A new member of the menagerie – coming into the kitchen last night and putting the light on scared the daylights out of a small but smart spider that ran at high speed for the nearest cover. That’s a new one, I thought, and so I captured it (later released – don’t worry).

I believe – confidently – that this is the Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)   – so named because the abdominal “stripe” on this spider was thought to resemble the cravat worn by preachers.

One of the group known as ground spiders they do not construct a web, but they run down insects on the surface. Mostly nocturnal, they are often found in leaf litter, or under rocks or logs. Their spinnerets are like tiny protrusions, somewhat widely spaced and extending beyond the abdomen – you can see them in the photograph above.

A useful account is here – http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/parson-spider

  • In the process of tracking this chap’s ID down I found a useful inline resource for spider identification – https://spiderid.com