4 Things You Should Know About Idaho’s Misunderstood Hobo Spider [PICS]
Origins of the Hobo Spider
Originally found in Europe, hobo spiders were first spotted in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon back in 1936. A native member of the funnel-web spider family, the hobo spider is a long-legged and fast-moving critter highly adept at crafting funnel-like web retreats.
Unlike typical spiders, hobos avoid climbing structures and surfaces in favor of burrowing themselves within their webbed funnels. Like hobos, they can make a home of any crack, hole, or crevice they find, hence their unique name.
What Do Hobo Spiders Look Like?
Outside of their funnel, the arachnids are identified by their brownish coloring and unique abdomens. The differences between male and female hobos make it easy to identify either's gender. Where males have an enlarged appendage, female's have an enlarged abdomen. Both males and females, however, "have a dark line at the abdomens which can [cause] someone to confuse them with brown recluse spiders."
But because hobo spiders are rarely seen above ground, they're typically identified by their distinct and rare bite patterns after crossing paths with a human.
4 Important Things to Know About Idaho's Hobo Spider
- Emergence. According to pest experts, male hobos typically emerge in the late summer or early fall in search of female mates.
- Medical Importance. According to Utah State Parks, the arachnid is classified as "medically important" in Idaho and Utah due to the venom released in its necrotic bites. But other sources say the hobo is medically unimportant as "hobo spiders have venom which is not considered to be very harmful to the human body." Their bites tend to be dry, inconspicuous, and cause little more than temporary nausea and red lesions that look like mosquito bites.
- Behavior. Unless provoked or in search of a mate, hobos are mild-tempered arachnids.
- Mating Habits. The webbed funnel is the hobo's homemade love-shack! Females will lay-in-waiting for males to enter the web and mate with them. Afterwards, males move on die shortly thereafter.