Spiders have always been interesting critters. From being able to weave their own homes, be adaptive in different situations, and just generally self-sufficing, they are one of the more underrated species that need attention. But did you know that there are different types of spiders? Some are venomous and some are not. Some look like spiders while some look like something else.
Whatever the reason is behind your interest with spiders, in this post, we shall cover some of the most common types. We shall also run down some notable FAQs if you intend to continue your interest with spiders.
Before getting straight with the type of spiders, here are some fun spider facts that you need to know first.
- Spiders are arachnids and not insects.
- Spiders are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica.
- There are at least 38,000 species of spiders around the world.
- Spider silk really comes off as a liquid substance but it hardens as soon as it comes in contact with air.
- Spiders can make up to seven types of silk.
- All spiders are nearsighted.
- When adjusted in terms of weight, spider silk is noted to be harder than steel.
- Tarantulas can shoot barbed hair to deter attackers. This hair is especially dangerous when it comes in contact with the eyes.
- Spiders eat more insects compared to bats and birds.
- The trapdoor spider is considered as living fossils because of their uncanny resemblance with the ancient spiders which lived 300 million years ago.
- Spiders do not have teeth and cannot chew. They digest their food instead, through digestive juices.
- In ancient medicine, spider webs are used in treating wounds to stop bleeding. Modern medicine affirmed that indeed, spider webs contain lots of Vitamin K and are a good coagulant to stop bleeding.
Anatomy of a spider
The most prominent identifier of a spider would be its two sections. The first section is composed of the head and the thorax. These two sections have the eyes, the legs, and the mouthparts, and when fused together are collectively called the cephalothorax.
The second section is the abdomen where the spinnerets (the silk spinning organ) and the trachea and reproductive system are found. These two sections are joined by the waist.
The cephalothorax is covered by a hard shell, with a striking resemblance as that of crab. The abdomen, on the other hand, is made of a softer cuticle which is necessary for the digestive system to expand when they are feeding and when their eggs are developing. The waist is also flexible enough for movement, most especially during silk spinning and when mating.
Types of spiders
Chances are, we only know of the black or brown spiders lurking around the room every now and then, not knowing that they come from different spider families. To give you a clue as to how diverse spiders are, here are the most common types of spiders out there.
1. American House Spiders (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)
This one is the most common type of house spider. They are known for their messy cobwebs and the equally messy way of catching their prey.
They are generally small in size and are majorly brown although there are black species that resemble black widows. Other distinguishing characteristics of this spider would be the yellow/orange rings in their legs.
This type of house spider is extensively found in Oregon, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, and Washington. The good thing about this spider is that they rarely bite.
2. Black widow Spiders (Latrodectus mactans)
This one is considered as one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. The female black widow is extra dangerous given its large venom glands that can cause extreme pain and even death.
Female black widows are identified for their super dark bodies and red small spots. The males on the other hand are yellow.
These spiders thrive in warmer regions of the US, Canada and Mexico. When temperature drops, they tend to retreat to the comfort of their homes.
They are good weavers and they kill their prey in their sticky webs. They basically paralyze them with their venom, lurking on top before attacking.
3. Brazilian Wandering Spiders (Phoneutria nigriventer)
This one is considered as the deadliest spider in the world, although contested by the reputation of the black widow. As the name implies, their habitats range around Paraguay, Columbia, Peru and Costa Rica, among others.
This spider loves camouflaging itself along banana leaves. As a matter of fact, it is said that they have been transported around the world via banana crates.
These spiders are very territorial and as such, can become hostile and aggressive over mates and territories.
4. Brown Recluse Spiders (Loxosceles reclusa)
This one is also known as the violin spider, because its body is violin shaped. It only has six sets of eyes instead of eight and comes not only in brown shades but also in cream, gray and white (the colors depend on their location).
They are hairy and they love niching on untouched and undisturbed parts of the home. In terms of behavior, the violin spider is a pro at camouflaging.
They build their own webs, usually preying on roaches and crickets. They can be aggressive and have the tendency to bite humans when threatened. They inject venom which can cause allergic reactions to humans.
5. Camel Spiders/Sun spiders (Solifugae)
This one is also known as the wind scorpion. There are still debates regarding their identity because they may look like spiders but they behave like scorpions.
They are longer by 3-6-inches compared to other spiders. They are also big-eyed and come in gray, black, brown, and even bluish tones.
Male camel spiders are way smaller than the females. So much so that they are often confused for baby spiders. Camel spiders are found in dark and secluded places.
