Office Spider

2023 June 18

I found this tiny spider walking across the floor in my office on June 14, 2023. Its body was about the size of a pinhead, so I couldn’t really see any details until I got it home under the camera.

It has two highly-reflective eyes, with the other six eyes being unreflective. This is something we’ve seen previously in other spiders, particularly cobweb spiders.

The dark eyes are a bit hard to see, but there are two round eyes directly in front of the reflective eyes, while the two eyes on each side (indicated by arrows in the next picture) are kind of scrunched together so that they are nearly fused into single, oval eyes.

This was an athletic little spider, so I didn’t get as many high-resolution shots as I would have liked, but this is enough for me to say that (a) I am pretty sure it is a cobweb weaver in the family Theridiidae, and based on the eyes it is likely in the genus Steatoda, but (b) it isn’t one of the members of this genus that we normally see.

The best match appears to be Steatoda triangulosa, which has that kind of pattern on the abdomen, although the pattern is pretty variable. According to BugGuide, this is a cosmopolitan species that most likely originated in Eurasia, but has become a “house spider” that has followed people around the world. So, I may not have done it any favors by letting it loose in the rhubarb patch, but it should be OK for the summer, anyway.

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