Black House Spider
Family: Desidae ID: Koch, 1872
Habitat and Biology
Commonly found around buildings in the corners of window frames and doors, in crevices of brickwork, under eaves, etc. In nature, they are found in holes in tree trunks, crevices in rocks, etc. The distinctive lacy web with funnels is sometimes confused with that of a funnel-web spider, but all species of funnel-web spiders found in Victoria build their retreats at or below ground level. The black house spider is a timid spider and will normally only venture from its retreat when prey is entangled in the web. The prey is then quickly seized and dragged back into the tube. Males wander at night during the mating period. After mating the female lays her silk-encased eggs within the tube. The maximum life span is around two years.
Male: Similar to female but often slightly paler.
Female: Cephalothorax and legs shiny black, abdomen duller black or grey-black.
Robust, hairy spider with a typically blunt, square front end of the cephalothorax.
Lacy sheet with one or two funnel-shaped entrances leading into a tubular retreat.
Because of its timid nature this spider rarely bites humans; however, the bite can cause general symptoms including nausea, sweating, localised pain and swelling.