Parson Spider Facts You Won't Believe!

Parson spider facts are amazing.

The parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) is a type of spider that is native to the regions of North America and can be found in abundance in the United States. They are identified by their distinctive white or pinkish mark which they carry on their abdomen from which it derives its common name. Females of this species lay their eggs in an egg sac which they can be found in enclosed or dark areas to protect them from their predators. The parson spider has two other types of a spider under its name, namely the eastern parson spider and the western parson spider. After getting bitten by an eastern parson spider, a person may experience pain and swelling in that area, followed by some type of allergic reaction which will vary from person to person. These species belong to the family of Gnaphosidae. The parson spider size varies from male to female, where males are generally smaller in size than females. This giant house spider is considered to be the fastest moving spider compared to other species of spiders.

If you are fascinated by parson spiders, then you may want to read the following amazing facts about them. If you want to learn more about different animals, you can read up on wolf spider and grass spider.

Parson Spider

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

Male parson spider: 0.2 in (0.6 cm)

Female parson spider: 0.31-0.51 in (0.8-1.3 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, gray and black

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Lizards, chameleons

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them

Homes and woody areas


The United States and Canada





Scientific Name

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus





Parson Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a parson spider?

Parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) is a spider of medium size that is native to the regions of North America.

What class of animal does a parson spider belong to?

Parson spiders belong to the Arachnida class of animals.

How many parson spiders are there in the world?

Although the exact number of parson spiders present in the world is exactly unknown, it is a very common type of spider that can be found in houses across the regions of the USA. They generally take refuge under rocks or fallen leaves and very often can also be found in one's home.

Where does a parson spider live?

The habitat of a parson spider ranges from the regions of the central USA, North Carolina, and Canada.

What is a parson spider's habitat?

The parson spider can be found in woody areas, under barks, or stones. They can also be found in one's home, typically on the ceiling or walls.

Who do parson spiders live with?

Parson spiders move in groups and they are known to mate almost throughout the whole year.

How long does a parson spider live?

The average lifespan of parson spiders is generally 1-2 years.

How do they reproduce?

Although parson spiders are known to mate throughout the year, they breed at an alarming rate in the season of spring and summer. A female parson spider can lay as many as 3000 eggs which are covered in silken egg sacs. A single silken egg sac can contain many eggs. The eggs hatch within a few weeks, but spiderlings can take almost up to a year to reach adulthood.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of parson spiders is Not Listed as of now, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List.

Parson Spider Fun Facts

What do parson spiders look like?

Parson spiders are nocturnal.

The parson spider is a medium-sized spider that is native to the regions of North America, has two different colors on its body, while its cephalothorax (fusion of head and thorax) is covered with black hair, its abdomen is covered with gray hair. It also has a distinctive mark on the center of its abdomen, which may be white or pink in color. Its body is covered with tiny hairs, which gives it a velvety look. This species belong to the family of Gnaphosidae.

How cute are they?

Parson spiders are not at all cute. List most other species of spiders, they can be unsettling and do not give off a friendly vibe on the first appearance.

How do they communicate?

Like all other forms of spiders, the parson spider communicates with each other through chemical releases that are known as pheromones. These spiders do not form any webs, instead, they form silken sacs where they rest during the day, and to go out for a hunt at night.

How big is a parson spider?

Parson spiders are not very large in size. The average size of a male parson spider is  0.2 in (0.6 cm). and that of the females is 0.31-0.51 in (0.8-1.3 cm). They are medium in size and are smaller than the jewel spider. Male parson spiders are usually smaller in size than females.

How fast can a parson spider move?

The parson spider can move very fast, especially when they are hunting for their prey at night. One distinctive feature about their movement is that they run in a zigzag fashion which makes it hard for their predators to catch them.

How much does a parson spider weigh?

The weight of this spider is difficult to estimate and calculate as it is not known.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the males and females of this species. Males are called male parson spiders and females are called female parson spiders.

What would you call a baby parson spider?

A baby parson spider is called a spiderling.

What do they eat?

The parson spider is insectivorous by nature, that is it feeds on insects. Unlike, other forms of spiders, they do not form any web. Instead, they hunt down their prey during the night. They are pretty fast runners, which adds an advantage to their hunting behavior.

Are they poisonous?

No, parson spiders are not generally considered to be poisonous. However, their bites can be painful for human beings. The intensity of the pain and the reaction after getting bitten by a parson spider varies from individual to individual.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the parson spider does not in any way make a good pet. Although they are not poisonous, their bite can cause pain to humans. Like most other forms of spiders, they are not meant to be kept at home.

Did you know...

Parson spiders acquired their common name from the similarity it shares with the cravat, which is a strip of fabric that was worn by the clergymen of the 18th century.

The eastern parson spider is not poisonous in general, but its bite can inflict a painful wound on a person. Although, parson spiders possess the ability to jump and hunt down insects like ants and cockroaches, to name a few.

Since parson spiders feed on insects, the best way to get rid of them or keep in control of their number is by eliminating their food sources, that is insects like ants and cockroaches, and keeping the house clean and tidy.

Ground spiders share a body structure that is quite similar to parson spiders. They, too, have a white marking on their abdomen.

The palp or an elongated structure present near the mouth of the anthropoid is large in size with round ends in the case of a male parson spider. While females generally have long thin palps, and by taking one look at it, one can easily differentiate between male and female parson spiders. Moreover, males are usually shorter in size than females.

When do most parson spider bites occur?

Parson spiders may occasionally invade homes in search of prey and may seek harbor in-between clothes. Since they are nocturnal creatures, they move out of their silken sacs during the night. The most common time when a person is likely to get bitten by one such spider is during the night, or when it is trapped in-between clothes.

How do parson spider bite symptoms vary

Parson spider bites are not considered to be poisonous, however, they can cause different allergic reactions for different individuals. The initial symptoms may be red swelling of the area where the spider has bitten, along with an incessant need for itching. The mild swelling can increase in intensity from person to person, accompanied by nausea, sweating, and increased body temperature.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including brown widow, or yellow sac spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Parson spider coloring pages.



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