What kinds of spiders can you find in the United States?
Many people are terrified of spiders and find them extremely creepy. This is unfortunate because they are incredibly interesting creatures and crucial to our environment! Luckily, most spiders are harmless, and they control the insect population.
Today, you are going to learn about the most common spiders that live in the United States.
Before we begin, note that the list below is just a fraction of the overall spiders in the United States. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. With that being said, I did my best to develop a list of COMMON spiders that are often seen and easily identified.
45 Spiders in the United States:
#1. Wolf spiders
Wolf spiders are one of the most recognizable spiders in the United States!
They are found everywhere and in almost any habitat. I know that I see them often when flipping over rocks or logs. Unfortunately, there are so many individual species of wolf spiders that it would be impossible to list them here, especially since most look very similar.
Wolf Spider Range Map
Interestingly, wolf spiders do not make webs to catch their prey. Instead, they wait for an insect to walk by and then chase it down! Likewise, some species will make a burrow and then wait inside for dinner to walk by.
When it comes to arachnids, wolf spiders have incredible eyesight. They also have retroreflective tissue in their eyes, which produces a glow if you flash light at their faces.
Wolf spiders will bite if provoked, but they do not always inject venom. Therefore, they are not considered dangerous to humans. Bite symptoms are minimal and may cause itching, swelling, and mild pain.
#2. Cellar Spider
- Cephalothorax (head) and abdomen are different shades of brown.
- Less than a 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) body, 2-inch (51 mm) long legs, and the body is the shape of a peanut.
- Some species have 8 eyes, while others only have 6 eyes.
You know that spider that is always in the corners of your basement?
Well, it’s most likely a Cellar Spider! These long, thin, and delicate arachnids are commonly found in the United States in homes and buildings. Whenever I clean my basement with a vacuum, a few of these spiders always seem to get sucked inside.
Cellar Spider Range Map
Cellar Spiders do something exciting when their web is disturbed by touch or has entangled large prey. They start vibrating rapidly, which has led to them sometimes being called “vibrating spiders.” They do this behavior to hide from predators or increase the chance of catching an insect that brushed up against their web.
Cellar Spiders are beneficial to have around because they have been known to hunt down and kill venomous spiders.
#3. Black Widow
- Females are 6.35 mm to 9.5 mm long.
- Shiny black with a distinctive red hourglass-shaped mark. A row of red spots is sometimes visible above.
- Males are half the size of females but have longer legs.
Black Widows are the most venomous spiders in the United States!
In addition, they are probably the most popular and recognizable spiders in the world. Almost everyone knows the red-shaped hourglass mark that appears on females.
And even though they have highly toxic venom that is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake, they are not aggressive. The Black Widow only bites defensively if the web is disturbed, and they RARELY bite humans.
But, if you are one of the few unlucky people who are bitten each year, you should know that the venom affects your nervous system. Some people are only slightly affected by it, but many have a severe response. If you are bitten, the bite requires medical attention, and the neurotoxic venom can be fatal to small children if untreated.
#4. Brown Recluse
- Loxosceles reclusa
Also known as the Violin Spider or Fiddle Back.
- Both sexes are around 7 mm long.
- Yellowish to grayish brown. The head is often darker, usually with faint or distinct violin-shaped marks.
- Long legs.
These venomous spiders are found in the United States both outdoors AND indoors.
Yes, you can’t even escape them in your house, as Brown Recluses commonly live in homes and buildings. They prefer dimly lit locations, like dark corners in a basement, closets, cluttered areas, or even inside your shoe or bed!
Brown Recluse Range Map
Luckily, Brown Recluse bites are rare and only bite if provoked.
Unfortunately, since they live indoors, bites often occur when you accidentally step or roll on them while sleeping. The bite is painless, so you may not even know you’ve been bitten until later.
Watch this video to see the damage a Brown Recluse bite can cause!
Bites can result in lesions, nausea, fever, and wounds that are slow to heal, becoming necrotic and sometimes causing secondary infections. Necrosis (death of cells) sets in quickly, resulting in a painful and gruesome “flesh-rotting” wound.
#5. Giant Lichen Orb Weaver Spider
- Araneus Bicentenarius
- Both sexes have orange legs colored with black rings, and the body is grayish-green with white marks.
- Sometimes body colors can be yellow or grayish-green.
Giant Lichen Orb Weavers can be found in the United States in the woods on trees with lichens (a type of fungus), which is how they got part of their name.
Giant Lichen Orb Weaver Spider Range Map
These spiders spin HUGE webs, measuring up to 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter. This is where the “giant” part of their name comes from. I would certainly hate to walk through this web accidentally!
They are nocturnal and like to hide during the day, which keeps them safe from birds and other predators.
#6. Spinybacked Orb Weaver
- Gasteracantha cancriformis
Also known as the Spiny Orb-weaver, Thorn Spider, or Spiny Spider.
- Females are bright-colored and have a hard shell-like abdomen.
- Six spines stand out from their body.
- Males are much smaller and are not brightly colored. In addition, the spines are not as prominent.
