Spider Identification – Types of Spiders

October 7, 2013 | By | 5 Replies More

Spider identification and knowing the types of spiders is not easy because there are many different types of spiders. In fact, there are thousands upon thousands different types of spiders in the world. They range from the very small up to those who are large enough to be the size of dinner plates.  So how do we do spider identification and how many types of spiders are out there? Before we go on to spider identification and discussing the types of spiders, we must first define what are spiders in the first place.

Types of Spiders – What are Spiders?

Spiders are arthropods which breathe air. They have eight legs and inject venom through their chelicerae. They are of the order Araneae and are the largest in the order of arachnids. In the world, they are seventh in the rank of total diversity of the species among all other organism groups. They have 109 families and 43,678 spider species as of 2008, and the number is still growing. Spiders are everywhere in the world except in the continent of Antartica and has been existing for over 300 million years.

types of spiders

Are Spiders Insects?

Spiders are not insects. They differ from other arthropods in their body structure. They do not have antennae like insects do. Their bodies are also fused into two segments, the abdomen and the cephalothorax. More so, they use hydraulic pressure to move their legs, since they do not have extensor muscles in their legs like insects do. It is important to be able to differentiate spiders from insects in order to be able to know how to do spider identification. Once you know that what you are faced with is a spider and not an insect, it is easier to talk about how to identify them and discuss the common types of spiders in existence.

Types of Spiders – How are Spiders Classified and Grouped?

Classifying spiders into types is not an easy task, because there are a lot of possible means of classifying or grouping them. They can be classified according to the type of web they have or whether they spin one or not, or they can also be classified in more technical terms based on taxonomy.

Types of Spiders According to Taxonomy

Spiders have two sub-orders, Opisthothelae which has two infra-orders, the Araneomorphae and the Mygalomorphae, and Mesothelae. Of them, it is the Araneomorphae which has the most number of living species at 40,000.

 

MESOTHELAE

MYGALOMORPHAE

ARANEOMORPHAE

Spinnerets Has 4 pairs which is located under the middle of the abdomen. May have 1, 2 or 3 pairs under the rear of the abdomen. May have 1, 2 or 3 pairs under the rear of the abdomen.
How the Fangs Strike Downwards and forwards. Downwards and forwards. Like pincers, which is from the side going to the center.
Common Examples -Kimura-gumo -Tarantulas-Trapdoor spiders-Australasian funnel-web spiders -Orb-web spiders-Wolf spiders-Jumping spiders

 

The above table only tackles the differences which is readily visible to the eye to make spider identification easier.

Spider Identification – Common House Spiders in America

Below is a table of the common house spiders found in the continent of America, particularly, North America to make spider identification of the different types of spiders easier for the common observer:

Name

Toxicity

Description

Where Commonly Found?

