Who you gonna call?

No, not the ghostbusters! After I posted the photo of the dewy spider web this morning, I emailed it to the Spider Club of South Africa. Yes, such an organization exists. In less than an hour I had a response! These “bug people” are really keen. So Astri Leroy from the Spider Club wrote:

They are spun by the common and widespread Grass Funnel web Spiders in the spider family Agelenidae.  Of course without the spider I cannot get further than as there are a number of species in several genera in this family that build sheet webs but they will probably belong to one of the species of either Agelena or Olorunia. Grass Funnel web Spiders are found all over the world including South and southern Africa and their webs are often the only ones visible during the winter months when other spiders have gone to sleep for the cold weather. When there is heavy dew you will see dozens of them in any more or less undisturbed piece of grass, whether lawn or open veld.  As with the vast majority of spiders, they are absolutely harmless to people and prey mostly on big ants, flying termites and small and grasshoppers.

Well, good to know that they’re harmless.  As I told Astri, if I happen to see one of the spiders I’ll take a photo for her, but I’m not going to be hunting for one!

Tags: , ,

Categories: Nature/Environment


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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6 Comments on “Who you gonna call?”

  1. November 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    Oh yes, the “Grass Funnel web Spider in the spider family Agelenidae”–I could have told you that!

    • November 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

      LOL Yeah right!

      I have since discovered that Astri Leroy isn’t just a member of the Spider Club, she’s a spider expert and is the co-author of a book on spiders of Southern Africa.

  2. November 30, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Spider Club of South Afica! That just made my day. Too funny! Well, at least you solved that mystery.

    • November 30, 2010 at 8:57 am #

      I’ve been invited to join the Spider Club! From their newsletter it seems they are both amateur spider enthusiasts, and scientific “spider professionals”. And they also look at other things – like scorpions – on their outings.

      • November 30, 2010 at 9:01 am #

        No way! You have to join them! Think of the things you could blog about…

      • November 30, 2010 at 9:39 am #

        Well, you know the reputation of “bug people”?! Seems the eccentricity level goes higher, the smaller the animal people are obsessed with. Although, I have to say the “bug people” I’ve met in the past have all been very nice people 🙂 with endless patience towards non-“bug people” .

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