In which I scream like a banshee and throw things

Can someone please tell me what this devilish beast might be. Also, why me?

It has a strange marking on its back that is reddish in color although hard to tell from this picture. I know black widows have an hourglass shape on their abdomen, at least the females do, but their bodies are completely different from this one, judging from the images I've looked at. This is more compact. I don't like it.

After I discovered this beast on my computer desk, Ethan rushed over to see what could be causing my loud panic and wild gyrations. He watched calmly as I tracked the spider with a big book. At one point he asked, "Why are you praying, Mama?"

Help me, Ronda. Or Patrick. Or someone.


brilynne said...

As a true arachnophobe, I commiserate. And shiver. And stare with horrified fascination.

Love the bit about Ethan wondering why you were praying. You should here my mom resist the devil at snakes and spiders...

Linds said...

I saw this t-shirt and thought of you :)

gretchen said...

I have no idea what it is, but I've used this great site in the past for my own insect/arachnid queries, and it's been quite helpful as well as strangely fascinating : ) I dare you to check it out!


(Check the left hand sidebar for a list of topics and click on one of the spider links.)

Shari said...

Yeah, as much as I love bugs, I'm still scared of spiders. Eek.

Patrick Randall said...


Eastern Parson Spider. Completely harmless.

Patrick Randall said...

If it makes you feel any better, of the approx. 2,000 species of spider in the U.S., only 5 are poisonous enough to worry about: the black widow, brown widow, brown recluse, hobo spider, and yellow sac spider. Of these, only the black widow and yellow sac spider are found in Michigan. The black widow is easy to recognize, so here's a picture of the yellow sac spider:


Some more info on the parson spider that might interest you:

The parson spider is a nuisance in homes and is generally nontoxic; although some people may experience allergic reactions to the bites. The parson spider is about 1/2 inch long and may vary in color from brown to black. The front segment of the body tends to be a chestnut color, while the abdomen is grayish with a distinctive white or pink pattern along its middle. The body is covered with fine hairs, giving a velvety appearance. The parson spider is usually found outdoors under rocks or in piles of brush or firewood. This spider does not spin a web, but wanders on the ground in search of prey.

Indoors, this spider wanders about at night and conceals itself beneath objects or in clothing during the day. Most bites from this spider occur at night or when it is trapped in clothing. While the parson spider is not considered poisonous, bite symptoms are variable in severity. Some people may experience localized allergic swelling and itching in addition to initial pain. A few persons may experience excessive swelling, nervousness, nausea, sweating and elevated temperatures from the bites.

Liane said...

"May experience excessive nervousness, nausea, sweating..."

Did you say completely harmless, cause now I'm experiencing all of the above.

Thanks for solving the mystery, Pat. That is definitely the one.

I did try Whatsthatbug, Gretchen but it made me itchy.

lis said...

Of course you were freaking out and throwing things. That's the logical reaction to the extreme wrongness of its size, hideous appearance, and location inside your house!! :O)

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It made me happy. Especially since you have such classy photos yourself!

Wendy said...

this made me laugh and remember a funny spider story...a few years ago we were at scott & vals in their mudroom and there was a huge spider on the wall...I think one of the guys went to hit it off and it went flying...some girlish screams followed and I'm quite sure if was not from either Val or I and the only other ones in the room were Randy and Scott ha ha!

Liane said...

Wendy, that story rings a bell...makes me laugh to think of it.