Many people don’t even realize these are spiders! Their hard body with spikes sticking out makes them unique for spiders living in the United States.
Spinybacked Orb Weavers have a very short life span. The young hatch sometime during late winter or early spring and then mature by late spring. And once they lay their eggs, they die soon afterward.
Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spider Range Map
Like many spiders, Spinybacked Orb Weavers often have to make new webs. But interestingly, they have to make a new web EVERY day since they eat their web each morning.
Lastly, these spiders have a unique way of helping protect their web. They add little silk balls on certain strands so larger insects and birds don’t run into or destroy their creation.
#7. European Garden Spider
- Araneus diadematus
Also known as the Cross Spider, Diadem Spider, Orangie, Pumpkin Spider, and Crowned Orb Weaver.
- Colors vary from light yellow to dark grey; the head has thick long hair and looks furry.
- Tiny hairs cover its large abdomen, and spiky hairs cover its legs. The female abdomen is more bulbous shaped than the male’s.
- White markings on the abdomen with four or more segments form a cross. (Can you see it in the picture above?)
Interestingly, the first web the European Garden Spider ever makes is perfectly created. But here is the weird thing…
As time goes on and they build more and more webs, they begin to have more flaws and get sloppy. I guess practice doesn’t always make perfect!
Once they build their web, they sit right in the middle with their head pointing down to the ground waiting for prey. If they should leave their web, they attach themselves to a single trigger line to feel the vibrations of prey that gets attached. It’s like a security system and a dinner bell all in one.
#8. Daring Jumping Spider
- Phidippus audax
Also called the Bold Jumping Spider.
- 4-14 millimeters long, black with white markings on abdomen and legs.
- Eight eyes, but two are much bigger. Green metallic fangs.
- Sometimes they have orange marks on the abdomen when they are younger. As they get older, they turn white.
Daring Jumping Spiders can jump up to 50 times their body length.
But luckily, they are TINY spiders. Could you imagine if they were the size of a tarantula?
Daring Jumpers are hunting spiders that like open areas to stalk and chase down prey. They only make webs to protect their egg sac or to rest in at night. Interestingly, when they hunt, these spiders will spin one strand of webbing to use as a lifeline. They do this just in case their jump fails, as the strand of web acts like a bungee cord.
Daring Jumpers are common in fields and grassy areas. You will sometimes find them on fences or walls of outside structures because they like flat surfaces, and they point downward to make it easier on themselves to catch prey. Why work harder when you could work smarter?
#9. Texas Brown Tarantula
- Aphonopelma hentzi
Also known as the Oklahoma Brown Tarantula or Missouri Tarantula.
- 2-inch body length and 4-inch leg span.
- The head is a lighter brown with a dark brown abdomen, but shades vary.
- Legs, abdomen, and fangs are covered with fine hairs.
This species is one of the biggest spiders in the United States!
Look for Texas Brown Tarantulas in dry, arid environments, under stones, logs, and underground burrows. They can make their own burrow but commonly use unoccupied animal dens.
Texas Brown Tarantulas Range Map
Even though the Brown Tarantula is large, they are non-aggressive and typically runs away from humans. But if they feel threatened, they will stand on their hind legs and put up their front legs to appear larger to scare away a threat.
If you are bitten, which is EXTREMELY rare, the bite is quite painful because of its large fangs. But luckily, the venom is harmless to humans and doesn’t cause additional pain.
To help them be more successful hunters, Texas Brown Tarantulas will put silk at the entrance to the burrow. This acts like a security alarm, where they can feel the vibration and know that dinner is waiting!
Females have been known to live up to 40 years and are one of the longest-living spiders in the United States. On the other hand, males drew the short straw and rarely live past a year after they’ve matured.
#10. Furrow Spider
- Larinioides cornutus
Also known as Furrow Orb Spider or the Foliate Spider.
- Colors can vary from black to grey to shades of red.
- The abdomen is a very large smooth, oval shape.
- Lighter-shaded arrow markings point towards their head on the abdomen. Legs have a similar arrow pattern.
Furrow Spiders are found in the United States in moist places, especially by water sources near grass or shrubbery. These arachnids don’t mind being by human structures either, like porches or corners of houses.
Did you know that spiders can’t hear? Furrow Spiders, like other species, actually use the hairs on their legs to sense sound.
Interestingly, these spiders make a new web every night. The reason for this is that they eat their web every single morning!
They rarely bite, but if bitten, you will only have mild pain and little discomfort.
#11. Banana Spider
- Trichonephila clavipes
- Reddish-brown, yellow coloring, and a yellow oblong-shaped abdomen (like a banana).
- Long, straight, yellow legs, with black bands covered with hair.
- The head is small and grayish-white with black dots that look like a skull.
Banana Spiders are found in the United States in forests.
Look for their asymmetrical webs made of golden-colored silk that can be up to 6 feet in diameter! Since they are often found in the woods, they are often encountered by hikers.
Female Banana Spiders are much larger than males, like many other common spiders. But luckily for the male, the female does NOT eat them after they mate.
