10 Types of Spiders Found In the Garden or Home Around the World

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by Max - last update on May 27, 2020, 8:49 am
Types of Spiders

There are almost 50,000 different species of spiders, which are found on every continent across the globe except for Antarctica. They all belong to the order of Araneae in the class of Arachnida. Some of the spiders you might encounter in your garden or home and want to identify can be found in this list of types of spiders.

10 Types of Spiders

1. Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa

Family: Sicariidae

These spiders are indigenous to the United States, where they are well established in fifteen states. These states are Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Iowa. These spiders have also been spotted in other states, including Florida and California, but they are not prevalent in these areas. They prefer to live in warm and dry environments, and typically inhabit small spaces underneath rocks or fallen trees. They can be found in homes, where they tend to hide out in the gaps between walls, in small cracks, or amongst storage.

Brown recluse spiders are one of three spiders prevalent in North America who have medically significant venom. Their venom is known as 'necrotic,' which means that it damages skin tissue upon injection and typically leads to lesions or blisters. These lesions tend to appear around seven hours following the bite and can range in size from an inch across, up to eight inches. Common reactions include nausea, rash, chills, fever, and bloody urine. A bite from this type of spider can require medical attention, but they are not usually fatal. These bites can be slow to heal, taking anywhere from six weeks up to a year to fully heal, with the length of time depending on the severity of the bite.

These spiders, as their name suggests, are brown in color, though the shade of brown can vary, which sometimes causes confusion when trying to identify a spider, as these spiders can sometimes appear grayer. They have six eyes, in three sets, compared to the eight eyes that most spiders have. They take the shape of a violin, which has earned them the nickname of 'violin spider.' Mature adults can measure up to 0.8 inches long. They have small bodies and long, angular legs. Females and males are similar in appearance and difficult to distinguish. The spiders mate during summer, after which the female will lay between twenty and fifty eggs in a sac. Female brown recluse spiders will produce between two and five sets of these young during their lifetime (Penn State University- Department of Entomology).


2. Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Scientific Name: Hogna carolinensis, Tigrosa aspersa, and others

Family: Lycosidae

Wolf spiders are a group of spiders that encompass approximately 240 different species known within the United States. Some of the most commonly found wolf spiders include Hogna carolinensis and Tigrosa aspersa, which are also some of the largest known wolf spiders. These spiders have one of the most diverse distribution habits of all spiders and are found across the world. They enjoy protected habitats such as gaps between siding or spaces under stones and wood. They also create their own homes by digging holes or tunnels in the soil, and they will cleverly create trapdoors on their tunnels to trap prey or fill entryways with pebbles to prevent rain from seeping in.

During colder months, they tend to head for warmer spots such as garages and sheds. They are predatory spiders and usually only emerge from their home at night to find prey. They like to eat crickets and flies, and in some regions such as North Carolina, they play an important role in the fields of crops by keeping control of insect populations. Wolf spiders mate in winter, and then the female will carry the sac of eggs on her back until the young hatch the following year in early summer.

These spiders are called 'wolf spiders' because their faces resemble wolves when viewed in close proximity. The female spiders measure the most, typically at a little over an inch, while adult males usually measure between half an inch and three-quarters of an inch. Different species have slightly different looks, with some having a dorsal stripe on the body, and some having yellow hairs. Most wolf spiders are brown in color but can have various markings or different colored small hairs. They all have eight eyes, usually over three rows.

Wolf spiders can and will bite, and though the site of the bite might be initially painful, it is relatively harmless and will not usually require medical treatment. Pain from a wolf spider bite will not typically last more than 24 hours.


3. Tarantula

Tarantula

Scientific Name: Theraphosa apophysis, Theraphosa blondi, and more

Family: Theraphosidae

Tarantulas are a group of spiders, which are large and covered in hair-like setae. This group includes around 1000 different species of spiders, which were first discovered in Italy, but are distributed around the world, in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They prefer warm climates, and so are typically found in the warmer states in the US.

All tarantula spiders are venomous, but it is usually only harmful to prey. Tarantulas are zealous predators and almost make a sport out of killing animals that are larger than them. They inject venom into animals such as birds and lizards, which can take effect immediately or take several hours to kill them. Their venom is not usually harmful to humans, and the tarantulas found in the United States tend to have milder venom than other species of tarantula. However, a tarantula bite can hurt and may need topical over the counter treatment, but a visit to a medical clinic is not usually required.

