Common United States Spiders and Americas
courtesy to : www.spiderzrule.com/commonspidersusa
NOT DANGEROUS - i.e MAY BITE BUT NOT LIFE THREATENING
All spiders can and will bite if in danger or accidentally touched e.g. in shoes or clothing etc. Any spider bite can cause a reaction, ranging from a bee or wasp sting type bite to those requiring hospitalisation. Different people react in different ways, so if you see a spider it is best to be cautious and look but do not handle any spider no matter how it is classified.
Orb Weaving Spider
There are many types of "Orb web" spiders, in fact any spider that spins an orb-shaped web may be classified as an "orb web weaver". These include the Golden Orb-weaver spiders, St Andrew's Cross spiders, Wraparound spiders and many garden spiders. The female Golden Orb-weaver may be as large as 45mm but the male is tiny, only about 6mm in length. These spiders often live in gardens and are harmless to man. A female's web is made of strong golden silk which may spread up to 1m across and may snare a small bird or bat.
Web Spinning Spiders :
Garden Orb Weaver - Neoscona crucifera
The family is a large one, including over 2800 species in over 160 genera. New species are still being discovered. Orb weavers (Araneidae) are often brightly coloured with rounded abdomens, some with peculiarly angled humps or spines. However, there is considerable variation in size, colour and shape in this group. They are often recognized for building beautiful, large, round webs, on which they rest, head downward, waiting for prey. The webs consist of a number of radiating threads crossed by two spirals. The inner spiral begins in the centre, winds outward, and is made of smooth threads like the radiating threads. It covers only the central 1/3 of the web. The outer spiral begins at the edges and winds inward. It is made of more elastic, sticky threads, coated with a liquid substance. The life span of these spiders is short, only lasting one season.
Golden Orb Weavers (Nephila edulis FAMILY TETRAGNATHIDAE):
These are golden orb weavers, one of the largest spiders found in Australia. Their webs can be found hanging off sign posts, in or between trees and can even be spotted driving in a vehicle. The Golden Orb Web Spider is the largest spider species that we found in Brisbane. They are common in bushes and gardens. They build very large and strong yellow silk orb webs which are vertical or slightly inclined. Under the sun their webs are golden in colour. The Golden Orb Web Spider is diurnal spider and the females are large while the males are only about 1/10 of the female size. The females can measure up to 45 mm while the smaller males measure only 6 mm. The male is often found in the web of the female.
Golden Silk Orb Weaver - Nephila clavipes
The Golden Orb Weavers build large, semi-permanent orb webs. The strong silk has a golden sheen. These spiders remain in their webs day and night and gain some protection from bird attack by the presence of a 'barrier network' of threads on one or both sides of the orb web. Sometimes their strong webs manage to trap small birds or bats, and the spider will wrap them and feed upon them. Commoner prey items include flies, beetles, locusts, wood moths and cicadas. Golden Silk Orb Weavers are large spiders (body 2-4 cm) with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. The males are tiny (5 mm) and red-brown to brown in colour. This spider belongs to the Tetragnathidae (longjawed orbweavers) family.
Nephila clavipes is the only species in the Nephila genus that exists in the USA.
The wheel shaped orb web is the ultimate use of silk to catch prey. When a victim blunders into the web, it is snared by the silky threads. The spider, on feeling the vibrations, quickly trusses it up in silk to prevent it tearing the web. A male Orb web spider may announce his presence to the female by plucking the strands of the web. Many small spiders such as Dewdrop spiders live on a Golden Orb-weavers web, eating any left-over insects that are too small for the Orb weaver.
The spider is brown to dark brown in colour. Their first, second and fourth pairs of legs have a brush of bristles on the tibia. The third pair of legs is the shortest with no brush. The abdomen is long oval shaped and is yellow with grey or brown patterns. The spider feeds on insects caught in the web.
The head is covered with silver hairs. The fangs are large and strong. The body is uniform yellow brown to silver grey. The legs are long and black with yellow joints and can span the width of an average adult hand.
Beside the male and the female, boarders resides in the web. They are called droplets because their silvery body shines like drops of water in the sun. The web has a golden colour which gives them their name.