They are also the fastest spiders as they could run for 10 miles an hour. They feed on smaller insects, both living or dead, and can store fat so they can survive for weeks even without food.
6. Domestic house spiders (Tegenaria domestic)
This one also goes by the name barn spider or the common house spider. They are very common in homes and buildings, sporting brown colors and white speckles.
The most common sightings of domestic house spiders happen during the warm season because it is also their mating season.
This type of spider could live for at least seven years. Aside from their webs, they also spin sacs and hang them in the orbit of their webs. This is where the eggs are laid and hatched.
7. Golden Silk Spiders (Trichonephila clavipes)
This one is also known as the giant wood spider or the banana spider. It gets its name for its golden silk weaved on a zigzag pattern. They come in hues of green, red, black and brown. They also have white spots by the legs and abdomen.
They thrive in tropical climates. Their native land is Madagascar and Australia although they are also endemic around Texas and North Carolina.
Like the hobos, this type of spider has poor sight. Their favorite prey would be flies, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers and mosquitoes. They are biters but rarely on humans. Nonetheless, one bite could lead to painful blisters.
8. Goliath Birdeater Spiders (Theraphosa blondi)
This one is considered as the biggest type of spider in the world, hence, the name. It is a part of the tarantula family with a leg span of 1-ft.
The name birdeater was ascribed to it after it was spotted feeding on a hummingbird in the desert. They are native to South America, burrowing in soils and where they capture their prey.
They are very territorial, aggressive, and tend to have a fighting streak when they start being hostile. When they are hostile, they produce hissing sounds. When they bite, their venom could cause painful blisters and allergic reactions.
9. Grass spiders (Agelenopsis spp.)
This one is a garden spider identifiable for its white markings running on the length of the body and its distinct bands around the legs.
They are usually found in lawns and other grassy areas, hence, the name. As harmless as they may look, they have a venomous bite that is fatal for animals and other insects but is completely harmless for humans.
They are considered as beneficial arachnids because they help in reducing mite populations around your vicinity. They can also help generally, in reducing the infestation of harmful insects in the area. Hence, it is recommended that they should not be killed.
10. Hobo Spider/Funnelweaver Spiders (Tegenaria agrestis)
This one is comparable to the Black Widow in terms of hostility and dangerousness. They are usually just brown and black, but identifiable for the V-mark by their abdomens.
The hobo spider is native to Europe. By the 1930s, it became endemic in the US, specifically in Seattle.
It is known for being an excellent hider so it would be rare to see one. They are also notable for the funnel-shaped web that they create. They have poor vision so it makes sense that they burrow on the ground. Their diet revolves around beetles, flies, roaches and silverfish.
11. Huntsman Spiders (family: Sparassidae)
This one gets their name for being speedy hunters. They look like crabs at first glance but are quite big so they are also named the giant crab spiders.
Some species of huntsman spiders are also interesting because of their unique way of moving. They are hairy, sports long legs, and are beige in color. They also have unique, dark patterns in their bodies.
They are endemic in North America although their native habitats would be warmer regions. Outdoors, they are found under rocks or in flaking tree barks. They are usually non-toxic and non-aggressive. The only time they exhibit hostility is when they have just laid eggs.
12. Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)
This one is probably one of the biggest spider families with more than 5000 recognized species under its hold.
As a matter of fact, 13% of all known spiders in the world are categorized as jumping spiders. Their most identifiable feature would be having four sets of eyes, lined in one row.
As the term suggests, they have the capacity to jump vertically high with the help of their silk. They also jump around during the daytime to search for food.
In the wild, they are found in grasslands, woodlands, and forests. No known toxicity is associated with their bite. Their survival is bound to the stability of their shelter and a stable supply of food.
13. Long-Bodied Cellar Spiders (Pholcus phalangioides)
It is also sometimes referred to as daddy long legs (this should not be mistaken with the true daddy long legs).
This one sports the typical two-body sections and eight sets of eyes of spiders. They often build their nests in basements, garages, crawl spaces, and other dark spaces in the home.
In terms of color, they range from light brown, tan, beige or gray. As the name suggests, they have long, thin, legs (of at least 6-inches). Their bodies are rounded and small. They are one of the more harmless spiders since they do not have venoms.
14. Orb weaver spiders
This is one of the most colorful spiders one can find in the garden. Also, they spin one of the most interesting webs on account of their spherical shape.
Since all spiders that spin spherical webs are considered orb spiders, one can say that there are hundreds of species under this type. Nonetheless, they are usually oval-shaped, with black and white marks, and dark red spikes. They also have small globular heads.
