The 14 MOST Common SPIDERS Found in Slovakia! (2023)
“What kinds of spiders can you find in Slovakia?“
Many people are terrified of spiders and find them extremely creepy. This is unfortunate because not only are most spiders completely harmless, they are crucial to 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 spider species found in Slovakia. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. For example, some estimates claim there are over 50,000 kinds of spiders on the planet (and the list is still growing)!
With that being said, I did my best to develop a list of spiders that are MOST often seen and easily identified.
Here are the 14 MOST common SPIDERS found in Slovakia!
#1. Cross Orbweaver
- Araneus diadematus
Also known as the European Garden Spider, Cross Spider, Orangie, or Pumpkin Spider.
- Colors range from extremely light yellow to very dark grey.
- All individuals have white markings across the top of the abdomen, with four or more segments forming a cross (LOOK AT THE PICTURE ABOVE).
- Females range in length from 6.5 to 20 mm, while males range from 5.5 to 13 mm.
Cross Orbweavers are one of the most well-known spiders in Slovakia.
These spiders are common in many habitats, including forest clearings, hedgerows, meadows, and gardens. They are also seen near humans, such as near buildings or lighted stairwells. Cross Orbweavers typically hang upside down at the center of their spiral webs.
Cross Orbweaver Range Map
Interestingly, when approached, they start shaking and vibrating their web in hopes of startling the perceived intruder. If this fails, then the spider will typically drop straight down out of sight. Luckily, Cross Orbweavers are not aggressive and typically only bite when accidentally grabbed. Bite symptoms include mild pain, redness, and swelling that lasts for a few days.
Believe it or not, these common spiders build a new web EVERY DAY. Yes, they eat the entire web every night and then begin construction on a new one. And lastly, if you are a male Cross Orbweaver, you must be careful with females, as you will often be eaten directly after mating!
#2. European Nursery Web Spider
- Pisaura mirabilis
- Slender abdomen with LONG legs (the fourth one is the longest).
- Colors range from light to reddish brown and from gray to black. A lighter stripe is visible down the middle of the back.
- The male is between 10 and 13 mm, while the female is 12 to 15 mm.
These spiders are commonly found in Slovakia in tall grass, shrubs, or along the edges of woodlands.
Looking similar to wolf spiders, European Nursery Web Spiders get their name for how females protect their egg sacs. After carrying the egg sac in her mouth for a bit, she hides it under a leaf and spins a protective silk enclosure around the egg sac. From there, she sticks around to protect the babies until after their first molt. 🙂
European Nursery Web Spiders have a fascinating mating ritual! First, males find a gift, such as a dead insect, to offer to a prospective female. Then, after presenting the gift, the female will bite onto the gift if she is interested. From there, the male will move to deposit sperm with his pedipalps. WATCH THIS BEHAVIOR BELOW (and to see if the male survives)!
Interestingly, during copulation, the male almost ALWAYS keeps a leg on the gift, just in case the female decides to run away with it or attack him. If the female does change her mind about mating and starts to show aggression, the male typically will pretend to play dead until she calms down, at which point he may try mating again. The things spiders will do for love!
#3. Long-bodied Cellar Spider
- Pholcus phalangioides
- The cephalothorax (head) and abdomen are different shades of brown.
- Females have a body length of around 8 mm, with males slightly smaller.
- Legs are long and about 5 to 6 times the length of the body.
Do you know the spider that always seems to be in the corner of your basement? Well, it’s most likely the Long-bodied Cellar Spider! These long, thin, and delicate spiders are commonly found in Slovakia in homes and buildings as they prefer warm habitats (they originate from subtropical climates in Asia). I know that every time I clean my basement with a vacuum, a few of these spiders end up getting sucked inside.
Long-bodied Cellar Spider Range Map
Some people find cellar spiders beneficial because they are known to hunt down and kill other types of spiders. But unfortunately, they will also eradicate native spider species. Interestingly, these spiders will leave their webs to hunt for other spiders! Once they find one, they subdue their victim, using their long legs to avoid being bitten in retaliation.