When a spider moves on the web, it holds the silk with claw-like bristles on its legs. Oil on its body prevents the spider from sticking to the web. Moths are somewhat protected from the webs also by scales on their bodies which prevent it sticking to the web. The garden spiders in these pictures, hide in the garden in the daytime and rest in their webs at night.
Wraparound spiders:Wraparound spiders have broad, flat abdomens. They also remain hidden during the day and spin orb webs at night to catch insects. The Wraparound spider in this picture has a turret shaped abdomen which looks like a broken off twig, to conceal it during the day.
St Andrew's Cross Spiders:The St Andrew's Cross spider is harmless to man. The cross on which it rests adds strength to the web. If a female St Andrew's Cross spider is disturbed, she will grasp her web and shake it vigorously.
Handling and rehousing my Nephila (Orb weaver)
Shamrock Orb Weaver - Araneus trifolium
Orb Weaving Spiders are common spiders with poor vision which build beautiful, complex-looking webs all over the world. The shamrock spider is a familiar member of the family and is distinguished by the markings on its back and black markings on its legs.
Black and Yellow Argiope - Argiope Aurantia
This lovely spider only has a short life span and once she has produced one or more (usually no more than 3) brown, papery egg sacs, she will die. The egg sacs are roughly round in shape and up to 25 mm in diameter; each contains 300 to 1400 eggs. She attaches her egg sacs to one side of her web, close to her resting position at the centre. Each female will watch over her eggs as long as she can, but will die in the first hard frost, if not before. The eggs hatch in Autumn ( fall), but spiderlings stay in the sac during winter and emerge in spring. There is also a silver argiope which differs in that it has a metallic silver back.
Female Black and Yellow Argiope Orb Weaver Spider - (Argiope aurantia)
Marbled Orb Weaver - Araneus marmoreus:
Orb weavers are known for their bright colours. They build large, round webs and wait with for their prey with their head facing down. The abdomen is often rounded. The Marbled Orb Weaver is common in urban areas and is over 1/2 inch long.
Nephila clavipes, the banana spider
Common House Spider - Achaearanea tepidariorum
The House Spider builds large webs in the corners of rooms, under bedroom furniture and furniture in other rooms, in angles between fences, and often between stones. They build where they can find the most prey. They can be found during any season. The colour varies from a dirty white to almost black. The cephalothorax is yellow brown and the legs are light yellow with brown or grey rings at the ends and middle of the joints. The females usually range from 5 to 6 mm long and the males 3.8 to 4.7 mm . The female lays her eggs in a brownish, pear shaped cocoon that is 6 to 9 mm in diameter.
BLACK & YELLOW ARGIOPE
The number of emails we've had from people in the United States trying to identify theBlack and Yellow Argiope or St Andrew's Cross spider (as we call our Australian variety)is quite astounding!! I've had a lot of questions about where the Argiopes are going to, as some people have noticed that theirs has disappeared. Unfortunately this lovely spider only has a short life span and once she has produced one or more (usually no more than 3) brown, papery egg sacs, she will die. The egg sacs are roughly round in shape and up to 25 mm in diameter; each contains 300 to 1400 eggs. She attaches her egg sacs to one side of her web, close to her resting position at the centre. Each female will watch over her eggs as long as she can, but will die in the first hard frost, if not before. The eggs hatch in Autumn ( fall), but spiderlings stay in the sac during winter and emerge in spring. (Milne and Milne 1980,Heiber 1992, Faulkner 1999). The St Andrew's Cross Spider doesn't have dangerous venom. Its bite causes a mild local pain. There are also other varieties of Argiopes - TheBanded Argiope and Silver Argiope being two that have been sent in frequently. There are links to photos of these and other argiopes below as well.
Banded Argiope (Argiope Trifasciata) Immobolizes Cricket
Banded Argiope- Argiope trifasciata
Banded Orb-weaving Spider females have yellow, white and brown coloured bands across their abdomen Their head/thorax has silver hair. The legs are hairy, and often banded. The males look the same, but are much smaller than the female. Banded Orb-weaving Spiders build vertical orb webs and are active both day and night. They make stabilimentum on their web too, but may not make it like a cross. Banded Argiope are common throughout most of the US. They can often be found building webs side by side with the Black and Yellow Argiope but the Banded Argiope tends to favor slightly drier habitats. The female spins a silken hemispherical egg sac.
