Emily asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 11 months ago

Need identifying a spider in Massachusetts?

There is a web in a spirea bush in my garden. The web is a messy. Possibly a sheet web or a tangle web. We live near the woods.

In the spider web, there is an egg sac. I cannot tell if it is going to hatch, or if it is the remains of the one that already has. There are a lot of spiderlings, and most of them stick together in a group on the web. I can’t tell if they are slowly leaving.

Then there’s the mother. I’m assuming it’s the mother. It stays almost perfectly still, almost directly next to the web. I only know it’s alive because it changed locations overnight. It’s always hiding behind leaves. I haven’t seen it catch prey, so I don’t know it’s hunting habits.

It is about an inch to 2 inches in length, and brownish grey in color. There are yellowish bands around it’s legs, and I think it has a pattern on it’s back. I know the positions of the eyes are important in identification, but I can’t get a good look.

I thought it was a wolf spider at first, but wolf spider live in burrows and carry their babies on their backs. I haven’t seen anything like that. Then I thought it was a grass funnel spider, but apparently the mother dies after laying the egg sac? Also it doesn’t have the striped back.


What 1-2 inch long spider builds webs in bushes, lays egg sacs in them and stays nearby even after the babies are born. has yellow banded legs and a brownish grey patterned back, and lives in Massachusetts?

2 Answers

  • 11 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sounds to me like a female nursery web spider, likely a dark fishing spider, a mid size, often mistaken for larger wolf spiders. One of many on my favorite spider list.

    Mama will stay with her offspring protecting them until they disperse, then resume her typical hunting and eating habits. They hunt on foot more than use web, often chilling on vertical surfaces.

    A harmless sort, not an uncommon classroom pet.

    Let me know if this seems to match:



  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    A close-up would help .....................................

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