Banana Spiders silk is very strong, and studies have shown its potential for use in surgeries to help the nervous system.
#12. American Grass Spiders
- Both sexes are shades of brownish-black with stripes running from front to back.
- The abdomen is oblong and has two white stripes broken into sections.
- The head has a lighter strip running down the middle, dividing the two dark stripes.
Grass Spiders are one of the fastest spiders in the United States.
Grass Spiders are funnel weavers, which means they weave a funnel on one edge of their web. Their webs are not sticky, like other spiders. But once the silk is triggered, they use their speed to run quickly to get their prey.
Fortunately, they are harmless to humans. And they typically stay in their webs unless disturbed.
*The genus Agelenopsis consists of 14 species of Grass Spiders that live in North America.
#13. Black and Yellow Garden Spider
- Argiope aurantia
Also known as the Yellow Garden Spider.
- Both sexes have light-gray heads.
- Females are around 1 inch (25 mm) long. The abdomen has a wide black mark in the center and sides and is covered with yellow patches.
- The males are around .25 inches (6.3 mm) in length, not counting the legs.
- Legs start off orange or dark yellow close to their body and mostly black towards the ends.
This species is one of the most recognizable spiders in the United States!
Black and Yellow Garden Spiders make beautiful webs with a distinct circular shape of up to 2 feet (.6 m) in diameter. They are almost always found in sunny, open fields or gardens, as the name suggests. They are among the few species that make their webs in the daytime.
Look for a thick zigzag of silk in the center of the web called the stabilimentum (seen below). Some scientists think the zigzag mark helps to deter larger predators from running into it and destroying it. But other researchers think the stabilimentum reflects sunlight, which helps attract insects to the web.
Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are able to shake their web vigorously while remaining in the center of it. They do this to warn larger creatures to stay away and not run into the web. It also helps entangle insects before they get loose and fall off.
Despite their large size, these spiders are not aggressive. But they will bite if grabbed or provoked. However, the bite is harmless to humans, and the worse it can do is feel like a bee sting.
#14. Woodlouse Spider
- Dysdera crocata
Also known as the Woodlouse Hunter, Sowbug Hunter, Sowbug Killer, Pillbug Hunter, and Slater Spider.
- Both sexes have six eyes, an orange or dark-red head, with shiny, orange legs.
- The abdomen can be yellow-brown or dark grey.
- Females are larger than males.
Their diet primarily consists of woodlice (“potato bugs or pillbugs”). These isopods have thick exoskeletons, but the Woodlouse Spider can easily pierce them with their large fangs and inject their venom. They also eat earwigs, millipedes, silverfish, and crickets.
Look for these spiders in the United States under rocks, decaying logs, leaf litter, or anywhere else damp and dark. As you can see, these are the same places where their favorite prey (woodlice) are found.
When Woodlouse Spiders mate, it is normally an aggressive event, and they risk getting injured because they have large fangs.
They’ve been known to bite humans but have never caused medical problems. The worse thing that can happen is the site of the bite may be itchy.
#15. Fishing spiders
They’re also known as Fishing Spiders, Raft Spiders, Dock Spiders, or Wharf Spiders.
- Both sexes can vary in color; some are brown, black, or cream-colored brown.
- Many species have a striking pale stripe down each side of the body; others have dots down the side of their body.
Fishing spiders are some of the largest spiders in the United States.
Several different species are found here, and they are all large nocturnal spiders that find their prey around water. You’ll often see them on the docks by a lake during the day.
These arachnids have special short velvet-like hairs that don’t get wet, allowing them to stand or run on the water. They wait for prey to make a ripple, then race across the water to grab it. Most fishing spiders eat insects, but some species can catch small fish.
They can also hunt underwater because of their specialized lungs, which help them breathe while submerged. However, the air in their lungs makes them float, so they need to hold onto a rock or plant, or they will rise to the surface.
#16. American Nursery Web Spider
- Pisaurina mira
- They vary in color; some are shades of brown, and others are black.
- The brown ones can have a light tan body with a wide brown stripe down the middle.
- The black ones can have thick cream markings down the length of their body on both sides.
The Nursery Web Spider is best known for its odd mating behavior. Many female spiders are known to eat males after mating. To prevent this, the male ties up the female’s legs with his silk to avoid being eaten by the female.
These spiders typically live in the eastern United States in low shrubbery and high weeds. They prefer this environment because they like to stay hidden. Nursery Web Spiders are known as ambush predators. They sit and wait for prey to come within reach, and then they attack with their chelicerae (claw-like pincers) and snatch them up.
#17. Broad-Faced Sac Spider
- Trachelas Transquillus
- Both sexes are small with a shiny dark brown or reddish color on the head.
- The abdomen is tan or gray with no shine but looks smooth.
Legs can be red, tan, or brown, with a darker front pair of legs compared to the other back legs.
Broad-Faced Sac Spiders are typically found in crevasses around houses or sometimes on windowsills. They are more common in houses as the weather outside turns colder.