Argiope argentata - Brazilian Silver Argiope (Araneidae - Araneae) Aranha-de-prata, X spider
Silver Argiope- Argiope argentata
The male grows to 1/8-1/4" (4-5 mm), and the female 1/2-5/8" (12-16 mm). They have silvery short hair on upper surface of female's cephalothorax and 1st abdominal segment. Most of the abdomen is black to brownish yellow with silver spots. Underneath is also black to yellow-brown. Legs are blackish brown to yellow with 2 pale bands and black hair. They make the same zigzag cross strands forming X-shaped mark at centre, measuring to 32" (81 cm) across as the Black and Yellow Argiope. Primarily a spider found in tropical regions of the New World, this species is able to survive frost only when very young and seldom is found in the North.
Australian Jewel Spider, Christmas Spider or Spiny Spider (Austracantha minax)
Argiope argentata Spider
Common house spider
courtesy to : www.uark.edu/ua/arthmuse//achaeara
Genus and species: Achaearanea tepidariorum (C. L. Koch)
This very common household spider would be inconspicuous if it were not for its persistent and unseemly webs. Many of the dusty cobwebs hanging from corners of neglected ceilings are remnants of this species’ work. The body of the female is up to ¼ inch in length; that of the male is considerably smaller. The cephalothorax is brown dusted with black. The white or light yellow legs have brown and gray apical annulations on most segments, and there are additional annulations at midlength on the first and second pairs of tibiae. The abdomen of the female is high and inflated, and near its highest point posteriorly there is a dark spot surrounded by light and dark U- or V-shaped markings. The abdomen is otherwise light tan and gray with white speckles.
This species has a cosmopolitan distribution and has probably been transported around the world by man. It is abundant in the United States, Mexico, and Central America, and it may be native to South America (Levi 1963). Individuals live a year or more and adults are found in all seasons. This species is rarely found in natural communities except for caves and dry, overhanging rock ledges (Beck and Dorris 1982, Hodge and Storfer-Isser 1997; McDaniel et al. 1979). It is found in many kinds of artificial communities, such as fields and roadsides, farmyards, gardens, vacant lots, cemeteries, and man-made structures (Archer 1946). It is a common and characteristic species of houses, barns, and sheds, often found near outdoor light fixtures. Indoors, house spiders are most likely to be found in humid areas such as basements, crawlspaces, and porches.
The irregular, tangled cobwebs are typically hung in situations that afford overhead shelter. The spider often rests in a retreat within the web. Sites for webs are chosen randomly. Webs that do not yield adequate prey are soon abandoned, and these become littered with dust and debris. Suitable sites with plentiful prey are systematically filled with webbing (Turnbull 1964). Spiders often build webs in areas to which air currents direct prey. Prey consists chiefly of flying insects and other arthropods, including some that are much larger than the spider. In fact, the common house spider is well known for its ability to overpower relatively large prey. Remains of spider wasps, large flies, such as calliphorids and tabanids, beetles, cockroaches, leafhoppers, and harvestmen have been found under webs (Fitch 1963). The common house spider has even been known to feed upon lone star ticks (Archer 1946, Guarisco 1991) and purseweb spiders (Guarisco 1988).
Common house spiders tend to form aggregated populations. Females typically build webs in close proximity to each other, and webs of different individuals are often attached (Hodge and Storfer-Isser 1997). However, females are incompatible, and if they should come into contact one may become prey to the other. Males and females may share the same web for long periods, hanging upside down from the silken threads. The light brown, pear-shaped eggs sacs are produced from late spring to late summer. They hang freely in the web, and each may contain from 100 to 600 or more eggs (Kaston 1981, Miyashita 1987). The sacs have a tough, papery covering and measure up to ¼ inch or more in diameter. A single female can produce many of them during one season. The first instar spiderlings do not feed. Second instars remain in the sac for several days, feeding on undeveloped eggs. These spiderlings emerge and float away on silken threads caught by air currents (Valerio 1974, 1977). This aeronautic behavior is called ballooning, and it is a characteristic means of dispersion in most spider species. The floating spiderlings establish populations in new habitats.
Rarely have common house spiders been known to bite humans, and their bites apparently do not result in serious symptoms, such as local ulcers, necrosis, or serious systemic symptoms (White et al. 1989).
