The majority of spiders in Kenya don't cause much harm. They are unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess. From Button to Common House Spider, we can give you more information about these creatures to help you get over your fears.
Delena spp, Holconia spp, Neosparass, US spp, Olios spp
Come in a variety of colours and patterns but are mostly brown, black and grey.
Some species are very large reaching over 160mm in leg span.
The two back pairs of legs are shorter than the ones at the front and the legs fan out sideways enabling them to walk forwards and sideways often giving them a crab-like appearance.
The female Huntsman produces a flat, oval egg sac of whte papery silk and lays up to 200 eggs. She then places it under bark or a rock and stand guard over it, without eating, for about three weeks.
The appropriate time, the mother spider opens the egg sac to help her spiderlings out and she may stay with her spiderlings for several weeks.
The lifespan of most Huntsman species is about two years or more.
Huntsman spiders are usually found on tree trunks, under bank, beneath stones or on the walls of houses. Some species are extremely compressed and live between the hairline cracks of sandstone and granite outcrops.
The huntsman eats a variety of insects, arthropods, small lizards and frogs. The prey is not captured in a web but actively stalked and run-down with stealth and speed.
Often confused with the Funnel Web spiders the brown trapdoor can be distinguished by its chocolate brown coloration, less robust body and the presence of distinct boxing glove-shaped palps in the males (these are the appendages at the front of the head between the first pair of legs).
The body and legs are covered in tiny hairs.
The female is around 35mm in length, while the male is usually around 20mm and of a slimmer body.
Male trapdoor spiders leave their burrows in search of a mate during humid weather. The male dies shortly after mating with the female
The eggs are kept in a cocoon
After hatching the spiderlings stay in the burrow for some time and eventually emerge to disperse and fend for themselves
Trapdoor spiders dig a burrow in the ground that is lined with silk, though, despite their common name, this species does not construct a lid. They use these burrows to raise their young and for protection. Burrows may reach 250mm in depth and around 25mm in width. Some of the trapdoor spiders dig simple, tube-like burrows, while others excavate additional side tunnels for extra hiding places.
Trapdoor spiders eat a variety of insects and other arthropods. The spider waits inside the burrow
Bites are not fatal to humans, but local pain and swelling may occur
Pale in colour, abdomen can be yellow or beige with a faint dark stripe running lengthwise.
4 pairs of legs, the 1st pair longer than the 4th.
Eight similarly-sized dark eyes arranged in two horizontal rows.
A female produces around 5 egg sacs each with 30 to 48 eggs. The female may produce several egg masses during her lifetime.
Eggs are laid in Autumn
Spiderlings emerge the following Spring.
Approximately 30 percent of adult males get eaten by females after mating.
Feeding - usually small insects.
Location – They build a silken tube or sac (instead of a web) in a protected area which is used as their daytime retreat.
Externally this can be within a leaf or under logs; Indoors this can be or at the junction of a wall and ceiling or behind pictures and shelves. They are normally outdoor spiders, but will set-up indoors if there are small insects available. They are likely to enter homes during early Autumn when their outdoor food supply decreases.
Visibility - Adults can be seen from April through November. They emerge at night to look for food. They drop to the floor to seek cover when disturbed.
Bite - Their bite is sharp and painful and will cause erythema and swelling. A wheal may develop, producing a necrotic area which can take eight weeks to heal. Pain or numbness at the site of the bite may be followed by sweating and nausea lasting for up to 24 hours.
(Latrodectus indistinctus / Latrodectus geometricus) (also known as the ‘widow spider)
The brown button spider is around 38mm in length, while the black button spider is between 8-15mm in length.
The black button spider, Latrodectus indistinctus, ranges from dark brown to black. Dorsally the abdomen can be scattered with orange or red flecks or can be unmarked. As the spider grows, the markings become undistinguished.
The brown button spider, Latrodectus geometricus, varies from creamy yellow, greyish-brown, to dark brown-black in colour, but always has dorsal cream to orange and brown geometric patterns down the sides of the abdomen and characterised by the orange to red hourglass on the ventral side of the abdomen.
The difference between the two spiders are that the brown button spider can be identified by its orange hour-glass marking on its underside, while the black button spider has the red stripe/s on the dorsal side at the end of the abdomen.
The female constructs her funnel-shaped web, usually close to the ground in bushes or under debris.
The female produces more than one egg sac per season during the summer months and are attached with silk to the side of the web.
The brown button spider has a spiked egg sac, while the brown button spider’s is smooth.
Spiderlings hatch after a week or more and one egg sac can contains over 100 spiders. They scatter by wind and build their own webs.
They undergo between 7-9 moults before reaching adulthood and can live between 1 – 1.5 years.
The female frequently kills the male after mating, hence the common name "widow spiders".
Button spiders are comb-footed spiders: they have bristles on their hind legs that they use to cover their prey with silk once it has been trapped.
This spider eats insects including flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, woodlice, centipedes, millipedes as well as other spiders.
Button prefer in quiet, dark places and seldom wander into houses. Most bites from button spiders occur when the spider are disturbed in its hiding place.