Are hermit spiders a thing?

Asked July 18, 2017, 8:14 PM EDT

At work I was cleaning out a dog crate for someone, and I do not know where the crate came from, but it had clearly been stored outside a while. It was dirty with some cobwebs inside, but I didn't see any spider crawling around for a while. At first I saw one with what I thought was an egg sac, but when I picked it up using a leaf, I distinctly saw that it was a shell, like that of a hermit crab. Since I could barely see the creature tucked up inside, I thought maybe it was in fact an incredibly tiny hermit crab since they do start out tiny. However, it came out partially, and it was clearly a spider. The legs were thread thin, dark, and segmented. Because I was pressed for time, I put the little one right outside thinking I could look it up later, but the only thing I have found in the google search is this spider named after a crab that doesn't have an actual shell and looks nothing like my little friend I met today. Is that something some spiders do, to live in a hermit crab shell? Perhaps it is a transspecies spider that identifies as a hermit crab. Anyway, if I had known I wouldn't find the answer easily, I would have put it in a jar or something, but I probably won't find it again.

Collin County Texas

5 Responses

No, that was the type I kept finding in the original google search. This creature's legs were far more delicate and it was not at all colorful. The shell was an actual tiny white shell, which is why I thought it was an agg sac when I first spied it. The shape of the shell was more spiral coming into one point at the top rather than having several points like that spider. It had the shape of the shell pictured except dirty white.

I don't know of any spiders that have a shell like that. Could it be that the spider was taking advantage of a protected habitat?

It could be, but I don't know. That's why I'm asking.

The only spiders that I am aware of that being close to what you described are the image that I already linked to. Without having a sample or image of the spider, I can't really help you any further than I have attempted.