Additional Useful Information

American House Spider Venomous non-fatal bite -Males are smaller and with a darker coloration.-Have an elongated abdomen which is colored dirty white with some dark spots and sometimes with a black triangular shape in the center.-Body is colored yellow-brown. -Usually found in dark places like closets, barns, garage, crawl spaces, in between furnitures and angles of windowpanes.-Very common all over the United States. -They can play dead when threatened.-They have very poor vision.
Black Widow Toxic bite which is potentially fatal. Seek medical attention as soon as bitten. -Females are shiny and black. They also have a red hourglass shape on their abdomen-Males are often brown or dark gray. If they have an hourglass shape, it is usually color white or yellow, which makes spider identification a bit confusing. -Usually found in dark places like closets, barns, garage, inside shoes, crawl spaces, woodpiles, in between furnitures and angles of windowpanes.-Very common all over the United States. -Both males and females have strong venoms, but females have venom which is thrice as deadly compared to males.-They have the reputation of being one of the most deadly among the types of spiders.
Brown Recluse Toxic bite which is potentially fatal. Seek medical attention as soon as bitten. -Can be light colored to dark brown with a violin shape on their abdomen which is darker than the rest of their bodies.-Best spider identification feature is presence of 6 eyes which is arranged in pairs all over the head. Usually found behind pictures, in woodpiles, barns, cardboard boxes, and dressers.-They are fairly common in the middle of the United States, less common in the coastal states, and do not live in the northernmost states bordering Canada. -They are very reclusive and do not attack humans unless provoked.
Daddy Longlegs Non-toxic bite -Can range from pale yellow, to light brown and gray coloration.-They have a fused body appearing as one with no distinct head or abdomen.-Has very long thin legs which makes them easy to distinguish among other the types of spiders.  -Usually found in sheltered spaces like under the sink, closets, windows, ceilings, in between furnitures, and garage.-Very common all over the United States. -Are not real spiders but they do look like one so they are part of this spider identification chart of the types of spiders.-They have no silk glands, and have a fused body.-No proven study that they have venom although it is a common belief that they do.
Domestic House Spider Non-toxic bite -Can be dark orange to brown in color and have a pale colored mark on the breastplate.-The legs have dark bands which makes them look striped.-Has a V-shaped mark across the abdomen in a lengthwise arrangement.-The body is distinctively funnel-shaped. -Usually found in dark spaces and crevices like attics, basements, and closets.-Very common all over the United States. -They are usually confused with their relative the Hobo spider which is dangerous.-They can keep the population of more harmful spiders down because they are more competitive for food.
Hobo Spider Venomous non-fatal bite -Can be dark orange to brown in color and have a pale colored mark on the breastplate.-The legs have dark bands which makes them look striped.-Has a V-shaped mark across the abdomen in a lengthwise arrangement.-The body is distinctively funnel-shaped.

-It looks like the Domestic House Spider but the Hobo has a light colored stripe that runs down the middle of its sternum, making this a characteristic mark for Hobo spider identification.

-Usually found in rarely disturbed places like the cupboards, behind furnitures, garage, basements, and attics.-Fairly common in the west coast, particularly the southern part. It is absent in the east coast though. -They are actually very common in Europe and were only just imported in the United States around the 1930s.
Jumping Spider Non-toxic bite -Can come in a variety of colors and sizes.-Distinctive by their jumping behavior.-Has 8 eyes that are arranged in two rows of four each, a hallmark for spider identification among types of spiders. -Usually found in folds of drapery and curtains, in sheets, in between books, and underside of molding and doors.-Very common all over the United States. -They can use their silk to build tents and shelter for themselves especially for winter, a distinct characteristic which can also be used for spider identification.-They also use their silk to build cases for their eggs and they attach it to sheltered spaces.
Yellow Sac Spider Venomous non-fatal bite -Can come in usually pale colors ranging from yellow to beige.-Spider identification can be by its distinctively long two front legs and all legs have tips which are darker than the rest of its coloring. -Usually found in undisturbed places like cupboards, back of furniture, under baseboards, in ceilings, and woodpiles.-Very common all over the United States. -They can be difficult to see because if their pale coloring compared to the rest of the types of spiders.
Wolf Spiders Venomous non-fatal bite -Can come in a variety of colors and sizes.-The very distinctive characteristic is the female carries its egg sac and when the baby spiders hatch, the female wolf spider carries them on its back, making spider identification with this type very easy if you spot a female. -Usually found in the ground, like in gardens and wooded areas.-Can sometimes wander into the home.-Can be found all over the United States. -Wolf spiders is the only one among the types of spiders that carries its young on its back.

 

This article is only meant to educate and help the public know more about spider identification and the different types of spiders. Though the list is not 100% complete, due to the fact that there are over 40,000 species of spiders, the facts included here are 100% accurate to date.

Spider identification and knowing the various types of spiders may not be easy, but it can be made easier by knowing which marks to look out for to make spider identification a breeze and mastering the common types of spiders more hassle-free.

Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe against spiders are easier if you know how to properly do spider identification and know which types of spiders are actually dangerous.

types of spiders

Category: Basics

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