Insect Identification
Insect Identification

North American Spiders

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/12/2015

It is said that some three-quarters of the human population is intimidated by spiders in one way or another - about 3,400 species reside in North America alone.





North America is home to about 3,400 of the categorized 40,000 species of spiders in the world. Spiders are known as Arachnids and fall under the class Chelicerata and order Araneae, taking various shapes and forms as well as colors and behaviors. Regardless of the individual species, all spiders consist of eight legs and feature two-piece bodies made up of the cephalothorax (front) and abdomen (the bulbous rear). The cephalothorax contains a multiple-eye arrangement (the number varying by species), mouth parts and the legs while the abdomen holds the the silk-producing facilities of the spider.


Spiders can generally be identified by the type of web they create though not all webs are used to capture prey. Some are used in courtship rituals while others are used to secure egg sacs. Silk is produced by specialized glands found in the abdomen of the spider that are formed of liquid protein generated within the body. This protein hardens once it is outside of the body and released through the rear of the abdomen, guided by spinnerets that allow the spider to customize its release as needed. It is not wholly uncommon for spiders of different species to share a web or a spider to steal another's prey. Other species rely on the element of surprise and bury themselves in loose soil, springing out when prey passes - injecting them with powerful subduing venom.


There are a total of (80) North American Spiders in the Insect Identification database. Entries are listed below in alphabetical order.



