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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Common House Spider

The Common House Spider (Tegenaria atrica) is a species of arachnid that is native to Europe, Central Asia and North Africa. It has expanded to several northern European countries, and has been introduced to North America, where it is now established. Its original habitat consists mostly of caves, or dry forests where it can be found under rocks. Although commonly found in people”˜s homes, it fears humans and will run away when a human comes close.

This is one of the biggest spiders found in Central Europe. The female can grow up to 0.7 inches and the male can grow up to 0.6 inches. The coloration of both sexes is mainly dark brown. The sternum is lighter, with three spots on each side. The legs of the female are twice the body length, and can be as mush as three times the body length in males. This spider can achieve speeds of up to 20 inches per second over short periods. This spider has eight eyes that are of equal size and are arranged in two rows. It is believed that this species can only distinguish light and dark as the eyes contain fewer than 400 visual cells.

The Common House Spider builds a funnel web in undisturbed corners. The web contains no glue, so when an animal gets tangled in the web, the spider runs toward it, crushes it, then digests it. The average lifespan of this species is two to three years, but can be up to six years. During the mating season, the female only leaves the nest to feed, but the males can be found wandering about during the mating season from June to October. At least 60 spiderlings emerge from the sac and remain together for nearly a month. They do not cooperate in prey capture and some cannibalism may occur where food sources are scarce. The spiderlings molt seven or eight times before reaching maturity.

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Common House Spider