Unlike the other territorial and hostile spiders, they are completely harmless. They just chill around flowers, or take a niche in trees, looking for smaller insects to prey on. They are not also venomous, and are not that very shy with company.
15. Redback Spiders (Latrodectus hasselti)
This is also called the Australian black widow because of its bulbous body and red spots. Nonetheless, they are way smaller than the black widow so they are easy to identify. It is also important to mention that this one is also considered as a highly poisonous spider.
It is so venomous that its venom is extracted in Australia for anti-venom antidotes. They live around grasslands, rocky terrains and mountains. They have good eyesight, are very agile and grow at just 10mm.
16. Sac Spiders (Families Clubionidae)
This one is a collective term for spiders within the Clubionidae, Corinnidae and Eutichuridae family. The most notable species of sac spiders would be the yellow sac spider. Small as they are, they are hard biters.
When they are threatened, disturbed, or suddenly get caught in clothing, their response is most of the time, biting.
They are warm weather spiders and they will surely take refuge in homes as soon as the temperature drops. Compared to house spiders, they have green and yellow colors so they are very easy to identify. They get their name from spinning sac like webs in the room’s corners.
This one is popular for being a killer spider. It is big and hairy, and it is also known as the baboon spider, native to Africa and other tropical regions.
They exhibit sexual dimorphism as the males are only 8-inches long while females are at 12-inches. They can come in shades of brown and black, with occasional streaks of orange, yellow or white stripes.
Some keep them as house pets but really, they can be dangerous. They do not have webs and they do not even know how to weave their own silk. They are generally harmless and behaved until they are disturbed.
They can also be extra aggressive when they see their mate with another tarantula. You should start running once they hiss or put their legs up high. They inject deadly venom when they bite.
18. White Spiders
It is also called the flower crab spider. Aside from their unusual white color, they also get their name from the way they hold their legs.
One of the most identifiable behaviors of white spiders would be their changing colors depending on the flowers they are perched in. They are found extensively in North America. They are also the best in camouflaging themselves to lull their prey.
19. Wolf Spiders (Family Lycosidae)
This is another fast-moving spider known for their muscular legs, and their faces that look like a wolf. They also have flexible abdomens that allows them to gobble up larger insects.
They have eight sets of eyes and their body size as well as the color depends on their location. Nonetheless, they are usually found in North Carolina, endemic in coastal locations, pastures, grasslands, and the suburbs.
They dig and live in burrows. They are intelligent spider types since they usually put doors to trap their prey. They also add small stones in the burrows for complete entrapment. They thrive in harsh climates but they would retreat in homes when it starts to get cold.
20. Yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium inclusum)
As have been said, it is one of the most popular sac spider species out there. The most interesting thing about this spider is that they build a tent-like structure out of their silk.
They hide themselves in this structure when predators are around during the day and break out from them for hunting at night.
They are identifiable for their yellow to orange color and the dark V marking on their bodies. They are not usually human biters but when they do, the venom is said to be fatal for people with autoimmune diseases or those generally, with compromised immune systems.
Some people have developed a phobia for spiders and some just do not want them around because they are not a good sight to see. In preventing spiders from niching in your home, here are some prevention tips that you should put in mind.
When cleaning, always start outside
Not giving spiders an access to the home is the best measure to prevent them. For this, you have to seal all cracks and crevices and clean around vents, pipes, windows, and doors. Fill all entry points with caulk and then make the surroundings leaf, dirt, and debris-free.
Spray pesticides in the crevices
Pesticides become very effective when they come in close contact with the spiders. Hence, you need to spray them in their entry points if you want to kill spiders on point. You can also make your own anti-spider spray using the following ingredients:
- One cup of apple cider vinegar
- One cup of pepper
- One tsp of oil/essential oil
- One tsp of liquid dish soap
Use essential oils
If you want a safer and more natural spider prevention, use essential oils. There are specific scents that repel spiders and these include:
For an instant effect, pour the essential oil in a diffuser. This also allows for an even distribution of the scent at home.
Take away their food source
The reason why they are niching in your home is because your living spaces are giving them a stable food supply. This means that you have small insects around like mites, mosquitoes, and more.
Hence, it would be understandable to eliminate these insects first before the spiders. As a matter of fact, once their food source is gone, they would independently move out of your house.
Get a pet
This may sound gross but your cats, dogs, and some reptile pets can be good in eliminating spiders because they eat them. So, if you are looking for an instant solution to curb the number of spiders at home, a house pet would suffice.
Related: Top 7 Plants That Repel Spiders
Of course, there are other things that we should cover when it comes to the types of spiders. In this section, we look at some of the FAQs surrounding spiders.