Tarantulas are actually quite timid spiders, and will not usually bite unless they are cornered. The only time these spiders otherwise become aggressive is when females are carrying their young. After mating, they carry their sacs of eggs around and become obsessed with protecting them. This is the most common time for a person to become the victim of a tarantula bite.

Tarantulas are large spiders, though they range in size between different species. Female tarantulas are the biggest, with a maximum size of around twelve inches long. The males are smaller, usually with a mature size of around eight inches. They are easy to distinguish from other types of spiders, thanks to their chunky bodies coated in a hair-like growth and their striped legs. They are usually shades of brown, black, and gray.


4. Hobo Spider

Hobo Spider

Scientific Name: Eratigena agrestis

Family: Agelenidae

This spider is thought to originate from Europe, but it is now also widely distributed across Asia and parts of North America. It mainly lives in fields and pastures, steering clear of manmade structures because of the prevalence of its competitor, the giant house spider. Because of this, hobo spiders are rarely seen by humans.

Though these spiders are renowned for their aggression when it comes to hunting prey, they are not known for being aggressive towards humans, and instead prefer to hide from them or run away. Because of this, a bite from a hobo spider is uncommon, and they will typically only bite a human if stuck in their clothing or trapped against their skin. These bites can be painful, and there is a lot of debate about how dangerous they are. They are not known to be fatal, and they are not listed by the CDC as a venomous spider; however, there is conflicting evidence to support this, and you may wish to seek medical attention if you receive a bite from this spider.

Hobo spiders are quite plain in terms of colors and marking, and they do not have distinctive banding like many other spiders. This is helpful in identifying them. They are typically medium to light brown in color, with dark 'v' shapes on their bodies.

To feed, hobo spiders create funnel-shaped webs to catch their prey. They aren't good at climbing, so they make the most of prey they can find on the ground, such as flies, beetles, and cockroaches. These are generally solitary spiders which only come out to mate. They mate during warm seasons, after which the male will die. The female will also subsequently die after laying her eggs, which is why hobo spiders have a relatively short lifespan of one to three years. Females become very aggressive when looking after their egg sacs, and it is in this instance that they will bite humans as a means of protecting their young, rather than retreating as they usually would.


5. Black Widow Spider

Black Widow Spider

Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans, Latrodectus hesperus, Latrodectus variolus, and many more

Family: Theridiidae

Black widow spiders are a group of spiders which are renowned as some of the most dangerous types of spiders in the world, due to their very large venom glands. There are many types of black widow spiders, including the Southern black widow, European black widow, Northern black widow, and Western black widow. These are widely distributed across the globe, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. They prefer warm climates and can be found in the warmer regions of the United States and Canada, most notably the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Due to their penchant for warmth, these spiders will often find their way into homes as they search for a cozy climate during winter. This is the time when people are most at risk of finding a black widow spider.

Bites from a black widow spider are usually very painful, due to the sheer amount of venom they expel. Their venom contains latrotoxin, which causes symptoms in humans, such as sweating, vomiting, and rigid muscles. A bite from a black widow spider may require medical attention, but it is very rarely fatal, in spite of their reputation. Although these spiders inspire fear in many people, they are actually known to have a timid nature when it comes to humans. They are not aggressive and will not seek to bite humans unless they perceive that they are in danger. Some studies also suggest that they bite fingers because they have very poor vision, and they mistake human fingers for prey.

These spiders make incredible webs, with silk that is known to be stronger than steel. They make elaborate webs to trap their prey, and then inject them with venom to kill them and prevent them from escaping. They rely on vibrations to signal to them when a creature has visited their web, due to their poor vision. Their diet mostly consists of beetles, insects, and other spiders. They aren't terribly fussy about what they eat, but they do like to maintain a clean web, so they thoroughly clean their web after capture and feeding, or spin a new one.

Black widow spiders are usually easy to identify. The females are entirely black in color, except for red or orange markings on their backs. The male is also black, with similar markings, but in yellow. The females are the largest of the two, usually at double the size of the males, and it is the females who present the biggest danger to humans. For this reason, if you ever encounter a black spider with red markings, you should regard it with caution, in case it is a female black widow spider.

They also present a certain amount of danger to their fellow males, as they are sometimes known to kill the male black widow after mating. The cause of this is uncertain, and nobody really knows why this sometimes does and sometimes does not happen, though it is suggested that sexual cannibalism is a means of ensuring the survival of their young. In order to avoid death, male black widow spiders select their mates based on whether they have already recently eaten, to increase their chances of not being eaten themselves. This unusual behavior is where the name 'widow spider' comes from.


6. Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Scientific Name: Nephila sp.