Spiny Orb Weaver Spider (Gasteracantha)
Biere, J. M., and G. W. Uetz, G. W. 1981. Web orientation in the spider Micrathena gracilis (Araneae: Araneidae). Ecology 62 (2): 336-344.
Bukowski, T. C., and T. E. Christenson. 1997a. Determinants of sperm release and storage in a spiny orbweaving spider. Animal Behaviour 53: 381-395.
Bukowski, T. C., and T. E. Christenson. 1997b. Natural history and copulatory behavior of the spiny orbweaving spider Micrathena gracilis (Araneae, Araneidae). Journal of Arachnology 25: 307-320.
Bukowski, T. C., and T. E. Christenson. 2000. Determinants of mating frequency in the spiny orbweaving spider, Micrathena gracilis (Araneae: Araneidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 13 (3): 331-352.
Hinton, H. E. and R. S. Wilson. 1970. Stridulatory organs in spiny orb-weaver spiders. Journal of Zoology 162: 481-484.
Levi, H. W. 1978. The American orb-weaver genera Colphepeira, Micrathena andGasteracantha north of Mexico (Araneae, Araneidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 148 (9): 417-442.
Levi, H. W. 1985. The spiny orb-weaver genera Micrathena and Chaetacis(Araneae: Araneidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 150 (8): 429-618.
Uetz, G. W. and J. M. Biere. 1980. Prey of Micrathena gracilis (Walckenaer) (Araneae: Aranaeidae) in comparison with artificial webs and other trapping devices. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 5 (3): 101-107.
Uetz, G. W., and S. P. Harstock. 1987. Prey selection in an orb-weaving spider:Micrathena gracilis (Araneae: Araneidae). Psyche 94 (1-2): 103-116.
They are also known as spiny orb weavers and
are part of the orb weaving spider family. This spider's body is very broad and grows to the size of a 20c piece, with its 8 legs being the length of a pin (fairly short for a spider). Its abdomen is strikingly coloured with bright
yellow and white and black. Six stout spines (long and sharp) come from the border of the abdomen.
Archer, A. F. 1946. The Theridiidae or comb-footed spiders of Alabama. Alabama Museum of Natural History Museum Paper 22: 67 pages.
Beck, M. L., and P. R. Dorris. 1982. A continuation of spider research in Arkansas: East Central Ozark Mountain area. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 36: 20-22.
Fitch, H. S. 1963. Spiders of the University of Kansas Natural History Reservation and Rockefeller Experimental Tract. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Lawrence. 202 pages.
Guarisco, H. 1988. Predation of Achaearanea tepidariorum (Araneae, Theridiidae) upon Sphodros fitchi (Araneae, Atypidae). Journal of Arachnology 16: 390-391.
Guarisco, H. 1991. Predation of two common house spiders upon medically significant pests. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 94 (1-2): 79-81.
Hodge, M. A., and A. Strofer-Isser. 1997. Conspecific and heterospecific attraction: a mechanism of web-site selection leading to aggregation formation by web-building spiders. Ethology 103: 815-826.
Kaston, B. J. 1981. Spiders of Connecticut. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection Bulletin 70: 1020 pages.
Levi, H. W. 1963. American spiders of the genus Achaearanea and the new genusEchinotheridion (Araneae, Theridiidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 129 (3): 187-240.
McDaniel, V. R., K. N. Paige, and C. R. Tumlison. 1979. Cave fauna of Arkansas: additional invertebrate and vertebrate records. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 33: 84-85.
Miyashita, K. 1987. Egg production of Achaearanea tepidariorum (C. L. Koch) (Araneae, Theridiidae) in the filed in Japan. Journal of Arachnology 15: 130-132.
Turnbull, A. L. 1964. The search for prey by a web-building spider Achaearanea tepidariorum (C. L. Koch) (Araneae, Theridiidae). Canadian Entomologist 96: 568-579.
Valerio, C. E. 1974. Feeding on eggs by spiderlings of Achaearanea tepidariorum (C. L. Koch) (Araneae, Theridiidae), and the significance of the quiescent instar in spiders. Journal of Arachnology 2 (1): 57-63.
Valerio, C. E. 1977. Population structure in the spider Achaearanea tepidariorum (Araneae, Theridiidae). Journal of Arachnology 3: 185-190.
