Male Grass Spider / Agelenopsis
Male grass spiders - Agelenopsis - are the explorers of the grass spider family. While the female stays put in her web, getting plump and preparing to take care of the baby spiders, the males go roaming all around looking for a female to hook up with. So if you see a grass spider roaming around somewhere, especially in your home, it's typically a male.
Grass spiders are members of the Funnel Web family (Agelenidae) and the Grass Spider level is the genus (Agelenopsis). There are actually sub-groups of grass spiders but they all look alike and can apparently be told apart by looking at the spiders' genitals. We're not quite that interested. We're happy enough to know it is a grass spider.
Grass spiders in general have long, thin legs, are brown with darker spots, and have a slender body. Their thorax is vertically striped with light brown on the sides and darker brown on the top. Grass spiders can generally be told by having very long spinarettes - the pair of long thin things where a tail would be, which spin their web.
We've seen several male grass spiders in our home over the years. They are fairly large so they're easy to spot, and lots of fun to take photos of! This first one was in our living room. We sent it out to play in the grass once we were done taking its picture. You can tell it is male by the two largish protrusions at the front of his face. Those are called pedipalps, or palps for short. They are sensory organs.
Here's another one, again in our living room.
This one was found in our living room and sadly only has 7 legs. He is definitely a male, you can tell by the large "palps" (boxing gloved shaped things) near his mouth area. Click on any of these four to see a larger version of the image.
Female Grass Spiders
Grass Spiders - main page
Spiders in Sutton Massachusetts
Animals and Birds in Sutton Massachusetts
Sutton Massachusetts Photo Collection