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Parson (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)

The eastern parson spider is endemic to USA and Canada, belonging to the Gnaphosidae family. Unlike its cousins, this arthropod doesn’t make webs for catching preys; rather it chases potential victims before taking them down. The spider hides during the day in its silken retreat or amidst leaves or clothes( in house) and comes out at night for hunting.

Scientific Classification

Eastern Parson

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.31-0.51 in (0.8-1.3 cm) and males are shorter with an average size of 0.2 in (0.6 cm).

Color: Brown to black body with the front mostly being chestnut in shade, gray abdomen and a distinctive mark in pink or white.

Other Characteristic Features: The body is velvety.

Eastern Parson Spider Male

Eggs

The female keeps the round egg sac containing around 3,000 eggs under tree barks or carries herself during the fall and hibernates for protecting the eggs. After a few weeks later, the eggs are hatched.

Eastern Parson Egg

Spiderlings

Nothing has been observed so far regarding juvenile spiders. They can overwinter in the sac.

Is the Eastern Parson Spider Poisonous

The bite of the spider is non-toxic, however, individuals might feel skin irritations.

Eastern Parson Spider Female

Quick Facts

Also Known as Parson Spider
Distribution Northern Carolina, Alberta
Habitat Under rocks and barks
Diet Insects
Lifespan 1-2 years
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Eastern Parson Spider Web
Eastern Parson Spider

Did You Know

  • Since its abdominal pattern is similar to the cravat used by the clergymen during the 18th century, the spider is named parson.
Parson Spider

Image Credit: Thingsbiological.files.wordpress.com, Bugguide.net, 2.bp.blogspot.com, Spiderid.com, Permatreat.com

The eastern parson spider is endemic to USA and Canada, belonging to the Gnaphosidae family. Unlike its cousins, this arthropod doesn’t make webs for catching preys; rather it chases potential victims before taking them down. The spider hides during the day in its silken retreat or amidst leaves or clothes( in house) and comes out at night for hunting.

Eastern Parson

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.31-0.51 in (0.8-1.3 cm) and males are shorter with an average size of 0.2 in (0.6 cm).

Color: Brown to black body with the front mostly being chestnut in shade, gray abdomen and a distinctive mark in pink or white.

Other Characteristic Features: The body is velvety.

Eastern Parson Spider Male

Eggs

The female keeps the round egg sac containing around 3,000 eggs under tree barks or carries herself during the fall and hibernates for protecting the eggs. After a few weeks later, the eggs are hatched.

Eastern Parson Egg

Spiderlings

Nothing has been observed so far regarding juvenile spiders. They can overwinter in the sac.

Is the Eastern Parson Spider Poisonous

The bite of the spider is non-toxic, however, individuals might feel skin irritations.

Eastern Parson Spider Female

Quick Facts

Also Known as Parson Spider
Distribution Northern Carolina, Alberta
Habitat Under rocks and barks
Diet Insects
Lifespan 1-2 years
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Eastern Parson Spider Web
Eastern Parson Spider

Did You Know

  • Since its abdominal pattern is similar to the cravat used by the clergymen during the 18th century, the spider is named parson.
Parson Spider

Image Credit: Thingsbiological.files.wordpress.com, Bugguide.net, 2.bp.blogspot.com, Spiderid.com, Permatreat.com

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