Parasteatoda tepidariorum
(Common House Spider)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Genus: Parasteatoda
  • Species: Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Common House Spider

Other Common Names

American House Spider, Cobweb Spider, Cob Web Spider, Comb-footed Spider, Tangle-web Spider, Gumfoot-web Spider

Author

Carl Ludwig Koch, 1841

Pronunciation

pair-uh-stee-uh-TOE-duh teh-pid-air-ee-OR-um

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 5mm - 9mm 3mm - 7mm
Eye count 8
Primary Colors
Identifying Traits Smooth or shiny appearance, Spherical body, Striped or banded legs, Legs solid color
Web style Cobweb


Additional Remarks

  • Sometimes mistaken for a “brown widow,” Latrodectus geometricus.
  • Other species in genus Parasteatoda can be mistaken for P. tepidariorum, too; genus Tidarren is also fairly similar in color and shape.
  • This species is quite the athlete, often subduing prey that is much, much larger than itself. We have personally witnessed prey to include other spiders such as the foldingdoor spider, Antrodiaetus pacificus, and even small lizards. Guarisco (1988) documented this spider feeding on a Sphodros fitchi, a species of purseweb spider.
  • Egg sacs are made of brown, papery-looking silk and shaped like a teardrop, about 6-9mm in diameter with anywhere from 100-500 eggs inside. Females can produce as many as 17 egg sacs in their lifetime (average is more like ~10).
  • Males are much smaller than the females and are more orange-red in coloration.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Ventral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Egg Sacs,Lateral,Spiderlings,Webs Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Gravid,Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Egg Sacs,Lateral,Webs Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Eyes Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Parasteatoda tepidariorum (Common House Spider) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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