Broad-Faced Sac Spider Range Map
They are nocturnal hunters that do not spin webs to catch prey. Instead, they make webs to hide inside, which is how it got the name sac spider.
They’ve been known to bite humans, and the bite is quite painful because of their large fangs. Some people have bad reactions, but this is rare. Overall, they are not considered dangerous.
#18. Common House Spider
- Parasteatoda tepidariorum
- Both sexes can appear anywhere from nearly black to a variety of colors.
- They sometimes have patterns of different colors on their body.
- Females are larger than males. Females also have a bulb-like abdomen that males lack.
These spiders are found in the United States NEAR PEOPLE!
I know that I always find them in my garage! It always surprises me how small Common House Spiders are, as they are generally only between 5 and 6 millimeters long.
Even though there are probably a few in your house right now, you shouldn’t hate Common House Spiders. They are actually helpful because they feed on small insects and pests in your house, like flies, ants, and mosquitos.
They are relatively docile spiders, but bites do occur mostly due to their proximity to humans. But have no fear; their venom is not dangerous in the least.
#19. Southern House Spider
- Kukulcania hibernalis
- Females are large, roughly 2 inches across, with bulbous bodies.
- Both sexes are covered with fine, velvety light gray hair.
- Elongated bodies and compact legs.
Female Southern House Spiders are hard to see in the United States because they primarily stay in their webs. The males are observed more frequently as they wander in search of food while looking for a female to mate with.
Southern House Spider Range Map
Males will crawl on anything in their way, no matter what it is, so some people think they are aggressive. But these spiders do this because they are nearly blind and can not see larger objects well.
Luckily, Southern House Spiders do not bite unless they feel trapped. Even so, they are unable to penetrate human skin with their fangs. Typically, if they feel threatened, they will play dead, which is very effective against predators!
#20. Bowl and Doily Spider
- Frontinella pyramitela
- Small, with a large, round, and shiny abdomen that is dark brown or black along the top with thick white vertical lines on the sides.
- White markings on the bottom of the abdomen. But the color can differ between spiders – some are dark yellow, and some have no color.
- The head is reddish-brown, legs are lighter brown, thin, and long.
Have you ever seen unique webs in shrubbery or hanging low in the woods?
If so, it was probably the web from the Bowl and Doily Spider. They are best known for their horizontal sheet webs that resemble a bowl, which are found in weedy fields or shrubs in all habitats.
Bowl and Doily Spiders build their sheet web between twigs and are only a few inches in diameter. The spider sits on the bottom of the bowl and waits for prey on the underside. Being on the bottom provides safety but also allows a surprise attack! Incredibly, they can bite their prey directly through the web!
Males seldom build webs, but they are known to cohabitate with females for long periods in their webs. As a result, it is common for multiple males to mate with the female, which causes sperm competition.
#21. Harvestmen (Daddy Longlegs)
- Colors vary; most are dull brown or dull gray, but some may be yellowish, greenish-brown, or reddish.
- Look for a dark blackish streak down the middle and sides.
- Single body region, only two eyes that do not see well.
“Daddy Longlegs” might be the most recognizable spider in the United States!
We often see them in our yard, typically hiding underneath my kid’s playground or on rocks or logs. They are also very social, so you will often find them in large groups.
But even though Harvestmen look just like spiders, these arachnids are technically NOT spiders!
They are in the Order Opiliones, have no venom, lack fangs, and do not bite. In addition, Harvestman can swallow solid food, which allows them to eat small insects, fungi, dead organisms, bird dung, and other fecal matter. This differs from spiders that only eat their prey after turning them into a liquid.
As you might guess by their nickname, their legs play a vital part in their life. They use their legs for breathing, walking, smelling, and capturing prey. Males have longer legs than females, which they groom by licking. Seriously, you can watch this behavior in the video above!
#22. Spotted Orbweaver
- Neoscona crucifera
Also known as the Hentz Orbweaver, Spotted Orbweaver, and Barn Spider.
- Most often, these spiders are golden-orange or rusty-red.
- The legs have alternating dark brown and light brown bands.
- The abdomen is hairy.
These spiders are most often seen in the United States in late summer and early fall.
Look for their large, orb-shaped web near lights, often constructed on buildings or other man-made objects. During the day, there is often a silken retreat that they retreat to for safety.
If you bother a Spotted Orbweaver, it will bite you in self-defense. But the venom is not dangerous to humans.
#23. Tan Jumping Spider
- Platycryptus undatus
Also called the Familiar Jumping Spider.
- Females are between 10 and 13 mm long. Males range from 8.5 to 9.5 mm.
- A tan, chevron-like pattern on their abdomens.
Tan Jumping Spiders are active and bold spiders, which makes them fairly common to see in the eastern United States. Look for them on vertical surfaces like walls, fences, and trees.
Jumping spiders don’t use webs to capture prey but instead HUNT smaller spiders and other invertebrates. Once their victim is sighted, they move slowly towards it until they are close enough to jump on and make the kill, similar to how a cat hunts.