White, J., D. Hirst, and E. Hender. 1989. 36 cases of bites by spiders, including the white-tailed spider, Lampona cylindrata. Medical Journal of Australia 150 (7): 401-403.
Spiny micrathena - Araneidae Micrathena sagittata
The genus Micrathena contains over 100 species of mostly Neotropical woodland orb-weavers (Levi 1985). M. gracilis is found in dense deciduous forests in eastern North America south to Costa Rica. Males do not construct webs after attaining sexual maturity. The female’s web is a small orb, 3.0 – 7.5 inches in diameter, typically three to seven feet above the ground in the understory.
courtesy to : www.uark.edu/ua/arthmuse//spinorb
Genus and species: Micrathena gracilis (Walckenaer)
The dark-spotted, whitish abdomen surrounded by 5 pairs of black-tipped spines distinguishes the female of this common woodland spider. As in other Micranthaspecies, the fourth femur is longer than the first, and the book lung covers have stridulating files. Males do not resemble females and are only a fraction of the size, have a flattened, elongate, whitish abdomen. There is one generation per year. Individuals mature in July in the southeastern United States.
The genus Micrathena contains over 100 species of mostly Neotropical woodland orb-weavers (Levi 1985). M. gracilis is found in dense deciduous forests in eastern North America south to Costa Rica. Males do not construct webs after attaining sexual maturity. The female’s web is a small orb, 3.0 – 7.5 inches in diameter, typically three to seven feet above the ground in the understory. The viscid spiral may be vertical or sloped skyward up to 45 degrees off vertical. Webs are found in large open spaces in the shaded understory, where they are exposed to a diversity of flying insect prey. Females rest in the open hub during daylight, sensing vibrations from prey striking the web. They hang head down in the center of the web, with the abdomen horizontal and parallel to the ground. The brown and yellow undersurface of the abdomen faces upward and blends with ground litter and vegetation. The light colored upper surface of the abdomen faces downward and camouflages the spider against the light blotches of the canopy. The orb is renewed daily, but the triangular or rectangular silk frame may persist for days or weeks in the same position. At dusk, the female ingests virtually every strand of the web except frame threads, on which she remains until morning. She rebuilds the orb at dawn.
Webs can be exposed to different light regimes during the course of the day, and spiders can encounter heat stress at times. Spiders in microhabitats where solar radiation is high exhibit an east/west orientation that reduces heat load. Spiders in closed, cool microhabitats exhibit a north/south orientation that increases body temperature. This behavioral thermoregulation allows the species to exploit a variety of deciduous forest microhabitats. Web orientation appears to be a behavioral adaptation that allows the species to maximize its time on the web in all forest microhabitats, thereby maximizing its chances of taking prey (Biere and Uetz 1981).
The webs are selective for prey size, retaining mostly Diptera larger than 3 mm, even though most insects striking the web are smaller. Females are slow moving and almost clumsy, allowing many insects to escape their webs. Of the insects retained by the web, the spiders elect to attack and consume mostly larger Diptera. About two-thirds of the prey is Diptera. Hymenoptera and Coleoptera make up most of the remainder of the diet. Unlike other Araneidae, the spined micrathena bites it prey first, then wraps it in silk (Uetz and Biere 1980, Uetz and Harstock 1987).
After a female molts to adulthood and constructs a viscid spiral, males build mating threads on which they court. For a complete mating, after copulating the first time, the male dismounts and approaches the female again to inseminate her second reproductive tract. Egg sacs have a fluffy appearance. They are placed on vegetation near the web. After the egg sacs are made in September, the female becomes moribund (Bukowski and Christenson 1997a, b; 2000).
The ridges of the stridulating files are at about a right angle to the major axis of the body. Three or four stout setae projecting dorsally from areas near the bases of the hind femora scrape across the files to produce a sound that is said to be a low-pitch buzz or hiss audible to humans at a distance of about two feet. Stridulation is probably defensive in function. The sound is produced when the spiders are disturbed (Hinton and Wilson 1970).
Only three species of Micrathena occur in the eastern United States. M. gracilis females have 5 pairs of conical tubercles on the abdomen, whereas M. mitratafemales have only two short posterior pairs and M. sagittata females have three pairs, the posterior pair being the largest. All three species can be found in Arkansas (Levi 1978).
