Arachnids of North Carolina
Order:
Scientific Name: Common Name: Family (Alpha):
« »
View Theridiidae Members: NC Records

Parasteatoda tepidariorum (C.L. Koch, 1841) - common house spider



Female

Male

Female

Male

Male
Taxonomy
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Theridiidae                                                                                 
Comments: Described by Koch in 1841 as Theridion t., it has also been named Therideum t., and Achearanea t. Its placement in Parasteadoa based on its secondary genital organs (Saaristo, 2006) is considered "controversial" (Eberhard, 2020) by some, and thus may be considered fluid at this writing (Jan 2121).
Species Comment: Probably the most common species people encounter they are often found in and on manmade structures. Their white spots of excrement are often seen on windowsills, porches, etc. Active adults in their webs in protected, but open, locations in Johnston Co., NC have been found as late as January 23.
Identification
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide, Google Images, iNaturalist, WikipediaTechnical Description: Levi, Herbert W. and Lorna R., 1962. The Genera of the Spider Family Theridiidae. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, Vol. 127, No. 1, 100pp. Eberhard, William, 2020. Spider Webs, Behavior,Function, and Evolution. Univ. of Chicago Press,p. 565.
Comments: Colors are extremely variable, from back to white and almost everything in between. The abdominal pattern is notably mottled, sometimes appearing reticulated. Males characteristically have reddish legs, and are often found with yellow markings. Similar in size, shape and habitat to Tidarren sisyphoides.
Total Length: Female 5-6mm, male 3.8-4.7Adult ID: identifiable by photo
Structural Features:
Structural photos
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: One of the most widely distributed species worldwide, it's ubiquitous in the US and Canada. (Bradley, 2013)
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: rock outcrops, buildings, windows, corners of rooms.
Observation Methods:
Abundance/Frequency:
Silk / Web: The seemingly disorganized tangle often shows traits such as radial gumfoot lines hearkening back to a presumed ancestral orb design (Eberhard, 2020).
Behavior: These are timid spiders that will quickly bail out of the web when disturbed, and then roll up, motionless, their camouflage helping to hide them in natural settings.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection:
Comments:

Photo Gallery for Parasteatoda tepidariorum - common house spider

Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Donald Zepp
Johnston Co.
Comment: Record entered to illustrate palpal structures
Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wayne Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: PAUL W BROTCKE
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: PAUL W BROTCKE
Mecklenburg Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn, C. Bowers, H. Anderson, J. Brown
Cumberland Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: Jane Wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - around old office building
Recorded by: R. newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - 1 over door to old office, 6 at visitor center
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - under visitor center overhang; 1 egg sac has hatched.
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - under visitor center overhang; 1 egg sac has hatched.
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - on visitor center
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - on & in visitor center
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - on visitor center with female pond hawk prey in web
Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - under visitor center overhang; I found a male about 1/2 cm on a wrapped up plant-hopper.
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: HARO
Recorded by: B. Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment: HARO
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: R. Newman
Carteret Co.
Comment: FOMA
Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Pat Momich
Madison Co.
Comment: In the house.
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Surry Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Mark Shields
Onslow Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Surry Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Graham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Jackson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Rutherford Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Polk Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Burke Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Henderson Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Macon Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Transylvania Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Durham Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stokes Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Orange Co.
Comment:
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Found under an overturned wheelbarrow
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Found under an overturned wheelbarrow
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Found under an overturned wheelbarrow
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Female found outside in window frame on porch
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Female found outside in window frame on porch
Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
Comment: Female found outside in window frame on porch