- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Suborder: Araneomorphae
- Family: Gnaphosidae
- Genus: Scotophaeus
- Species: Scotophaeus blackwalli
Other Common Names
Mouse Spider, Stealthy Ground Spider, Ground Spider
Tamerlan Thorell, 1871
There have been 40 confirmed sightings of Scotophaeus blackwalli (Mouse Spider), with the most recent sighting submitted on June 2, 2018 by Spider ID member alandi. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 40 sightings because of certain Scotophaeus blackwalli sightings reporting incomplete data.
- Web: 10% of the time, Scotophaeus blackwalli spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 20)
- Sex: 12 female and 3 male.
- Environment: Scotophaeus blackwalli has been sighted 4 times outdoors, and 16 times indoors.
- Outdoors: Man-made structure (4).
Location and Range
Scotophaeus blackwalli (Mouse Spider) has been sighted in the following countries: Ireland, United Kingdom, United States.
Scotophaeus blackwalli has also been sighted in the following states: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington.
Scotophaeus blackwalli has been primarily sighted during the month of May.
- February: 1
- April: 3
- May: 16
- June: 3
- July: 5
- August: 3
- September: 1
- October: 5
- Important note: there are dangerously venomous mygalomorph (primitive) spiders in the genus Missulena, family Actinopodidae, that are also nicknamed “Mouse Spiders.” They are found in Australia and one species in Chile and, aside from also being spiders, don’t have much in common with the relatively innocuous Scotophaeus blackwalli.
- The abdomen appears velvety and soft, and the spider often runs in quick “starts-and-stops,” similar to a mouse along the perimeter of a room; this is likely where the nickname “Mouse Spider” comes from.
- Spider is fast, agile, and difficult to catch, let alone photograph.
- Female chooses a safe, dark place to deposit her eggs and builds a silken “chamber” around herself. Within the chamber, she attaches a thin disc of silk to a flat surface. She then deposits her eggs onto the center of it and finishes off by covering them all with a thicker layer of silk about 10-12 millimeters in diameter. Contains anywhere from 50-130 eggs.
- Sometimes scavenges already dead insects. The British naturalist and arachnologist, W. S. Bristowe, remarked that he knew of several cases where lepidopterists had caught the spiders eating their pinned specimens during the night (Bristowe 1958).