Spined Micrathena - Micrathena gracilis
Venusta Orchard Spider - Leucauge venusta
The male growsato 1/8" (3-4 mm), and the female 1/4-3/8" (5-8 mm). Its cephalothorax is yellowish green, striped with brown along sides. The abdomen is silvery above with dark stripes, sides yellow with red spot near tip and red spot underneath. This spider clings below its web or to a nearby twig until prey blunders into the web and shakes it. They live in Maine to Florida, west to Nebraska and Texas.
Beautiful Venusta Orchard Spider - (Leucauge venusta)
The female Bolas spider is inactive during the day, although she can often be found in fairly exposed places. The male is much smaller than the female. Shortly after dusk, the spider lowers herself on silk threads, spins a silk line with a sticky blob on the end of it and swings it to catch the moths or other insects that have been attracted by chemicals. The spider gets its name from the bolas (ball-on-a-string) weapon used by Eskimos and South American Indians.
Nursery Web Spider - Pisaurina mira
These spiders resemble the Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae), but have a different eye pattern. Pisaurids have their eyes arranged in 2 rows, the posterior row slightly recurved, the median eyes in the second row slightly (if any) larger than the others. (Wolf spiders have eyes arranged in 3 rows). The egg sac is carried by the female under herprosoma, held there by her chelicerae and pedipalps. Before the eggs hatch, the female attaches the sac to a plant and then bulds a web around it -- and stands guard nearby. The Pisaurids forage for their food and build webs only for protecting their young. Photo - Sue Taylor
NURSERY-WEB & FISHING SPIDERS
WHAT ARE NURSERY-WEB & FISHING SPIDERS?
Nursery-web and fishing spiders are large, hairy spiders in the family Pisauridae. These spiders are typically patterned with black, brown, white, and gray markings. Although difficult to distinguish from wolf spiders, nursery-web and fishing spiders are usually slimmer in build than wolf spiders. Like all spiders, nursery-web and fishing spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts, and fangs (called "chelicerae"). Nursery-web and fishing spiders have 8 eyes.
SIZE: Body length up to about 1"
Simple metamorphosis: like all spiders, young nursery-web and fishing spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults when they are born. They shed their skin as they grow. After laying her eggs, a female nursery-web or fishing spider will wrap them into a silk eggsac. She will then carry the eggsac in her chelicerae until the eggs hatch. When hatching time arrives, the female will build a "nursery" in which the eggs can hatch. The nursery consists of a few leaves woven together with silk. This forms a protective pocket into which the eggsac is placed.
Many spiders in the Pisauridae family are active hunters that search the ground for insects, worms, spiders, and other small creatures. Others are ambush predators that wait quietly for prey to come to them. Fishing and nursery-web spiders are common in forests and meadows, especially near streams and creeks, where they patrol rocks and pebbles at the water's edge. Fishing spiders, in particular, are very common around ponds and streams, and will even hunt for prey on the water's surface, usually by holding onto vegetation at the water's edge. Pictured below is a fishing spider (Dolomedes genus) feeding on a small frog. This image was sent to us by Devin Cherry in Western Kentucky.
Fishing Spider preying on a frog (D. Cherry, 2008)
People who live close to wooded habitats may see nursery-web or fishing spiders that wander into their homes from time to time. This can be frightening, especially since the spiders are sometimes very large. Although nursery-web and fishing spiders are big enough to give a painful bite, they are not considered dangerous.
COMMON KENTUCKY NURSERY-WEB & FISHING SPIDERS
NURSERY-WEB SPIDERS, Pisaurina spp.
Several species of Nursery-Web Spiders live in Kentucky and all belong to the genus Pisaurina. Pictured below is Pisaurina mira. It is probably the most commonly encountered nursery-web spider in Kentucky. P. mira is about 1/2" long and often has a distinctive grey or brown stripe that runs along its cephalothorax and abdomen. Colors and patterns vary among individuals, however, and some specimens have a mottled pattern similar to the fishing spiders (pictured below).
Nursery Web Spider, Pisaurina mira (B. Newton, 2002)
FISHING SPIDERS, Dolomedes spp.
