The Hobo Spider is a member of the spider genus known as funnel web spiders. This term derives from the nature of their constructions. They typically build funnel-shaped structures of silk to trap their prey. This spider waits at the small end for the prey to become trapped.
The species does not generally act aggressively unless directly threatened. They commonly construct their funnel webs near or even in human homes, or other buildings.
Individuals also vary significantly in color and size. Specific identification of a Hobo Spider thus often depends on direct observation of their anatomical structure.
Hobo Spider History and Habitat
The Hobo Spider often proves itself to be uniquely adaptable. The species evolved as endemic to parts of Europe, where it primarily inhabits open fields.
They generally construct their webs under large rocks and only rarely enter homes or other human habitations. This occurs due to the presence of another, competitor species of arachnid.
However, the arachnid was also introduced into the Pacific Northwest area of the United States sometime prior to the 1930’s. Authorities presume this occurred via agricultural shipments.
After that, the Hobo Spider quickly became established throughout much of the northwestern regions of the United States, and portions of Canada, in North America. In these areas, they subsequently adapted to living in close proximity to humans.
Hobo Spider Behavior and Toxicity
The toxicity and relative aggressiveness of the Hobo Spider both form subjects of much scientific debate.
The bite of the Hobo Spider does not usually prove to be fatal to a healthy adult human. The effects of envenomings, including necrosis, appear to be similar to those of the brown recluse spider.
Other symptoms also include abnormal vision and intense headaches. However, much discussion exists about whether the Hobo Spider actually held blame in these cases.
The spider responsible for the envenoming rarely gets captured which naturally makes a positive identification of the exact species impossible.