The eyesight of jumping spiders is considered to be the best among invertebrates. They have 8 eyes like most spiders, but the front two forward-facing eyes are incredibly large and tubular behind the lens. In addition, there are muscles behind the eyes that move and support the retina, which is unique to jumping spiders!
#24. Orchard Orbweaver
- Leucauge venusta
Orchard Orbweavers are easy spiders to identify in the United States.
Seriously, look at their coloration, and you will see that it’s super unique!
First, the legs are leaf-green, although they can also be dark green or orange. But the top of the elongated abdomen is where they really stand out. Look for varying sizes of red, orange, or neon yellow spots!
#25. Green Lynx Spider
- Peucetia viridans
- Females are 22 mm (0.87 in) long. Males are 12 mm (0.47 in) long.
- As their name suggests, they are mostly green but can change to yellow depending on the season.
- Look for black dots and spikes covering their glass-like legs.
Green Lynx Spiders in the United States are adept at camouflaging among plants.
Instead of spinning webs, they use their silk to make egg sacs. These sacs can contain up to 600 vividly orange eggs. Then, spiderlings burst from the sacs into the open after about a month. It’s quite a sight, to say the least!
You might see a mother Green Lynx hanging upside down from her egg sac, protective and alert. To defend themselves, females of this species have the astonishing ability to spray venom as far as 300 mm (12 in). That’s 25 times their own body length!
Despite being aggressive hunters, these spiders rarely bite humans. In addition, bites don’t cause serious damage, though they can be painful.
#26. Banded Garden Spider
- Argiope trifasciata
Also known as the Banded Orb Weaving Spider.
- This species has an oval abdomen and bright body markings. The back of the abdomen is pale yellow with silvery hairs and lateral bands of black stripes. Males are usually paler, sometimes even white.
- Adult females are around 13 to 14.5 mm long.
- Males are considerably smaller, reaching only a third of the females’ length.
The Banded Garden Spider builds an enormous web, typically around 60 cm (23.6 in) in diameter. The web itself is sticky and strong, able to hold very large insects like wasps and grasshoppers. One interesting feature of their webs is the so-called “stabilimentum,” a vertical zigzag pattern made from dense silk. Researchers think this feature is a way to attract insects that the Banded Garden spider eats.
Females usually rest at the center of the web, facing downwards. They face their webs east-to-west to take advantage of the rising and setting sun and hang in the center with their dark underside facing south. All this allows them to gain as much warmth as possible, enabling them to stay active later in the year.
These spiders rarely bite humans in the United States and are not aggressive.
They may bite in self-defense if handled and bothered, but it’s unlikely that the bite would cause more discomfort than a bee sting.
#27. Marbled Orbweaver
- Araneus marmoreus
- A large orange abdomen with brown or black marbling, although they range in color (from yellow, white, black, brown, or red).
- Females grow up to 18 mm, with males being half that size.
- The legs are red with black and white banding beginning on the tibia.
Due to the large, orange abdomen, Marbled Orbweavers are often called “Pumpkin Spiders” and are fairly easy to identify. Look for these spiders in the United States from mid-summer until the weather turns cold. The best places to find them are in moist, wooded areas along the banks of streams.
Their webs are oriented vertically, and Marbled Orbweavers attach a signal thread to the middle, which alerts them when prey has been captured. Unlike many garden spiders that sit at the center of their web, this species hides in a silken retreat constructed to the web’s side. They often hide under leaves or other debris they have stuck together with webbing, waiting patiently for a meal to get stuck.
#28. Zebra Jumping Spider
- Salticus scenicus
- Their anterior median eyes are large, which gives them excellent binocular vision.
- The coloration looks like a zebra; black with white stripes.
- Female spiders are 5–9 mm long, while males are 5–6 mm.
Zebra Jumping Spiders are found in the United States in open, vertical habitats.
Rock faces and tree trunks provide good habitat, but they are also found in close proximity to humans on the walls of buildings and garden fences. You should also check the corner of the windowsills in your house, as they are sometimes found there too. 🙂
Jumping spiders don’t use webs to capture prey but instead use their incredible eyesight for hunting smaller spiders and other invertebrates. Once their victim is sighted, they move slowly towards it until they are close enough to jump on and make the kill, similar to how a cat hunts. Then, just in case they miss the target, they attach a silk thread to a surface so they can climb back up and try again!
To try and impress a potential mate, male Zebra Jumping Spiders will conduct a courtship dance by waving their front legs and pedipalps while also moving their abdomen up and down. A better dance increases the likelihood that the females will want to mate with the male. Males must be VERY careful when approaching the female; if the dance isn’t good enough, they risk being eaten.
#29. Brown Widow
- Latrodectus geometricus
- The coloring is mottled tan and brown with black accent markings.
- This species has an hourglass similar to the Black Widow, but it’s found on the underside of the abdomen.
- The striped legs are usually dark brown or black with light yellow bands.
The Brown Widow employs a painful bite as its neurotoxic venom can cause pain, muscle rigidity, vomiting, and sweating. However, the bite from a Brown Widow is much less harmful than those of its famous cousin, the Black Widow.
