This family is found world-wide.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native )
Funnel-web spiders are medium-sized (adults 8-12 mm long), usually brown and gray, with banded legs and spots on their back. They have eight eyes in two rows of four. There are other kinds of spiders that match this description, so this family is best recognized by the shape of the web (see sections below).
All spiders have two body-segments, a cephalothorax in front and an abdomen behind. They have eight legs, all attached to the cephalothorax. On the front they have two small "mini-legs" called palps. These are used to grab prey, and in mating, and are often bigger in male spiders than in females. All spiders have fangs that they use to bite their prey with, and most have venom glands.
Other Physical Features: bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger
These spiders build their webs close to the ground, in grass or other low vegetation, or in abandoned small mammal burrows.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest
Species in this family build a sheet web that has a funnel-shaped retreat for the spider on one side. The web is not sticky, instead the strands slow down prey that walk into it, as their feet fall through. The spider can walk on top of it, so darts out of his funnel to grab and bite. These spiders eat mainly flying Insecta that wander into their webs.
Funnel-web spiders hide in their funnel. The funnel is open at both ends, so this spider can run away if attacked.
- see more information on Araneae
Life History and Behavior
Communication and Perception
See More Information on Spiders.
Spiderlings that hatch out of eggs look like small adults. They have to molt (shed their whole skin) to grow. They build a web and stay with it their whole lives.
Most funnel-web spiders only live one year or less. Only their eggs survive through the winter. In warm climates they might live longer.
Female Funnel-web spiders hide their eggs under bark or inside dead leaves. They often produce several egg sacs with dozens or hundreds of eggs, and cover them all with webbing for protection.
Breeding season: Female funnel-web spiders lay eggs in late summer and fall.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous
Female Funnel-webs sometimes stay with their eggs until they die in the winter.
Parental Investment: female parental care
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||795||Public Records:||267|
|Specimens with Sequences:||696||Public Species:||68|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||595||Public BINs:||32|
|Species With Barcodes:||67|
No Funnel-web Spiders are believed to need special conservation.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Large Funnel-web spiders can bite people. Their bites are not generally very harmful, but one species may actually be dangerous to people (it is not found in Michigan).
Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
These spiders eat lots of different kinds of insects, including many that are pests to humans.
Agelenidae is a large family of araneomorph spiders commonly referred to as funnel weavers. This includes the common "grass spiders" of the genus Agelenopsis, as well as the "hobo spider" (Tegenaria agrestis), whose venom may or may not be dangerous to humans. Not to be confused with the family of dangerous Australian funnel web weavers, the Hexathelidae, which includes the infamous Sydney funnel-web spider.
The family Agelenidae contains nearly 1,200 species in 68 genera worldwide. One included genus, Agelena, includes some fascinating semi-social spiders that live in complex communal webs in Africa. The best known of these is probably Agelena consociata. Sociality in these spiders has gone so far as communal web-building and sharing; cooperative prey capture and communal rearing of young. Spiders have not, however, taken the final step into the eusociality of the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) because there are no workers or soldiers (no castes) and all females are reproductive.
Most of these spiders are quite fast, especially on their web. With speeds clocked at 1.73 ft/s (0.53 m/s), the Giant house spider held the Guinness Book of World Records for top spider speed until 1987 when it was displaced by Solifugae, although the latter are not spiders at all; they belong to a different order and both morphologically and functionally they differ drastically from spiders.
Agelenids build a flat sheet of webbing that has a funnel-shaped retreat in the middle. When they are not perched on the sheet of the web awaiting prey to blunder by, they hide in their retreat. Like most web-building spiders, they rely mainly on vibrations to catch their prey. When an insect touches the web, the spider rushes to it and immediately bites and injects anesthetizing venom. Once the prey is nearly motionless, the spider typically drags it back into the retreat where it will begin feeding on it.