Despite their proximity to people, they are not dangerous and are not known to bite humans.
#4. Goldenrod Crab Spider
- Misumena vatia
Also called the Flower Spider or Crab Spider.
- Females can grow up to 10 mm (0.39 in) while males are quite small, reaching only up to 5 mm (0.20 in).
- They are usually yellow or white or a combination of these two colors. Shades of pale green and pink also exist.
- This species has a wide, flat body.
Crab spiders get their name from the unique way they can walk sideways, forwards, and backward, similar to a crab.
Goldenrod Crab Spiders primarily prey on insects much larger than themselves. To accomplish this feat, they rely on venom, which immobilizes their victims. But have no fear, as the venom is not dangerous to humans and their fangs are not powerful enough to penetrate our skin.
These spiders have the unique ability to change their color depending on the flower they are resting on, which helps them stay camouflaged as they hunt! Their color can also change depending on their diet, as colorful prey can show through their thin, transparent epidermis. For example, eating red-eyed fruit flies can make the abdomen turn pink. 🙂
#5. 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 primarily found in Slovakia 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 to 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. 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!
Zebra Jumping Spider Range Map
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.
#6. Walnut Orbweaver
- Nuctenea umbratica
- Wide and flattened with leathery skin. Females grow up to 15mm, males only 8 mm.
- Color ranges from red-brown and grey-brown to black.
- A dark, yellowish, leaf-like marking covers its back, where small dents are visible.
The best time to see this common garden spider in Slovakia is at night.
During the day, Walnut Orbweavers, which are also called “Evening Spiders,” hide in all sorts of small crevices and cracks. Their flat body allows them to fit into some very confined spaces! They are often found in close proximity to people near garden sheds, fences, walls, or under bark.
Walnut Orbweaver Range Map
Once the sun goes down, these timid spiders build an orb-shaped web that can reach up to 70mm across. If you find one of these webs at night, you should be able to see the Walnut Orbweaver sitting in the center.
#7. Giant House Spider
- Eratigena atrica
- 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 Slovakia!
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!
Giant House Spider Range Map
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!
#8. Radiated Wolf Spider
- Hogna radiata
Wolf spiders are one of the most recognizable spiders in Slovakia!
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.
But the most common wolf spider in Slovakia is the Radiated Wolf Spider (Hogna radiata).
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 using their incredible eyesight! They also have retroreflective tissue in their eyes, which produces a glow if you flash light on their face.
Radiated Wolf Spider Range Map
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.
#9. Wasp Spider
- Argiope bruennichi
- Striking yellow and black markings across its body.
- The legs also have stripes.
- Females are around 17 mm. Males measure less than 5 mm.
This species is one of the most recognizable spiders in Slovakia!
These spiders get their name from their unique coloration, which is meant to resemble a wasp. Predators tend to leave them alone since they think they will be messing with a fierce stinging insect. 🙂
Wasp Spiders make beautiful orb-shaped webs in the morning. Interestingly, they construct a distinctive zig-zag pattern in the center of the web, which is thought to help attract insects by reflecting UV light. Look for them in sunny, open fields or gardens.
Despite their bright coloring, Wasp Spiders are not dangerous to humans. They are not aggressive and will only bite if seriously provoked.
#10. Triangle Crab Spider
- Ebrechtella tricuspidata
- Females have a whitish-yellow abdomen with red markings. The rest of the body and legs are light green.
- Males are light brown, but their abdomen is pale green.
- Females reach a body length of 5–6 mm. Males are smaller, reaching a body length of 2.5–3.5 mm.
The best places to find Triangle Crab Spiders are inside flowers and on other vegetation in dry and sunny meadows and forest edges. Look closely because they blend in well with their surroundings!
