7 Common SPIDERS Found in Yukon! (2024)

What kinds of spiders can you find in Yukon?

Common Spiders in yukon

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 will learn about the most common spiders that live in Yukon.

Before we begin, note that the list below is just a fraction of the overall number of spiders found in Yukon. 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.

7 Spiders in Yukon:


#1. Wolf spiders

  • Lycosidae

Common Spiders in yukon

Wolf spiders are one of the most recognizable spiders in Yukon!

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

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 their venom is not dangerous to humans. Bite symptoms are minimal and may cause itching, swelling, and mild pain.

 


#2. Cellar Spider

  • Pholcidae

Common Spiders in yukon

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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 Yukon 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 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. Crab spiders

Common Spiders in yukon

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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 Yukon 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.

 


#4. Furrow Spider

  • Larinioides cornutus

Also known as Furrow Orb Spider or the Foliate Spider.

Furrow Spider

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Colors can vary from black to gray to shades of red.
  • The abdomen is a very large smooth, oval shape.
  • Lighter-shaded arrow markings on the abdomen point toward their head. Legs have a similar arrow pattern.

 

Furrow Spiders are found in Yukon 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.

 


#5. Fishing spiders

  • Dolomedes

They’re also known as Fishing Spiders, Raft Spiders, Dock Spiders, or Wharf Spiders.

fishing spider

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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 Yukon.

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.

 


#6. Harvestmen (Daddy Longlegs)

  • Opiliones

Harvestman spider

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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 Yukon!

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!

 


#7. Marbled Orbweaver

  • Araneus marmoreus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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 Yukon 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.

 


Learn more about animals found in Yukon!


Do you need more help identifying a spider you found in Yukon?

Try this field guide!

 


Which of these spiders have you seen in Yukon?

Leave a comment below!

 

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