5 COMMON Spiders Found in Ghana! (2024)

What kinds of spiders can you find in Ghana?

Types of spiders in Ghana

Many people are terrified of spiders and find them extremely creepy. This is unfortunate because not only are most spiders completely harmless, they benefit our environment by controlling the insect population. In fact, without spiders, our food supply would be in serious jeopardy.

Before we begin, I want you to know that the list below is just a fraction of the spiders in Ghana. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. For example, some estimates claim over 50,000 kinds of spiders on the planet (and the list is still growing)!

In today’s article, I did my best to develop a list of spiders you’re most likely to see.

5 common SPIDERS in Ghana!


#1. Brown Widow

  • Latrodectus geometricus

Also known as the brown widow, brown button spider, grey widow, brown, black widow, home button spider, or geometric button spider.

Common Ghana spiders

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The coloring is mottled tan and brown with black accent markings. On the sides of the abdomen, there are three diagonal stripes.
  • This species has an hourglass similar to the black widow, but it’s often orange or yellow.
  • The striped legs are usually dark brown or black with light yellow bands.

The Brown Widow employs a neurotoxic venom, causing pain, muscle rigidity, vomiting, and sweating. However, while deadly to their prey, the bites of the Brown Widow are often much less harmful to humans than the infamous 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 these spiders in Ghana is to look for their egg sacs. They have pointy protrusions and are frequently referred to as “fluffy” or “spiky” in appearance.


#2. African Hermit Spider

  • Nephilingis cruentata

Common spiders found in Ghana

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females grow up to 25 mm (1 in). Their bodies are elongated and pointed, bright yellow near the head and dark brown near the back.
  • Males grow only up to 4 mm (0.15 in).
  • The legs of both sexes are a combination of brown, red, and black.

African Hermit Spiders get their common name from building funnel-shaped retreats on the side of their webs. They hide out in the funnels during the daytime, emerging at night to hunt.

Their asymmetrical webs are usually found on trees and bushes in tropical and subtropical climates. African Hermit Spiders live close to people and can be spotted in manufactured structures on walls and roofs. But don’t worry, this fearsome-looking spider isn’t dangerous to humans!

If you find an African Hermit Spider in Ghana, it’s most likely a female. That’s because the males are so small they’re hardly ever spotted. In fact, they have the greatest sexual dimorphism of any spider in Ghana. Females are up to 14 times bigger than males and up to 70 times heavier.


#3. Gray Wall Jumping Spider

  • Menemerus bivittatus

Spiders of Ghana

Identifying Characteristics:

  • 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.
  • Both sexes are about 9 mm (0.3 in) long, but males are usually slightly smaller.

The Gray Wall Jumping Spider is native to Ghana but has since spread throughout the world. 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 easily focus 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!


#4. Tropical Tent-web Spider

  • Cyrtophora citricola

Types of spiders in Ghana

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 10 to 15 mm (0.3-0.5 in) long.
  • Males are about 3mm (0.12 in).
  • Color variations in females are typical – some are brown, while others have black and white markings on their abdomen. Males are usually solid black.

The Tropical Tent-web Spider makes an unusual web that resembles mesh curtains. Prey is deflected onto the orb-web by a network of threads that support the orb-web and form a tent. This species spends most of its time on its complex web. Each spider has its own space, but they often form large groups with interconnected webs.

These spiders can be hard to find in Ghana because they are nocturnal, which keeps them hidden from predators throughout the day. However, they spend most of the night capturing prey, including moths and flies.

Tropical Tent-web spiders catch prey in three distinct phases. In the initial stage, the spider bites or wraps its prey in silk to incapacitate it. Then, they remove it from the web itself and carry the prey to the hub of the web. Finally, once they reach the safety of the center of the web, they consume their meal.


#5. Bark Spiders

  • Genus Caerostris

Note: Bark Spiders are a genus of 18 species that range over the African continent.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are black or brown, with long white hairs on the upper body. Some individuals are spotted with red, yellow, or orange.
  • Males have a lighter color, usually without any spots. In addition, they are considerably smaller, one-third of the length of an average female.

Bark Spiders are a genus of orb-weaving spiders in Ghana, most commonly found in tropical climates.

They get their name from their incredible effective camouflage, which helps them blend into tree bark as they climb and move throughout the forest.

The silk that Bark Spiders produce is the toughest biological material humans have ever studied, twice as strong as any other spider silk known to science. And not only do Bark Spiders have the strongest silk, but they also build the largest webs. This impressive species holds the record with a surface area of up to 2.8 square meters (30 sq ft).

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Bark Spiders is the unique location of their webs. They construct them directly above a river or stream, so insects flying above the water are snared in its web. This genus has both brawn and brains!


Check out these other guides about animals found in Ghana!


Which of these spiders have you seen before in Ghana?

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