Thumbnail picture of the American House Spider
American House Spider
The webs created by American House Spiders are classic Halloween webs: tangled messes in all corners... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ant Mimic Spider
Ant Mimic Spider
With bodies shaped more like ants, at first glance, it may be difficult to tell that this creature i... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Arrowhead Orb Weaver
Arrowhead Orb Weaver
It is unusual to see a spider with an abdomen that it not round, especially an orbweaver. Orbweaver... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Arrow-shaped Micrathena Spider
Arrow-shaped Micrathena Spider
The spiny ridges on females are believed to ward off predators, but some sources believe they add to... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Banded Garden Spider
Banded Garden Spider
This spider builds its orb-shaped web between plants in garden beds. It sits in the center of the sp... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Bark Crab Spider
Bark Crab Spider
Bark Crab Spiders are usually found in woods, forests and parks on tree bark, short plants, the fore... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Basilica Orb Weaver
Basilica Orb Weaver
The colors, pattern and shape of the abdomen make this spider a real stand out. With shades of gree... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are from the Argiope genus found throughout the United States of Ame... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Black Tail Crab Spider
Black Tail Crab Spider
Crab spiders have long front forelegs that sit more forward on the body. The back pairs of legs are ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Black Widow
Black Widow
Female Black Widows are famous for their toxic venom. Males, however, lack such a weapon and are no... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Bolas Spider
Bolas Spider
The Bolas Spider is not a web spinner. Instead, it casts lines of silk strands with a heavy globule... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Bold Jumping Spider
Bold Jumping Spider
As a member of the Salticidae family, this small jumping spider has the ability to leap more than 4 ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider
Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider
The Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider is a member of the Sheet-Web family. The distinct shape of the web ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Brown Recluse
Brown Recluse
The Brown Recluse spider, also known as the Violin Spider, is generally found throughout the souther... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Brown Widow
Brown Widow
The moment the bright orange hourglass on her belly is visible, most people recognize this spider as... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the California Trapdoor Spider
California Trapdoor Spider
California Trapdoor Spiders are native to Southern California. In many ways, they resemble smaller v... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Carolina Wolf Spider
Carolina Wolf Spider
The Carolina Wolf Spider is a hunter like its namesake, not a weaver like other spiders. This speci... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Cat-Faced Spider
Cat-Faced Spider
The Cat-Faced Spider is a common name shared by this species and another North American spider. Its ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Comb-Clawed Spider
Comb-Clawed Spider
Comb-clawed, or Comb-Footed, spiders are the most common type of house spider in North America. They... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Cribellate Orb Weaver
Cribellate Orb Weaver
The legs of this spider are hairy with flared, feathery tufts of hair at the 'ankles'. The front pa... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Cross Spider
Cross Spider
The white cross marking on the abdomen of the Cross Spider became its name and main identifier. Ori... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Desert Tarantula
Desert Tarantula
Desert Tarantulas are a common sight in the Southwestern states and Mexico. They generally hide dur... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Eastern Harvestman
Eastern Harvestman
Harvestman are not spiders, though they resemble them in many ways. They are relatives of the spide... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Feather-Legged Spider
Feather-Legged Spider
Thick legs with long, feathery hairs on them make this spider unique. They may look ferocious, but ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Fishing Spider
Fishing Spider
Fishing Spiders are large and look menacing. Their legspan can stretch more than 75mm (3 inches), m... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Giant Crab Spider
Giant Crab Spider
The Giant Crab Spider is also known as the Golden Huntsman Spider. This is one of the largest spide... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Golden Silk Orbweaver
Golden Silk Orbweaver
The size of this spider can be frightening. While males remain quite small (up to 1/4 inch), female... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Goldenrod Crab Spider
Goldenrod Crab Spider
This species of spider uses camouflage as its primary defense as well as offense. It will bite to pr... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Grass Spider
Grass Spider
Grass Spiders are common sights throughout North American summers and belong to a family of Funnel W... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Green Crab Spider
Green Crab Spider
The extremely long front legs of the Green Crab Spider help it grab insects like bees, butterflies a... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Spider
As its name might suggest, the Green Lynx Spider is a bright green spider of the Lynx spider family.... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ground Crab Spider
Ground Crab Spider
Crab spiders get their name from the resemblance they share with the crustacean as they walk and whe... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Ground Spider
Ground Spider
Ground Spiders are technically a group of spiders that are ambush attackers and one of the example s... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Hacklemesh Weaver
Hacklemesh Weaver
This small brown spider is sometimes mistaken for a Brown Recluse, but it lacks the dark 'violin' si... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Hawaiian Garden Spider
Hawaiian Garden Spider
Though Hawaiian Garden Spiders can grow to great sizes, they are not poisonous to humans and make gr... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Hentz Jumping Spider
Hentz Jumping Spider
Hentz Jumping Spider is a member of the Salticidae family. It is not very large; none of the jumpin... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the House Spider
House Spider
The dark brown House spider, M. simoni is native to the eastern South American countries of... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Huntsman Spider
Huntsman Spider
Although this species of spider is already established in the Southeast, sometimes they stow away on... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Johnson Jumping Spider
Johnson Jumping Spider
The Johnson Jumping Spider does not build webs to catch its food. It seeks it out, wandering around... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spider
Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spider
The web of this spider is more like a starburst, rather than a typical orb, making it unique and eas... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Lattice Orbweaver Spider