What is the world’s deadliest spider?
It is the funnel-web spider. It is said that the venom of this spider contains 40 different types of toxic proteins. This could kill humans in just a matter of minutes.
Specifically, the most venomous spider and the most toxic to humans would be the male Sydney funnel-web spider. They are native to Sydney. They bite when they are cornered or when they feel threatened or disturbed. When they bite, they discharge a considerable amount of venom which is fatal to primates and humans.
Where do spiders live in your house?
A full inspection of the house is daunting if the only purpose you have in mind is to inspect where the spiders are hiding. To help you with that, here are the following spaces in the home where spiders are most probably niching in.
- Under furniture.
- Under the sink.
- Around the clutter.
- Old cardboard boxes, books, clothes, etc.
- Rocks and woodpiles
- Under the door’s frame
- Sheds and barns
- Ceiling corners
- Well-lit spaces
- Cracks, holes and crevices
- Wall decorations
- In the garden
Are spiders insects?
No. They are categorized as arachnids. However, it shares a lot of similarities with insects. For one, insects and spiders are both invertebrates and both have an exoskeleton.
Perhaps, their main difference would be the fact that insects only have six legs while spiders have eight, insects have two compound eyes while spiders have eight sets of eyes, insects have three body segments while spiders only have two. Most of all, insects have wings and they have antennae.
What does it mean spiritually when you see spiders?
Being master weavers and having been around for millions of years, the significance of the spider in the realm of spirituality is noted. At best, spiders represent birth, growth, evolution and spiritual transformation. They also represent the inspiring process of creativity and the need to move forward.
When you see a spider, it means that you have to re-evaluate your present experiences and connect them to your past and future. Spiders manifest seamlessness and order, and seeing one could mean that you need a sense of order in your life.
What are the most common house spiders?
On their own, house spiders already have hundreds of species. But aside from them, the most common spiders that you can see in the home would be the wolf spider, brown recluse spider, yellow sac spider, grass spider, and the daddy long legs spider.
Note that the yellow sac spider is a biter and quite venomous so it is important that you know how to identify them from the rest.
How many different types of spiders are there?
As of writing, there are at least 45,000 recognized species of spiders out there. The interesting thing about this figure is that it is extremely volatile. It changes almost every year. As a matter of fact, another spider species was discovered last September 2020 around the Pacific coast.
How many types of spider webs are there?
Some say seven while others say five. We stick to five. Here are the different types of spider webs spun by different spider types:
- Funnel webs
- Sheet webs
- Triangle webs
- Orb webs
Can spiders remember you?
This is quite a valid question since spiders can also bite humans. And since we do not usually know which ones are venomous and which ones are harmless, it would be comforting to know that spiders cannot remember people.
Aside from having poor eyesight, they also have poor memory. These deficits, however, are compensated by their agility and spatial awareness.
Do spiders really crawl on you at night?
We have heard this as kids to frighten us so that we would go to sleep. But the answer is no. This belief is entirely a myth. Spiders are very shy and they are afraid of any living thing that is larger than them. They attack face to face when disturbed or threatened and rarely crawl on you at night.
What happens if you squish a spider?
This is not general knowledge so you should know that when you squish a spider, the contents of its digestive organ can cause excruciating pain and swelling to sensitive body parts. If the force to squish is very compelling, just make sure that the spider’s stomach does not splatter around.
What tarantula spiders are good as pets?
Yes, the reputation of the tarantula is lying at both extremes but they are also known as good house pets too. Of all tarantula species, the most notable for beginners would be: Mexican red leg, Costa Rican Zebra, Brazilian black tarantula and the Chilean rose.
Why are tarantulas and frogs kept at the same time?
There is a very interesting bond between tarantulas and frogs. They exhibit a form of mutualism since the tarantula offers the frog protection against its predators and to safely eat its prey.
In return, the frog protects the eggs of the tarantula thanks to its foraging skills. This is the primary reason as to why the frog and the tarantula are inseparable in the wild. This is also the reason why they should be together in a dry aquarium even when the tarantula is kept as a house pet.
Spiders are very interesting critters. Aside from their ecological role, they also represent symbolic and spiritual meanings. Having been around for millions of years, they have truly evolved into a whole family on their own. Although we did not cover all 38,000 spider species in this post, the list already sums up how different spiders are even though they generally look the same.
Seeing a spider in the home is inevitable. It could mean that you have given them a stable food supply or safe and warm refuge when the temperature drops. If you do not want them around, there are a lot of ways to prevent them from coming in. But at the center of it would be to bar all access points in the home.