Herpyllus ecclesiasticus
(Eastern Parson Spider)

Featured spider picture The spider species Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, commonly known as Eastern Parson Spider, belongs to the genus Herpyllus, in the family Gnaphosidae. Herpyllus ecclesiasticus spiders have been sighted 87 times by contributing members. Based on collected data, the geographic range for Herpyllus ecclesiasticus includes 2 countries and 24 states in the United States. Herpyllus ecclesiasticus is most often sighted indoors, and during the month of May.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Gnaphosidae
  • Genus: Herpyllus
  • Species: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Parson Spider

Other Common Names

Eastern Parson Spider (because there is a different, but nearly identical, species in the west), Ground Spider, Stealthy Ground Spider

Author

Nicholas Marcellus Hentz, 1832

Primary Colors


Sightings Overview

There have been 87 confirmed sightings of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider), with the most recent sighting submitted on October 15, 2018 by Spider ID member borisml10. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 87 sightings because of certain Herpyllus ecclesiasticus sightings reporting incomplete data.

  • Web: 0% of the time, Herpyllus ecclesiasticus spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 68)
  • Sex: 10 female and 6 male.
  • Environment: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus has been sighted 2 times outdoors, and 66 times indoors.
  • Outdoors: Man-made structure (2).

Location and Range

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) has been sighted in the following countries: Canada, United States.

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus has also been sighted in the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Seasonality

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus has been primarily sighted during the month of May.

  • January: 7
  • February: 4
  • March: 10
  • April: 5
  • May: 30
  • June: 10
  • July:
  • August: 3
  • September:
  • October: 2
  • November:
  • December: 2

Additional Remarks

  • The flat, disc-shaped egg case is deposited in a silken retreat where the female guards it, usually under tree bark. One recorded egg sac in Connecticut was 17 millimeters in diameter and held 130 spiderlings (Kaston 1948).
  • West of the Continental Divide, there is a nearly identical species named Herpyllus propinquus (the “Western Parson Spider”). The two species can’t be separated from one another using only outward appearances, they look too much alike, so the details of the genitalia must be examined under a microscope.
  • Spider is very fast and difficult to catch, let alone photograph.
  • Though members of the entire family Gnaphosidae are collectively nicknamed “ground spiders,” that is not always where they’re found, especially fairly synanthropic species like this one.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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