Kukulcania geophila

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Current valid name

Kukulcania geophila Chamberlin and Ivie (family Filistatidae)

Recognition and diagnostic features

Females are velvety black and look like small tarantulas; males are tan with long legs.

Related or similar species

Nodocion voluntarius, Zelotes nilicola

Spider

Body lengths when mature: male: 5.5 mm, female: 6.0 - 7.5 mm

Immatures resemble miniature adults in appearance, but coloration develops with age and may not be similar to adults until spiderlings are large.

Egg sac

Description: white, fibrous sac, pillow-like being symmetrical through its girth, typically held in place under bark by silk fibers, unlikely to be found in grape clusters as the spiders hide the egg sacs

Number of eggs per sac: 80.7 ± 16.8

Size of egg: 1.16 ± 0.040 mm

Time of year eggs are likely to be laid: June

Distribution

In California: central portion of state

Elsewhere: not known outside California

Native to North America

This species has not been transported or become established outside of its range.

Biology

These spiders are found under bark, lining their retreats with fluffy silk. Neither spiders nor eggs should be found in harvested grapes except in the unlikely event of a spider falling into the grapes during harvest.

Status in table grapes

Level of Incidence: not common

Level of Concern in New Zealand: WPNZ (May 2010) nr, BORIC (Dec 2011) nr (not listed), MAF-BPRA (2002) nr (coding definition)

Level of Concern in Australia: WPAU (2006) nr (coding definition)

Level of Medical importance: large enough to bite but pain would be from fang puncture

Common name

None for species, crevice weavers for family

Taxonomic history

Stable

Selected references

Chamberlin, R. V., and W. Ivie. 1935. Miscellaneous new American spiders. Bull. Univ. Utah 26(4):1-75.