- Acutipetala Dankittipakul & Zhang, 2008 — Thailand
- Agelena Walckenaer, 1805 — Palearctic, Africa
- Agelenella Lehtinen, 1967 — Yemen, Socotra
- Agelenopsis Giebel, 1869 — North America
- Ageleradix Xu & Li, 2007 — China
- Agelescape Levy, 1996 — Mediterranean
- Ahua Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Allagelena Zhang, Zhu & Song, 2006 — Eurasia
- Alloclubionoides Paik, 1992 — Eurasia
- Aterigena Bolzern, Hänggi & Burckhardt, 2010 — China, Mediterranean
- Azerithonica Guseinov, Marusik & Koponen, 2005 — Azerbaijan
- Barronopsis Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 — Cuba, USA, Bahamas
- Benoitia Lehtinen, 1967 — China, Africa, Cyprus, Israel, Yemen
- Bifidocoelotes Wang, 2002 — Taiwan, Hong Kong
- Calilena Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 — USA, Mexico
- Coelotes Blackwall, 1841 — Palearctic
- Coras Simon, 1898 — North America
- Draconarius Ovtchinnikov, 1999 — Asia
- Femoracoelotes Wang, 2002 — Taiwan
- Hadites Keyserling, 1862 — Croatia
- Himalcoelotes Wang, 2002 — Bhutan, Nepal, China
- Histopona Thorell, 1869 — Europe
- Hololena Chamberlin & Gertsch, 1929 — North America
- Huangyuania Song & Li, 1990 — China
- Huka Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Hypocoelotes Nishikawa, 2009 — Japan
- Inermocoelotes Ovtchinnikov, 1999 — Europe
- Iwogumoa Kishida, 1955 — Asia
- Kidugua Lehtinen, 1967 — Congo
- Leptocoelotes Wang, 2002 — Taiwan, China
- Lineacoelotes Xu, Li & Wang, 2008 — China
- Longicoelotes Wang, 2002 — China, Ryukyu Is.
- Lycosoides Lucas, 1846 — Mediterranean, Azerbaijan
- Mahura Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Maimuna Lehtinen, 1967 — Eastern Mediterranean
- Malthonica Simon, 1898 — Mediterranean, Europe to Central Asia, USA to Chile, New Zealand
- Melpomene O. P-Cambridge, 1898 — USA to Panama
- Mistaria Lehtinen, 1967 — Central & East Africa, Yemen
- Neoramia Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Neorepukia Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Neotegenaria Roth, 1967 — Guyana
- Neowadotes Alayón, 1995 — Hispaniola
- Notiocoelotes Wang, Xu & Li, 2008 — Asia
- Novalena Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942 — USA to El Salvador
- Olorunia Lehtinen, 1967 — Congo
- Oramia Forster, 1964 — New Zealand
- Oramiella Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Orepukia Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Orumcekia Koçak & Kemal, 2008 — Asia
- Paramyra Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Pireneitega Kishida, 1955 — Palearctic
- Platocoelotes Wang, 2002 — China, Japan
- Porotaka Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Pseudotegenaria Caporiacco, 1934 — Balkans, Libya
- Robusticoelotes Wang, 2002 — China
- Rualena Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942 — USA to Guatemala
- Spiricoelotes Wang, 2002 — China, Japan, Ryukyu Is.
- Tamgrinia Lehtinen, 1967 — India, China
- Tararua Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Tegecoelotes Ovtchinnikov, 1999 — Asia
- Tegenaria Latreille, 1804 — worldwide
- Textrix Sundevall, 1833 — Europe, Mediterranean, Ethiopia
- Tikaderia Lehtinen, 1967 — Himalayas
- Tonsilla Wang & Yin, 1992 — China
- Tortolena Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 — USA, Mexico to Costa Rica
- Tuapoka Forster & Wilton, 1973 — New Zealand
- Urocoras Ovtchinnikov, 1999 — Europe
- Wadotes Chamberlin, 1925 — North America
- Note: "funnel weaver" is the official common name of the family and is not to be confused with the "funnel-web tarantulas" or "funnel-web spiders" of the families Hexathelidae or Dipluridae, both of which are members of the suborder Mygalomorphae.
-  Breene et al., 2003. Common Names of Arachnids, fifth edition
-  The World Spider Catalog, Version 13.0 by Norman I. Platnick
- Tegenaria duellica fact sheet
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