Parson Spiders: How to Identify

Parson spiders, unlike their web-building counterparts, orbweavers, are ground spiders that seek out prey and hunt on the prowl. Usually active at night and taking shelter in leaves or underneath stones during the day, seventeen different genera can be found across America.

However, parson spiders are perhaps the most commonly encountered of all these species as they look for warm areas to hibernate come wintertime – often entering human dwellings!

Parson spiders
Parson spider. Photo credit: Hargrove

Parson spiders: Identification.

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, or the “parson spider,” is an aptly named arachnid distinguished by its abundant black and gray hairs that cover its body. Its chestnut-brown exoskeleton is visible on its legs, while a small white spot lies just above the spinnerets – resembling the cravat worn in centuries past. These spiders are tiny; females measure 1/3 to 1/5 inches long, whereas males average 6 millimeters.

Parson Spiders: Behavior.

Parson spiders are expertly adept at concealment during the day, usually hiding in rolled leaves, under bark, or stones. But watch out for them when night falls; these spiders can scurry about with tremendous speed and agility! To evade predators, Parson spiders will often run in a zigzag fashion making it difficult to catch them, even when encountered indoors. 

In the fall, female parson spiders lay down white egg sacs beneath tree bark and logs – offering protection from potential danger as this is where they stay to hibernate until springtime comes back around again.

Further recommended reading about spiders.

Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.

White spiders.

Striped spider in the U.S.

How long do spiders live?

Spider anatomy 101.

The most venomous spiders in the world.

Zebra spiders.

Furrow orb weaver spider.

Marbled orb weaver spiders.

Red house spider identification.

Purse web spider.

Crab spider: How to identify.

Orb weaver Spiders: How to identify and get rid of them.

Common house spiders: How to Identify and get rid of them.

Dark fishing spiders.

Six-Eyed Sand Spider: Is the White Sand Spider Dangerous?

10 biggest spiders in the world.

The Red widow spider

Giant Huntsman Spider: How to Identify the Largest Spider

Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula

Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula

Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula

Cerbalus Aravaensis: Middle East’s Largest Spider

Camel spiders: Myths and Facts.

Net-casting spiders: How to identify these spiders.

White-tailed spider: How to identify and manage.

Katipo Spider: How to identify New Zealand’s venomous spider

Brown widow spider: How to identify and avoid the false widow.

Redback spiders how to identify them and prevent bites

Funnel weaver spiders vs funnel-web

Cellar spiders how to identify and get rid of them

How to identify the wolf spider

How to identify the hobo spider

Brazilian wandering spider how to identify and avoid

Huntsman spider how to identify the eight legged freak

Jumping spiders how to identify these harmless hunters

Black widow spiders how to identify and avoid

Tarantulas appearance diet and mating

Do tarantulas bite?

Brown recluse spiders how to identify and avoid

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

Recent Posts