Lattice Orbweaver Spider
The characteristics of the web are useful in identifying the Lattice Orb Weaver Spider. It also has... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
The shape of the abdomen aided in an alternate name for the Long-Bodied Cellar Spider. Although the... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Long-Jawed Orb Weaver
Long-Jawed Orb Weaver
The Long-Jawed Orb Weaver has an incredibly long set of front of legs. The female's mouth part, the ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Long-Legged Sac Spider
Long-Legged Sac Spider
This pale spider is typically found in homes and offices (on ceilings, in corners, under beds, etc).... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
The bright Magnolia Green Jumping Spider is quite small. Unlike other jumping spiders, it is not fu... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Marbled Orb Weaver
Marbled Orb Weaver
The unique 'marbling' pattern of colors on the abdomen, as well as the orange head and black and whi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Metallic Crab Spider
Metallic Crab Spider
The Metallic Crab Spider is a member of the Running Crab Spider family. They are long with skinny l... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula
Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula
Tarantulas are magnificently large and extremely hairy. Including legs, some can grow as long as 15... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the North American Jumping Spider
North American Jumping Spider
Jumping spiders are opportunistic, ambush predators. They do not weave webs for catching prey thoug... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Nursery Web Spider
Nursery Web Spider
The Nursery Web Spider derives its name from the good care it takes of its egg sacs. Females carry ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Orb Weaver
Orb Weaver
Orb Weavers come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Common traits among some include the roun... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Parson Spider
Parson Spider
The white stripe on the abdomen of the black Parson Spider is said to resemble the cravat or ruffled... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Putnam Jumping Spider
Putnam Jumping Spider
This spider is a member of the family Saliticidae. These are jumping spiders that can leap four to ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Red Ant-Mimic Spider
Red Ant-Mimic Spider
Red Ant-Mimic Spiders play both sides of the game: defense and offense. Their ability to be confuse... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider
Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider
Folding Trapdoor spiders are related to members of the Trapdoor Spider family. They are also relate... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider
Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider
The Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider acts like an ant to gain better positioning when attacking prey. I... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Running Crab Spider
Running Crab Spider
These fast-moving spiders are agile enough to outrun predators as well as human hands trying to coll... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Running Spider
Running Spider
Running spiders, or sac spiders, do not form webs. Instead they hunt their prey with lightning-quic... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Sac Spider
Sac Spider
When it comes to catching prey, Sac Spiders are predatory hunters, not web weavers. They use their ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Shamrock Spider
Shamrock Spider
The bold black and white legs of the Shamrock Spider lend this species a classic Halloween-look. Th... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Silver Garden Spider
Silver Garden Spider
The Silver Garden Spider can be found in the warmer, southern parts of North America. Young spiders ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Southeastern Wandering Spider
Southeastern Wandering Spider
Spiders in the Ctenidae family resemble wolf spiders, but they are not the same. Wandering spiders a... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Southern House Spider
Southern House Spider
On first glance, homeowners may think a male Southern House Spider is a Brown Recluse thanks to simi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Sowbug Killer Spider
Sowbug Killer Spider
This spider's favorite meal is the sowbug, also known as pill bug, wood louse, or roly poly, dependi... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Spined Micrathena Spider
Spined Micrathena Spider
The ridges on the abdomen of the female spider are believed to render it unappetizing to predators. ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
The spines on the side of this female spider make it unique and easy to recognize. Males are consid... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Spitting Spider
Spitting Spider
This spider earned its name by spraying its prey with a sticky secretion. When a Spitting Spider app... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Spotted Orb Weaver
Spotted Orb Weaver
Spotted Orb Weavers spin orb-shaped webs that are up to 2 feet in diameter. During the day, they usu... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Tan Jumping Spider
Tan Jumping Spider
A member of Salticidae, this spider jumps to ambush its prey instead of creating webs. They are fast... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Tengellid Spider
Tengellid Spider
The spiders in the Tengellidae family are mostly found in Mexico, but sometimes also in the borderin... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Thin-Legged Wolf Spider
Thin-Legged Wolf Spider
This genus of wolf spiders can be found throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. They are d... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Trashline Orb Weaver
Trashline Orb Weaver
The name of this spider stems from its thicker line of silk in the web (stabilimentum). The purpose ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Triangulate Cob Web Spider
Triangulate Cob Web Spider
The triangular pattern on the abdomen helped name this spider. It is a common house spider, hiding ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Tuft-Legged Orb Weaver
Tuft-Legged Orb Weaver
The fine, mesh web of the Tuft-Legged Orb Weaver is a bit different than other orb weavers. The tigh... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Turret Spider
Turret Spider
Native to Northern California, the Turret Spider is part of the larger family of "Folding Trapdoor S... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Venusta Orchard Spider
Venusta Orchard Spider
Common in forested areas, this colorful spider almost appears to be painted. The abdomen can be a va... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Western Spotted Orb Weaver
Western Spotted Orb Weaver
Like all Orb Weavers, the Western Spotted Orb Weaver spins a circular web. This species tends to c... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider
The Wolf Spider hunts at night, spending the daytime hiding in a burrow under stones, logs or other ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Woodland Jumping Spider
Woodland Jumping Spider
Jumping spiders are known for their fantastic ability to leap across large air spaces. The Woodland ... [Read More]
Thumbnail picture of the Yellow Sac Spider
Yellow Sac Spider
This albino-looking spider is commonly found in homes, high up on walls or crawling on ceilings. Ye... [Read More]