Females create webs in isolated, safe locations near houses and branch-heavy woods. Brown widows frequently choose empty containers like buckets, planters, mailboxes, and entryway corners. So, checking these places thoroughly before disturbing them is a good idea!
One of the easiest ways to identify a Brown Widow is to look for its egg sacs. They have pointy protrusions and are frequently referred to as “fluffy” or “spiky” in appearance.
#30. Spined Micrathena
- Micrathena gracilis
Also known as the Spiny-Bellied Orbweaver, Spiny Orb Weaver, and Castleback Orbweaver.
- Females grow to 8-10 mm (0.31-0.39 in) in size. Males average 4.5 mm (0.18 in) long.
- They are white or yellowish with dark mottles.
- You might notice prominent black spines on their big abdomens.
The Spined Micrathena is an impressive spider to see in the United States.
If you’re eager to find one, you’ll have the best luck searching in hardwood forests along ponds or lagoons. These day-dwelling creatures are most active during late summer and early fall.
The webs of this species are large, tightly coiled, and can reach 200 mm (8 in) across. As with most orb-weavers, they connect a long line of silk to a branch above their webs to use as an escape route.
Spined Micrathenas easily catch mosquitos, gnats, and small flying insects in their sticky webs. They are wanderers, spending only a week at one location before moving on to the next. If you encounter one, rest assured that its venom is too mild to harm you.
#31. Northern Yellow Sac Spider
- Cheiracanthium mildei
- The body is typically tan or pale green. The mouthparts are darker brown.
- Adults are typically 7–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) in size.
Northern Yellow Sac Spiders are NOT NATIVE to the United States.
They are originally from Europe and North Africa and were introduced long ago by English colonists. But since they have been here so long, these spiders are now common, especially INSIDE homes.
Unfortunately, Northern Yellow Sac Spiders will bite a human without hesitation. In fact, they have been observed crawling across the skin and biting for no particular reason. Luckily, bites from this species are relatively painless and medically insignificant. But bites from its cousin, the Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum), are MUCH more serious.
#32. Crab spiders
- On average, females measure 7–11 mm. Males are much smaller and range between lengths of 2–4 mm.
- Colors range widely based on the specific species. However, the most common colors are pink, yellow, white, green, or brown.
The best places to find crab spiders in the United States are near flowers.
Crab spiders don’t use webs to catch their prey. Instead, they sit and wait inside flowers or other vegetation low to the ground for something to eat. Once a suitable victim comes by, they use their long forelegs to ambush it and make the kill. When insects are in short supply, such as during bad weather, they eat pollen and nectar to avoid starvation.
Lastly, many crab spiders have developed a mutualistic relationship with certain plant species since these spiders feed on and help deter harmful insects. Some plants even release an emission after being attacked that helps attract crab spiders in hopes they eat the intruder.
#33. Noble False Widow
- Steatoda nobilis
- Their brown bulbous abdomen has cream-colored markings that resemble the shape of a skull.
- Females are 9.5 mm (0.37-0.55 in) long, while males measure 7-11 mm (0.27-0.43 in).
- Individuals vary considerably in color and size.
This spider is an invasive species in the United States, as it originates from Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Unfortunately, its population is still spreading, and it is considered one of the most invasive spiders in the world. Look for them both in and around your house. When the weather turns cold, these long-lived spiders (up to five years) retreat to the warm climate your home provides.
Noble False Widows get their name because of their resemblance to Black Widows and other venomous spiders. While they are not as dangerous to humans as Black Widows, their bite can be problematic. First, while the bite is painless, the release of venom into you causes intense pain and has been compared to receiving a bee sting, along with subsequent symptoms.
Second, these spiders carry pathogenic bacteria, which can cause an infection resistant to antibiotics. General symptoms from a bite include fever, general discomfort, and swelling. But luckily, bites are incredibly rare!
#34. Mabel Orchard Orbweaver
- Leucauge argyrobapta
- Adult females range from 5.5 to 7.5 mm (0.21-0.30 in) long, while adult males range from 3.5 to 4.0 mm (0.13-0.16 in) long.
- Their coloring is silvery white on the abdomen, with a tan head, back, and greenish-black legs.
- Along with the overall silver color, these spiders often have bright green, yellow, and orange patches on their abdomens.
These relatively common spiders are also called “orchard spiders.” As their name implies, they’re commonly found in orchards, but they also live in shrubby meadows, wooded suburban areas, hedges, and houses.
Unlike many spiders in the United States, Mabel Orchard Orbweavers are social.
They even connect their webs if prey is plentiful!
These spiders are mild, timid spiders and rarely bite. Bites are a last resort for defense and aren’t harmful to humans. A bite from a Mabel Orchard Orbweaver is usually milder than a bee sting.
#35. Gray Wall Jumping Spider
- Menemerus bivittatus
- This species has a flattened torso and short, thick, greyish-white hair. Tufts of dark brown hair grow close to the eyes.