Triangle Crab Spider Range Map
These spiders don’t make webs but instead wait patiently for their prey to come to them. Then they use their long first and second legs to overpower their victim.
Did you know that crab spiders get their name from the unique way they can walk sideways, forwards, and backward, similar to a crab?!
#11. Four-spot Orbweaver
- Araneus quadratus
- They ALWAYS have four white spots on their abdomen.
- They are variable in color, ranging from brown to bright orange or green.
- Females can reach 17 mm in size, with males reaching about half that length.
Four-spot Orbweavers are not normally found in gardens. Instead, they rely upon areas with vegetation that has enough strength and height to support their large orb web. In addition, the webs are typically constructed near the ground so they can catch hopping insects, like crickets and grasshoppers.
Females have an interesting feature that they add to their webs. They build a funnel-shaped retreat with thick silk off to the side where they can go to escape, such as during bad weather.
Press PLAY below to watch a Four-spot Orbweaver eat a crane fly! (Credit: Wikipedia)
As the name suggests, these spiders have four spots on their abdomen. Please note that the spots can be hard to see on lighter-colored spiders, so look closely!
#12. Fencepost Jumping Spider
- Marpissa muscosa
- Brown or gray colored. The body appears flat and furry.
- Females have a body length ranging from 7.5–14 mm. Males range from 6–8.1 mm.
- For a jumping spider, they are quite large.
Unlike most spiders in Slovakia, this species can be found living incredibly close to one another.
They even demonstrate a social hierarchy among individuals. For example, weaker spiders slowly retreat while strutting their front legs to demonstrate their inferiority to stronger individuals.
Fencepost Jumping Spider Range Map
The best place to find Fencepost Jumping Spiders living together is under the bark of dead trees. Up to 100 nests can occur side by side! And as the name suggests, individuals are often spotted on fences, in addition to logs, tree trunks, walls, and garden sheds.
Jumping spiders don’t use webs to capture prey but instead use their incredible eyesight to 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.
#13. Triangulate Combfoot
- Steatoda triangulosa
- Small spiders that are only 3-6 mm in length.
- The cephalothorax (head) and legs are brownish-orange.
- The round, bulbous abdomen is creamy in color. Look for the triangle-shaped pattern on top.
These spiders are found in Slovakia NEAR PEOPLE!
Triangulate Combfoots are primarily house spiders and are typically observed in corners, especially in basements or rooms that are not often used. Although native to Eurasia, they have now spread across the entire world, moving from house to house. 🙂
Triangulate Combfoot Range Map
Honestly, there are probably a few in your home right now, but you shouldn’t be scared of Triangulate Combfoots. They are actually helpful because they feed on small insects and pests in your houses like ticks, ants, pillbugs, and other spider species (even potentially dangerous ones).
Even though they are relatively docile, bites occur due to their proximity to humans. But have no fear; their venom is not dangerous (unless you are allergic).
#14. European Harvestman
- Phalangium opilio
Also called Daddy-long Legs.
- Females have a body length of 6–9 mm. Males are slightly smaller at 4–7 mm. Legs are long and thin.
- The body has a three-lobed darker “saddle,” usually with spots or dashes.
- Single body region, only two eyes that do not see well.
Harvestman might be the most recognizable spiders in Slovakia!
They are found in a wide range of habitats, including gardens, fields, hedgerows, lawns, green places in built-up areas, or even hiding underneath kids’ playground equipment. They are also very social, and it’s common to find them in large groups.
But here’s the crazy thing:
Even though harvestmen look like spiders, these arachnids are technically NOT spiders! They are in the Order Opiliones and have no venom, lack fangs, and do not bite.
In addition, they can swallow solid food, which allows them to eat small insects, fungi, dead organisms, bird dung, and other fecal matter. This trait differs from spiders that only eat their prey after turning them into a liquid.
Check out these other guides about animals found in Slovakia!
Which of these spiders have you seen before in Slovakia?
Leave a comment below!