Wild Fact #588 – The Littlest Hobo – Hobo Spider

Wild Fact #588 – The Littlest Hobo – Hobo Spider

Photo by Dr. Lee Ostrum (http://www.family-protection.com/)

It is the middle of the week and I figured it would be a good time to discuss a dangerous animal.  But first, I will be very happy if anyone that isn’t my family member catches “The Littlest Hobo” reference in the title.  For the record, today’s dangerous animal has nothing to do with a wandering German Shepard.  No Ma’am, today’s animal is a spider found in North America called the Hobo Spider.  In case you were wondering the Hobo Spider belongs to a large group of spiders with over 500 members, worldwide.

Even though the group they belong to is quite large this particular Hobo is not.  Actually, if you want to know how big they are, you just need to look down at the fingernail on your pinky finger.  You are looking at your pinky right now, aren’t you?  Okay, I will wait until you are finished.  Not that big of a spider, eh?  Well, don’t let their small size fool you since the littlest Hobo Spider is able to deliver quite the punch if they get a hold of you.

Photo by Dr. Lee Ostrum (http://www.family-protection.com/)

Just how bad is a Hobo Spider bite?  Well, there are some conflicting opinions to the severity of this spiders bite.  From what I can tell though, it appears as though they may cause lesions on the skin.  In fact, some scientists figure that a large number of spider bites thought to be a result of the Brown Recluse Spider (I am sure you have seen those nasty e-mails showing the ugly results of this spider bite) was actually caused by the Hobo Spider.  A few other symptoms of Hobo Spider bites include intense headaches, vision problems and just a general sick feeling.

Luckily, the Hobo Spider doesn’t appear to be very aggressive and will only bite if they feel that their life or the survival of their egg sac is in jeopardy.  Even then, many scientists believe they don’t inject their venom 100% of the time.  Personally, I wouldn’t take that risk considering the impacts from a tiny spider bite seems to be pretty uncomfortable.  So the next time you are walking around the Pacific Northwest, be on the lookout for the Hobo Spider.

Thanks for reading today’s Wild Fact!  See you tomorrow.


  1. Avatar
    Emma Springfield April 06, 2011

    Spiders come in such varieties. They always are interesting. A hobo spider is not easily noticed and that’s why we are so often bitten by them, unfortunately.

    • Avatar
      Nathan April 07, 2011

      Hi Emma,

      The varieties of spiders never stops amazing me. It boggles my mind to think how small this spider is yet can pack a pretty painful bite. Absolutely Incredible!

  2. Avatar
    Comment1 April 07, 2011

    There’s a voice, keeps on calling me,
    Down the road, that’s where I’ll always be.

    I used to watch The Littlest Hobo all the time, that song will probably be with me forever more!

    As for the spider… scary stuff! I’m not keen on dangerous animals being tiny and brown. They should be clearly visible and unmistakable at all times.

    • Avatar
      Nathan April 07, 2011

      hahaha! That is awesome that you know the theme song. You made me go and Youtube The Littlest Hobo – so happy I did. Sure does bring back some great memories.

      I agree with you about dangerous spiders being clearly visible. I think they just like to scare us.

      Before I go, I just wanted to tell my readers to click on Comment1’s name (or you can just go to http://www.realmonstrosities.com/) as it will take you to his blog. You need to check out the Squidworm… Crazily creepy! Great job, Comment1.

  3. Avatar
    karina December 06, 2011

    wow i wonder if the scars from the bite go away, but it looks as if it wont so easily :/ funny im actually gathering info for a project i just picked the spider because the name sounded funny and its actually a pretty cool spider

    • Avatar
      Nathan December 06, 2011

      Hi Karina,

      They do bite pretty hard so I would imagine the cuts stick around for awhile.

      You picked a great topic for your project. The Hobo Spider should provide lots of interesting information for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you are looking for more information.

      Thanks for stopping by Wild Facts.


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