- The male has a brownish-white stripe on each side of the abdomen and a black dorsal stripe.
- The female has a larger abdomen and is typically lighter brown. In addition, her abdomen is rimmed with broad black stripes that come together at the end.
The Gray Wall Jumping Spider is native to Africa but has spread worldwide. It frequently appears on the exterior of buildings or tree trunks in gardens.
Instead of weaving a web around their prey, the Gray Wall Jumping spider stalks the prey before springing on it to attack. Their wide eyes and visual acuity allow them to focus easily on objects and distinguish between different colors. And, using their exceptional jumping ability, they can seize their prey in the blink of an eye.
Interestingly, male Gray Wall Jumping Spiders can produce sounds as part of courtship behavior. The hairs on their femurs and the teeth on the chelicerae (small claws on the front of the mouth) make clicking noises that attract females. These sounds are too low and quiet for humans to hear, but it isn’t hard to imagine the creepy noise!
#36. Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
- Lyssomanes viridis
- Appear pale or translucent green.
- The top of the head is red, yellow, orange, or white.
- Males have brightly colored chelicerae which are used as weapons against other males.
The Magnolia Green Jumping Spider is native to the southern United States.
As far as jumping spiders, it is considered small, with females measuring 7-8 mm and adult males at 5-6 mm.
They are often found on the leaves of Magnolia trees, which is how they got their name. But they also live on a wide variety of other vegetation, particularly in humid forests.
Magnolia Green Jumping Spiders, and other species in the genus Lyssomanes, are thought to be one of the earliest jumping spiders to evolve. This fact is important because it represents a link between the behaviors and anatomical morphologies of more primitive spiders and the jumping spider family Salticidae.
#37. Tropical Orbweaver
- Eriophora ravilla
- Females are 12-24 mm (0.47-0.94 in) long. Males are 9-13 mm (0.35-0.51 in) long.
- Their coloring is brown or gray with dark banding on their legs.
- Some specimens have a prominent lime-colored patch or a white stripe on their abdomens.
Have you ever seen a dried, curly leaf that looks like it was tied with silk? If so, a Tropical Orbweaver likely used that leaf for refuge! This spider makes its home in the forests of the southern United States. It weaves webs large enough to span from tree to tree and occasionally hides in low-lying shrubs.
As night falls, these spiders build their webs, finishing them just before sunrise. When a moth or small insect lands on its web, the Tropical Orbweaver can feel the vibrations. Then, it will rush toward the trapped prey to deliver a fatal bite.
Bites of this species have a mild effect on humans, so don’t be afraid. Instead, Tropical Orbweavers are quite the little helpers. They like to hang out in fruit orchards, keeping the populations of pest insects in check. If bitten, the worst symptoms you can expect are minor pain and swelling.
#38. Arrowhead Orbweaver
- Verrucosa arenata
Also known as the Arrowhead Spider, Triangle Orb Weaver, and Triangulate Orb Weaver.
- Females grow to 7-14 mm (0.28-0.55 in) long. They have a yellow or white triangle marking on their abdomens.
- Males only reach 4-6 mm (0.16-0.24 in).
- Their coloring ranges from dark brown to rusty red.
- True to their name, they have pointed abdomens that resemble arrowheads.
Arrowhead Orbweavers aren’t picky with their habitats. Parks, gardens, and forests are all likely spots to find this spider in the United States. They’re most active in the late summer and early fall.
Interestingly, the Arrowhead Orb-weaver’s abdomen plays a huge role in its survival. The white reflects ultraviolet light and heat so the spider can adapt better in hotter climates. Additionally, the yellow and white markings on their abdomens are a mechanism to lure in prey.
#39. False Black Widow
- Steatoda grossa
Also known as the False Widow, Cupboard Spider, or Dark Comb-footed Spider.
- Females measure 6-10.5 mm (0.23-0.41 in). Males are similar in size but thinner.
- They’re dark brown with a round, bulbous abdomen.
- The female abdomen is more rounded than the male’s.
As the name suggests, many people commonly confuse this spider in the United States with the venomous Black Widow. But luckily, this species is not dangerous, and it’s easy to differentiate because they don’t have the ominous red hourglass on the abdomen.
False Black Widows are considered cosmopolitan species, which means they are commonly found in and around homes. They prefer dark areas, such as under furniture or in basement corners. These spiders normally don’t bite unless they are accidentally pinched or squeezed. But if you are bitten, they may potentially cause you some harm, unlike most spiders. Common symptoms include blistering, muscle spasms, pain, fever, sweating, and discomfort lasting for several days.
Here are two facts about False Black Widows that I found fascinating!
- Females can live up to six years! Males live shorter but still up to 1.5 years.
- As long as they have access to water, they can live several MONTHS without food.
#40. Johnson’s Jumping Spider
- Phidippus johnsoni
Also known as the Red-backed Jumping Spider.
- Adults are about 10 mm long.
- Both males and females have a red abdomen. The rest of the body is mostly black.
- The chelicerae (mouthparts) are a bright teal color.