Family: Araneidae

These spiders, also commonly known as banana spiders, giant wood spiders, and orbweavers, belong to the genus of Nephila, and include eleven different species. They are found in warm yet moist regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. In the United States, they can be found from North Carolina through to Texas. These types of climates are preferred as they are conducive to their hatching of spiderlings. They gained their name of 'golden silk spider' from the silk they spin for their webs, which is gold in color, unlike that produced by any other type of spider. These spiders can also alter the pigment of their silk to camouflage with their surroundings. They spin unusual webs with a zigzag effect and start them over from scratch every day. They catch small prey in their webs, such as moths, flies, and grasshoppers.

Golden silk spiders have a yellow-green or brown-red color. Their legs have white stripes, and their bodies also have white markings. Visually, they resemble lots of other spiders, so it can be difficult to identify correctly. In terms of size, females are quite large, with adults typically measuring around two inches long. Males are commonly half the size of the female, and they have to be careful around the females; otherwise, they may get eaten. Females are notoriously aggressive, and males have to wait until the females have molted to begin mating, as this makes them more receptive to the males. The males will have to keep the females happy with mating rituals, such as dancing. If the male does a poor job of delighting the female, he is liked to be killed and eaten. The females themselves also come to an unfortunate end, as they usually only live for four weeks after molting. This means their young will be born alone, and have to learn how to survive without a protector or teacher. For this reason, golden silk spiderlings have a very low survival rate.

These spiders do not present a significant danger to humans. Their venom is effective in killing prey, but the spiders produce such small amounts that it is unlikely to have a large effect on humans. The bite can cause significant pain and potentially blister, but medical treatment would not ordinarily be necessary. Bites from golden silk spiders are unusual, as they are not aggressive towards humans unless they are provoked. They are more likely to run and hide upon encountering a human.


7. Redback Spider

Redback Spider

Scientific Name: Latrodectus hasseltii

Family: Theridiidae

This spider belongs to the same family as the black widow spider and has much in common with it. It originates from Australia, where it is widespread and is considered to be one of the most dangerous spiders in existence. Examples of this spider have also been found in New Zealand, Japan, England, and Iran. They enjoy hot climates and are able to survive even in very harsh and dry conditions, such as deserts. Unusually, they are often found living in close proximity to humans in urban areas. They are commonly found on the underside of toilet seats, in garbage bins, in letterboxes, and under rocks or logs.

The female redback spider is significantly more dangerous than males due to her size. Females are typically double the size of males, with a mature length of under an inch. They have round black bodies with red or orange markings on their backs, while the males are light brown with white markings on their bodies. Juvenile females are known to be just as dangerous as their mature counterparts, and these can be identified with their black or gray bodies, which have white markings.

In Australia, it is estimated that humans suffer from between 2,000 and 10,000 redback spider bites each year, with females being responsible for the vast majority of these. Bites can be painful and are followed by symptoms, including sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, and chest pain. Symptoms may resolve over the course of 24 hours, or if severe, can last many months. Medical treatment may be required if the pain associated with the bite does not ease with an ice pack or pain medication. Most bites occur during the warmer times of the year, and although these spiders have a reputation for being dangerous, they are actually not especially aggressive when it comes to humans. They rarely leave their webs, and so bites are usually the result of redback spiders being inadvertently disturbed, for example, if you put your hand into a letterbox without realizing the spider is living in there.

Female redback spiders have a longer life expectancy than males. Males usually survive for around six months, compared to the females' three years. Males' short lifespan is down to their mating rituals, which ultimately end in their death in one of two ways. Sometimes the female will eat them after mating, and in fact, male redback spiders are one of only two animals who are known to assist in this process of sexual cannibalism. They do this by placing their bodies on the female's mouthparts during mating, and in most cases, the female will then eat the male while mating continues. In instances where the male does not get eaten, it will die of injuries sustained during mating shortly afterward.


8. Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Scientific Name: Over 6000 species

Family: Salticidae

This is a group of spiders which includes over 6000 species. They are easily identifiable due to their eyes, which are arranged in four sets of two, and are known for having much better vision than most other spiders. Male spiders are smaller than females and have more colorful bodies. It is thought that this is to attract females to them for mating.

Jumping spiders enjoy a wide variety of habitats and are found across the globe, with the exception of Antarctica. They gain their name from the fact that they are able to jump a distance up to 50 times their size. They are neither timid nor aggressive, but instead are curious and so may not run away when they encounter humans. Their bites are not dangerous but could cause allergic reactions in some people.

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