The redwood spider is a large native to the Pacific Northwest. Its round body and deep red color make it easily identifiable in dark, damp places throughout the woodlands of the Pacific coast.
The redwood spider belongs to the genus Callobius of the Amaurobiidae family of spiders, one of nearly 30 species in this family. It also goes by the names hacklemesh weaver, tangled nest spider or night spider. In the redwood tree regions of northern California, the spider is commonly called the redwood spider.
Size and Coloring
The redwood spider or hacklemesh weaver grows to about 1 inch and can appear grayish to red in color. Native to British Columbia and the northwestern portion of the U.S., the spider sports 8 bent-shaped legs, a smaller upper portion body and a large rounded lower body portion. It averages 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. They are set apart from other spiders by their reddish-orange coloring, hence their common nickname. The legs of the Callobius are shiny and generally appear hairless.
The redwood spider appears in redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest and northern California, and in dark and damp crawlspaces in many houses in the region. Other species of the Callobius genus are throughout California, according to the University of California Riverside Department of Entomology.
Redwood spiders are often mistaken for hobo spiders, a toxic spider whose bite may cause skin ulcerations within 24 hours of being bitten and which is brownish in color and appears in the Pacific Northwest as well as the western plains of Montana and Colorado.
The redwood spider is most commonly found in northwestern portions of Canada and the U.S., though other species of the Callobius family are throughout California.
The redwood spider is not considered dangerous or toxic, though a bite may cause some generalized pain in the area. While its appearance may frighten some people, it is considered harmless and nothing more than a nuisance to most homeowners in the regions where they are found.
- California Department of Food and Agriculture: Survey Programs - California State Parks
- Pest Control Canada: Pest Identification Photos - Pest Photos 2201 to 2400
- American Arachnology.org; Callobius Guachama (Araneae, Amaurobiidae): Habitat, Distribution and Description of the Female; Richard Vetter, et.al.,
- Washington State University: How to Identify (or Misidentify) the Hobo Spider
- Termite.com: USA Spider Identification Chart
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