Thursday, September 16, 2010


Late summer is a great time to find big spiders. This specimen was found in a large web built in one of the prairie openings. This is a species of the genus Agelenopsis, one of the funnel web builders.

Luckily for this spider, we’re experiencing a major drought, because he chose the center of a major drainage way as the location for a web. A major rain would certainly remove the web and probably the spider.

Funnel web builders are very common and their webs are easily recognized by the tunnel of webbing that connects the web sheet with the spider’s hiding location. The spider hunts insects that fall upon the web sheet.

The sheet on this particular web was nearly three feet across. The silk used in construction of the sheet is not at all sticky. The spider senses vibrations in the web and must quickly catch the prey before it moves off.

Species of this genus increase the effectiveness of their webs by building a tangled maze of single web strands over the top of the sheet. These strands make it difficult for flying insects to leave the sheet and make it easier for the spider to catch its meal. I love finding these super sized webs and watching the big spiders prowl the sheet.


  1. I am coming here to look only because I have heard it will help with a spider phobia.

    It's not that bad when it's on the screen but having it in my bed. That's a totally different story.

    Your pics are great. :)

  2. Thanks, Rosey. I like to do my spider watching outdoors. I also prefer that they stay out of my bed.

  3. I entertained myself endlessley when I was a kid catching flies on the screen and throwing them into funnel web spider webs.

    I know...

  4. Hi Steve I really didn't want to look at this blog...I did tell you I don't do spiders didn't I.... but then I read funnel....there is a web just like that right at the bottom of a clump of Iris fans in my yard and now I know what it is!! : o eeeeks!!

  5. Ted - I used to do the same thing. I would get impatient waiting for the spider to process the insects so I could throw in some more.

    grammie g - You should be safe. I've never known these spiders to leap out of the web at anyone.