This species is one of the largest and most common jumping spiders in the western United States! Johnson’s Jumping Spiders typically construct silken nests on the ground that are found underneath rocks and wood.
They prey on almost any insect that is smaller than them. But interestingly, other spiders make up a large part of their diet. Cannibalism is also common in females as they dine on smaller males.
And the most interesting fact about Johnson’s Jumping Spiders is that one was sent to space in 2012! Nicknamed “Spidernaut,” the spider traveled to space for 100 days to see if jumping spiders could adapt to the microgravity in space and then transition back to Earth. Read all about the experiment here. 🙂
#41. Desert Tarantula
- Aphonopelma iodius
Also known as the Great Basin Blonde, Fresno County Blonde, Salt Lake City Brown, or Northern Blonde.
If you see this HUGE spider in the western United States, you will not forget it! Adults are large and can grow up to 5.5 inches.
But it’s rare to see a Desert Tarantula because they live in underground webbed burrows. And often, they have blocked the entrance with silk and dirt to protect themselves from predators and heat.
The best time to spot one is every fall when mature males leave their burrows searching for receptive females. During this time, they are even seen during broad daylight!
Like almost all tarantulas, their venom is not medically significant for humans. If you were bitten, it would feel like a bee sting.
#42. Cat-faced Orbweaver
- Araneus gemmoides
Also known as the Jewel Spider and Cat-faced Spider.
- They are found in many different colors.
- Identified by the two horn-shaped growths found on the large abdomen.
The Cat-faced Orbweaver is a common spider in the western United States.
Look for their webs near lights, closed spaces, and on the sides of buildings.
After laying a single egg sac filled with hundreds of babies, the female dies a few days later. As the spiderlings hatch from the egg sac, many of them will eat their siblings as their first meal!
The baby spiders that survive predation from their brothers and sisters have an interesting way of traveling to new locations. The spiderlings can float many miles away by riding strands of silk that are blown in the wind!
#43. Western Spotted Orbweaver
- Neoscona oaxacensis
Also known as Zigzag Spider, Western Garden Orbweaver.
- Females reach 9-18 mm (0.35-0.7 in) in body length. Males are usually 6-13 mm (0.24-0.5 in) long.
- They have black and white wavy markings over their bulbous abdomens, and their legs are hairy with dark bands.
These orb-weaving spiders in the United States inhabit a wide range of habitats.
Look for them anywhere with trees, including orchards, wooded fields, and backyards. Western Spotted Orbweavers are most active during the summer and fall and generally prefer to hunt at night.
If you stumble upon an empty web, don’t assume it’s abandoned. A Western Spotted Orbweaver may be hiding at the edge, tucked away safely under a leaf. Here, they wait patiently for unlucky beetles, flies, lice, mites, and moths to get trapped.
Western Spotted Orbweavers lay their eggs inside curled leaves to safeguard them from predators. Once the spiderlings hatch, they live for six months to a year. Like all orb weavers, they are harmless to humans.
#44. Giant House Spider
- Eratigena duellica
- They are mainly brown, but they have a lighter marking towards the front of their back, with three light spots on each side that form an arrow-like shape pointing toward the head.
- Towards the back is a lighter middle line with six spots on each side.
- Their legs and body are hairy.
This species is one of the LARGEST spiders in the United States!
The bodies of females can reach 18.5 mm in length, with males slightly smaller at around 12 to 15 mm long. Their long legs make them appear even larger, as the leg span of females can measure up to 45 mm!
Naturally, Giant House Spiders are found in caves or forests under rocks. But they have adapted well to humans and now are commonly found in peoples’ homes in corners or other rarely disturbed places. Like most spiders, they possess venom to subdue their prey, and if you are bitten, the effects of the toxins may be felt. Luckily, they rarely bite unless provoked.
You may be surprised at how FAST Giant House Spiders are! In fact, they held a Guinness Book World Record for the fastest spider species until 1987, when it was dethroned by solifugids, which I don’t think should count since they aren’t even true spiders!
#45. Hobo Spider
- Eratigena agrestis
- Both sexes are between 7-14mm.
- Light brown or tan in color with two darker bands extending back.
- There is usually a thin dark line down the center of the head region.
- Correctly identifying this spider is difficult because individuals vary greatly in appearance.
The Hobo Spider got its name because it’s often found along railroad tracks. It is also referred to as the “aggressive house spider,” but this name is misleading as it does not naturally live indoors. In addition, it’s also not aggressive unless catching its prey or when trapped against a person’s skin.
Hobo Spider Range Map
You can find Hobo Spider webs by entrances, under rocks, or among the debris. But they are also found in other places close to the ground with holes and cracks, such as rock retaining walls, construction supplies beneath the debris, and building foundations. In addition, adult males sometimes wander into houses.
Learn more about animals found in the United States!
50 Common SNAKES That Live in the USA! (ID Guide)
50 Common Bird Species Found in the United States! (With Photos)
Do you need more help identifying a spider you found in the United States?
Try this field guide!
Which of these spiders have you seen in the United States?
Leave a comment below!