What kinds of spiders can you find in South Korea?
Many people are terrified of spiders and find them extremely creepy. This is unfortunate because not only are most spiders completely harmless, but 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 South Korea. 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.
7 common SPIDERS that live in South Korea!
#1. Joro Spider
- Trichonephila clavata
- Females are 17–25 mm (0.66-0.98 in) long, while males are 7–10 mm 0.27-0.39 in).
- This species has blue and yellow stripes on the abdomen with a red patch near the back. Its legs are black with bands of yellow.
- The legs have brushy sections of dense hair.
Look for Joro Spiders in South Korea in both forests and populated locations.
Interestingly, this species has also spread to North America. For example, populations have been discovered in Georgia and South Carolina. Joro Spiders are resistant to cold weather, and extreme conditions, so many researchers believe this intimidating-looking spider will eventually become naturalized across the eastern United States.
This species isn’t aggressive, but it will occasionally bite if provoked or handled roughly, and its venom can cause a lot of pain. However, it isn’t life-threatening, so don’t be too scared!
There is a mythological creature in Japanese folklore modeled after the Joro Spider, called Jorōgumo. Despite the species’ relative harmlessness, the Jorōgumo is not a creature you’d want to cross. According to legend, it can breathe fire, control other spiders, and shapeshift into a beautiful woman and devour unsuspecting men!
#2. Black and White Spiny Spider
- Gasteracantha kuhli
- Females‘ abdomens are 6-9 mm (0.23-0.35 in) wide. Their abdomens are hardened and armored with six spines.
- Males‘ abdomens are 3-4 mm (0.11-0.15 in) wide. They are also hard-bodied, but they have rounded bumps instead of spines.
- Both sexes are black and white with short legs.
The Black and White Spiny Spider is different from most spiders in South Korea!
This small orb-weaving spider has a hardened body that protects it from predators. The most interesting feature is its sharp spines that cover the back of the abdomen. Despite its small size, this spider won’t take any attacks lying down.
Additionally, its coloring is similar to a Rorschach inkblot test. The designs on its back can take the shape of anything from a skull to a cuddly panda! I can see a cat’s face and a little dog in the examples above. 🙂
Black and White Spiny Spiders spend most of their time in webs constructed in shrubs. They wait for prey to become tangled up, then wrap it in silk before eating.
#3. Pointillist Neoscona
- Neoscona punctigera
- Females measure about 1.1 cm (0.43 in) and males are about 0.7 cm (0.28 in) long.
- Males are black and white with striped abdomens and spiky hairs all over the body and legs.
- Females are a dull brown, covered in hairs, and generally larger but not as striking as males.
Pointillist Neoscona Spiders are widespread in South Korea and well-known for an unusual reason.
These spiders are often used for spider-fighting, where spiders are pitted against one another and made to fight. Although the practice can be brutal and is often discouraged, it is fairly widespread.
In fact, school children often set up spider fights to place bets and earn pocket money from other kids during the school day. The fights have become so distracting in some schools that school administrators have had to step in!
Pointillist Neosconas are used because the females are aggressive and territorial. They won’t tolerate another female in their presence, instead fighting for dominance. Unfortunately, the winning spider often kills the loser after the battle is over.
In the wild, Pointillist Neoscona Spiders spend their time in their webs, waiting for food to become trapped. As a result, they don’t often enter homes and aren’t aggressive toward people unless they’re handled roughly.
#4. Bird-dropping Spider
- Celaenia excavata
- Females are about 12 mm (0.47 in) long, while males are only 2.5 mm (0.09 in) long.
- These spiders are distinctly lumpy and irregular, with mottled white and brown coloring.
- Their legs are short and often curled under the body.
One look at the Bird-dropping Spider in South Korea is all you need to know where its name came from!
This spider is a master of disguise, and its chosen costume is – you guessed it – bird poop. It has a lumpy, shapeless abdomen and short legs. Combined with its white and brown coloring, it’s easy to completely pass this spider by without a second thought.
Incredibly, its distinctive looks aren’t the weirdest thing about this species! Bird-dropping Spiders also have an unusual way of catching a meal. First, they release a pheromone that mimics the scent of female moths, luring male moths in. Then, once the moth gets near enough, the spider grabs it with its powerful legs.
Even if you miss the actual spider because of its amazing camouflage, you’ll probably notice its distinctive egg sacs. They’re almost as large as the spider itself, light brown in color, and hang from thin strands of silk in bunches or rows.
#5. Wasp Spider
- Argiope bruennichi
- Striking yellow and black markings across its body.
- The legs also have stripes.
- Females are around 17 mm (0.66 in). Males measure less than 5 mm (0.19 in).
This species is one of the most recognizable spiders in South Korea!
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 called a Stabilimentum 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.
#6. 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, but females have a bulb-like abdomen, and males do not.
These spiders are found in South Korea NEAR PEOPLE!
I know that I always find them in my garage! It always surprises me how small Common House Spiders really are, as they are generally only between 5-6 millimeters (0.20-0.24 in) long.
Even though there are probably a few of them in your house right now, you shouldn’t hate or fear Common House Spiders. They are actually helpful because they feed on small insects and pests in your house, like flies, ants, and mosquitos.
Even though they are relatively docile, bites do occur, mostly due to their proximity to humans. But have no fear; their venom is not dangerous in the least.
#7. 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 (0.19-0.23 in). Males are smaller, reaching a body length of 2.5–3.5 mm (0.09-0.13 in).
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!
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?!
Check out these other guides about animals found in South Korea!
Which of these spiders have you seen before in South Korea?
Leave a comment below!