All Fishing Spiders belong to the Dolomedes genus. CommonDolomedes species in Kentucky are mottled with brown, gray, white, and black. One very large Kentucky fishing spider isDolomedes tenebrosus (below left), which has a legspan of about 3". It is commonly found on the trunks of trees that are near water. The Six-Spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton, below right), is slightly smaller than D. tenebrosus, but it is nevertheless a very large spider. It is often seen hunting on the water's surface in ponds and slow-moving streams. Pictured below center is a maleD. vittatus photographed at Tom Wallace Park in Louisville. Thanks to June Oakes for donating this image to us!
Fishing Spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus
(R. Bessin, 2000)
Six-Spotted Fishing Spider, D. triton
(B. Newton, 2003)
Fishing Spider, Dolomedes vittatus, male (J. Oakes, 2007)
COLLECTING & PHOTOGRAPHY
Look for nursery-web spiders and fishing spiders in wooded areas near streams and creeks. Nursery-web spiders are often found in low vegetation in meadows near the forest edge. Fishing spiders are usually found close to the ground, especially during the day when they often hide under rocks and debris near stream beds. At night, large fishing spiders can often be found on tree trunks. If you don't disturb them, nursery web and fishing spiders will often stay still for a picture. If you collect one, remember: even though spiders in this family aren't very dangerous, they can bite. Also, all spiders should be preserved in alcohol.
NURSERY-WEB & FISHING SPIDER FACTS
Some fishing spiders will partially submerge themselves underwater for brief periods of time to catch aquatic prey.
Although nursery-web and fishing spiders resemble tarantulas, they are not closely related. Nursery-web and fishing spiders are closely related to wolf spiders.
Fishing spiders in other parts of the world can grow very large! Read about this one from South America:
"Guardian Spider" - Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) - Animalia Kingdom Show
Southern House Spider - Kukulcania hibernalis
The Southern House Spider is relatively large and has a distinctive flat, tangled web. It is common throughout Florida and much of the southern United States in human populated areas. Males of this species are often mistaken for the notorious brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, because of their colour and general shape. Southern house spiders are not known to have a dangerous bite. However, some cases reportedly caused the victims pain and swelling for a few days.
Handling a Kukulcania hibernalis, Southern House Spider
Daddy Long Legs -Pholcus phalangioides
People often confuse the Daddy Long Legs with the long-legged Harvestmen (Phalangium opili)which are also called Daddy Long Legs but if you look closely at the Harvestman you can see that its head, thorax and abdomen is fused, therefore it is not really a spider.Pholcus phalangioides is found world wide. Their webs are messy structures in corners where the spider resides on the lower side hanging downwards. Anything that touches the net is attacked and taken for prey if it's not too big. They feed on insects but are also known to invade other spider's webs and attack the original inhabitants. They then use their web to catch prey. Daddy Long Legs have a reputation for being the most venomous spider, probably because they have been know to kill Black Widows and Tegenaria species, however this has not been proven. Daddy-Long-Legs spiders have venom glands and tiny fangs and while commonly thought not to bite humans, have been reported as doing so.
Cellar spider -- Pholcus phalangioides
Funnel Weaver Spiders are often mistaken for Wolf Spiders but the Funnel Weavers construct large, flat, horizontal webs of non sticky silk and Wolf Spiders do not spin webs. The web contains a funnel at one end that serves as the spider’s retreat. The funnel is open at both ends so the spider can readily escape. The spider hides at the narrow end of the funnel; when it feels the vibration of an insect crossing the web, it dashes out, bites the insect, then carries it back to the funnel. Funnel Weavers and grass spiders are usually lighter in build than wolf spiders. Many common funnel weaver and grass spiders are also characterised by having very bristly legs. Most are brown, with grey, black, and tan markings. Some have banded legs and some have long spinnerets that extend out beneath the rear of the abdomen. They will only bite if provoked, and are not considered dangerous. Their bites are not known to be very toxic to humans.
Agelenopsis spp.(?) In Its Funnel Web
Other Spiders as a pet .. Introduction and keeping
Other Spiders as a pet .. Introduction and keeping
Due to the large number of spiders species and other arachnids .. moreover the new species discovered every year .. we will review only the most popular and wide spread spiders in the next few pages from Australia and the USA ..