Hobo spiders are relatively large spiders. They are brown in color and the adults measure roughly 1/3 to 1/2 inch in body length and 2/3 to 2 inches in leg span. The top of the abdomen is marked with a series of darker-hued chevrons. Males are distinctively different from females in that they have two large palpi (mouth parts) that look like boxing gloves. Females tend to have a larger and rounder abdomen when compared to males. Unlike most other spiders, their legs appear hairless to the naked eye.
Hobo spiders will often hide during the day and roam nocturnally. Outdoors they can be found hiding under rocks, woodpiles, and other debris. Indoors they are attracted to humid, undisturbed dark locations and may locate themselves in garages, basements, undisturbed corners, cupboards, and under furniture.
Hobo spiders weave webs in the shape of funnels. The web vibrates when prey is caught in its tangled threads. Hobo spiders hide in the narrow ends of these webs and emerge when prey is caught. Hobo spiders feed on insects and other arthropods.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
The female Hobo spider produces one to four egg sacs. Each egg sac holds 50-100 eggs, and the female spider attaches the egg cases underneath objects. You can typically find hobo spider egg sacs outdoors, but they also tend to be attached inside in low-traffic or undisturbed areas like garages, basements and crawlspaces. The eggs hatch sometime in May or early June. The egg sac always incorporates soil or other foreign matter between two layers of silk. The females construct the egg cases and generally remain in the web until they die, usually late fall.
Most Hobo bites come from males during the Hobo’s mating season in
late summer. Although the Hobo spider bite has been found to be poisonous,
it is not deadly to humans. Symptoms do not manifest until 24 to 36 hours
following the bite. Blisters form at the site of the bite and tissue necrosis
may result. Skin necrosis can heal very slowly and may be serious.
Hobo spider poisoning include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, soreness and flu-like symptoms. In extreme cases if the bite is not taken care of early, local lesions may become deep and extensive, and may not heal for one to two years and may even require skin grafts.