of the time, Eratigena atrica spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 13)
  • Sex: 10 female and 10 male.
  • Environment: Eratigena atrica has been sighted 5 times outdoors, and 10 times indoors.
  • Outdoors: Man-made structure (3). Ground layer (1). Under rock or debris (1).

Location and Range

Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) has been sighted in the following countries: Canada, France, Lithuania, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

Eratigena atrica has also been sighted in the following states: Oregon, Washington.

Seasonality

Eratigena atrica has been primarily sighted during the month of September.

  • January: 1
  • February: 2
  • March: 4
  • April: 6
  • May:
  • June:
  • July: 5
  • August: 6
  • September: 6
  • October: 2
  • November:
  • December: 1

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) Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal,Eyes Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Eratigena atrica (Giant House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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