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Black Widow

Size:

Body may be up to 3/4-inch in length with the abdomen reaching 3/8-inch in diameter.

Color:

Typically glossy black but males are dark brown to light brown. Related widow spiders may be brown.

Behavior:

The black widow spider is widely feared because its bite results in severe pain that may take several days to subside. Such bites are rarely fatal.

Brown Recluse

Size:

May grow to have a body about 5/8-inch in length and a leg span of about one and a half inches in diameter.

Color:

Usually light brown but may be darker in some specimens.

Behavior:

The brown recluse spider does not seek to bite people. The spider crawls into a shoe or clothing and a person then puts on the clothing. The spider, being trapped, has only one defense – and that is to bite.

House Spider

Size:

The body ranges up to 3/8-inch in length, with a spherical abdomen.

Color:

Typically brown or tan with various markings.

Behavior:

House spiders are responsible for most of the cobwebs seen inside buildings. Flying insects make up most of their diet, so these spiders are most common around windows and doorways.

Cellar Spider

Size:

Up to 3/4-inch in body length with an extremely thin shape.

Color:

Pale whitish or cream.

Behavior:

Cellar spiders spin large, tangled webs and hang upside down within the web. When disturbed, they shake the web violently. They are not dangerous spiders and actually are quite beneficial in that they have been known to capture and eat other spiders.

Crab Spider

Size:

Body is usually less than 1/2-inch in length, but up to one inch in larger species.

Color:

The crab spider’s color varies, but most species are brown. Some are brightly colored in yellow, green or even pink, depending on the type of flower they frequent.

Behavior:

Crab spiders are passive hunters that ambush their prey. These spiders wait on plants and then they pounce upon the unsuspecting insect.

Funnel Web Spider

Size:

The funnelweb spider has a body that is usually 1/2-inch to one inch in length.

Color:

Most species are brown in color. They usually have darker stripes on the cephalothorax (head region).

Behavior:

The funnelweb spider’s web is easily recognizable, consisting of a large, flat horizontal web at the end of which is a silken funnel.

Garden Spider

Size:

This is a large spider with a body up to one inch long or larger and a leg span of up to three inches.

Color:

The garden spider’s color varies, but the most common species is black and yellow.

Behavior:

Garden spiders spin very large, flat, orb-shaped webs across open spaces between tree and shrub branches.

Ground Spider

Size:

These spiders are small, with a body that is usually less than 1/2-inch in length.

Color:

Color varies, but most species are brown. Some have bright orange or red markings.

Behavior:

Ground spiders are hunting spiders; they do not build webs, but rather chase down their prey.

Jumping Spider

Size:

The body is usually 1/2-inch or shorter in length.

Color:

Color varies, most being black or gray. Some are brightly colored or possess bright markings.

Behavior:

Jumping spiders are among the spiders more commonly seen around homes because they are active during the day.

Spiny-backed Orb Weaver Spider

Size:

The body is ½-inch or less in length.

Color:

A brightly colored spider that has a hard, white abdomen with red markings and black spines protruding from the edges.

Behavior:

The spiny-backed orb weaver spins flat, orb-shaped webs in shrubs, trees and in the corners of windows, soffits and similar outdoor areas of buildings. These spiders capture flying, and sometimes crawling, insects found around a home.

Tarantula

Size:
The largest spider found in the United States and around the world. In this country, the body may measure up to two-and-a-half inches in length with a leg span of up to four inches.

Color:
In the U.S., tarantulas are varying shades of brown from medium to dark. The spiders are very hairy.

Behavior:
Tarantulas are passive hunters in that they wait near their burrows for insects and other spiders to walk past, then ambush their prey.

Wolf Spider

Size:

Wolf spiders come in many sizes with most having a body size ranging from 1/4-inch to more than 1 1/2 inches in length. The largest species may have a leg measuring up to 3 inches or more leading many homeowners to mistake them for tarantulas.

Color:

Most wolf spiders are brown although some may appear black.

Yellow Sac Spider

Size:

About 1/4-inch in length.

Color:

Pale yellowish-green.

Behavior:

This spider belongs to a family of spiders known for resting in a small silken retreat or sac during the day. The yellow sac spider is a nighttime hunter which feeds on small insects and possibly even other spiders.