Filistatidae

These spiders have an oval cephalothorax, which is longer than broad. Eyes are in a group, and the anterior median eyes are dark and round; the others are opaque white and oval or angular. Chelicerae are fused together at the base. These spiders are distributed in the tropics and subtropics.

Southern house spider, Kukulcania hibernalis (= Filistata) (Fig. 18.6e) Males are 9-10 mm long and females are 13-19 mm long. Eyes are close together on a raised prominence. Leg 1 is about twice the length of the body. The male is yellowish brown, while the female is dark brown with irregular dark markings on the abdomen. The male palpus is long and nearly equal in length to the femur and tibia. In natural habitats this spider lives on the ground under stones; in the urban environment they build webs on the sides of buildings, especially around cracks and other narrow openings. The web is nearly circular in outline, and composed of zigzag bands of silk; in the center is the opening of the retreat of the spider. The web may accumulate household dust and be difficult to see. This species occurs in southern USA west to California.

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