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I noticed a really huge, beautiful web on my porch last week, and tonight, I discovered its resident. I'm thinking it's an Araneus diadematus (Cross Orbweaver), but I was hoping for some confirmation.
Can anyone confirm this or offer a better suggestion?
This is very likely an araneid (or Orb-weaver spider) in the family Araneidae.
Without further evidence, it's hard to narrow down to a species.
Neoscona crucifera (Hentz orbweaver, spotted orbweaver or barn spider)
Source: Will Cook 2001
- Relatively variable in color (and sometimes pattern), but is usually rusty-red or golden orange color.
- This site suggests females are reddish-brown to brown and males are lighter brown with the sides of the carapace nearly black.
- Dorsal abdomen is brown and hairy; abdomen underside = black, with two white spots
- The epithet crucifera refers to the cross-like pattern on their back
- Legs have alternating light and dark brown bands.
- Relatively variable in color (and sometimes pattern), but is usually rusty-red or golden orange color.
- Size: females = 9.5-19 mm long; males = somewhat smaller
- Web: very large (up to 0.61 m diameter) and often on buildings and other man-made structures
- Range: Eastern/Central USA + Mexico
According to Will Cook,
Several other species of Neoscona are confusingly similar...Other species usually have a bolder pattern.
We can rule out Neoscona domiciliorum because Illinois is west of its range and the colroation is different. [Source].
Spider Identification Illinois - Biology
Goals of the Project
Dr. Ken Cramer at Monmouth College is continuing a long-term project to determine the distribution of the brown recluse spider in northern Illinois and southern Iowa. Because of the medical importance of the spider, we hope a more precise understanding of their distribution will help professionals and the public avoid misdiagnoses and misidentifications. A second goal of the project is to provide accurate, up-to-date scientifically verified information on the brown recluse spider. The navigation bar at left offers general information on brown recluses that may be of interest to the general public. Dr. Cramer is an arachnologist (a scientist who studies spiders), not a physician and he does not offer diagnoses of skin lesions or other medical conditions (see "Bite Diagnoses").
The natural northern distribution limit of brown recluses occurs in central Illinois (see “Map – Where Are They?” on the navigation bar at left) and southern or central Iowa. A few isolated brown recluse specimens have been recorded from the greater Chicago metropolitan area and southern Wisconsin. Only a handful of localities in Chicago (single buildings) have confirmed recluse spiders in the past 5 years. If you suspect you have brown recluses after reviewing the photos on this web page, please send me a specimen for verification. To more precisely document where the brown recluse lives in northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and southern Iowa, we are requesting the participation of as many interested parties as possible to send us spiders for identification.
H elp with our study
We want your spiders! We are especially interested in spiders collected in the Illinois/Iowa area. If you live in Illinois, we are soliciting spiders collected in northern Illinois, particularly north of highway I-70, or north of a line running East-West through East St. Louis. If you live anywhere in Iowa, we want your house spiders. This study is ongoing -- if you encounter this web site, we still want your spiders. If you live outside of Illinois or Iowa and think you might have a brown recluse, feel free to send me your spider and I will identify it for you. If you live in Indiana or Ohio, visit this page and support Brian Foster's project documenting the distribution of recluses in those states : http://www.indstate.edu/biology/BrownRecluseProject.htm. Please send any spiders (more on mailing spiders) for this study to Dr. Cramer at the address below:
Dr. Ken Cramer
Brown Recluse ID Project
Dept. of Biology
Monmouth, IL 61462
Biologists say wolf spiders have a wider range of personality than once believed
UC is helping to turn wolf spiders into a model organism to study disease or environmental issues to benefit people. Credit: University of Cincinnati
Charming might not be the best way to describe a spider, but researchers at the University of Cincinnati are finding a wide spectrum of personality in a creature whose behavior was thought to be inflexible and hardwired in its genes.
UC biology professor George Uetz has dedicated his career to the study of spiders, wolf spiders in particular. Spiders are simpler in neurophysiology than mice or other vertebrates, so their behavior should be determined more by DNA than any quirkiness among individuals.
But Uetz said spiders have more charisma than he ever imagined.
"There's a lot of variability in the individual," he said. "Some of that that arises from experience, just as in more complex animals."
More than 200 species of wolf spiders live in the United States. As their name implies, they stalk their prey on the forest floor and in dry creek beds. They are lone wolves, living and hunting on their own except for mating encounters, which are the subject of two studies this year by UC graduate students.
One UC student, Emily Pickett, examined two closely related species that look alike and share habitat. While the two spiders can interbreed, it's rare in the wild. Pickett found that their unique courtship behavior helps maintain their genetic isolation. One spider, Schizocosa ocreata, could woo females over a greater distance than the other, Schizocosa rovneri, by employing a combination of vibrations and visual signals unique to the species.
"We hypothesized that the two species diverged relatively recently. This gives us good insights into the modification of species—how one species develops into another," Pickett said.
Since spiders don't hear the way we do, they rely on vibrations, chemical cues and visual signals to communicate.
A second study by graduate student Madeline Lallo examined yet a third wolf spider, Gladicosa bellamyi, and found that males bounced their bodies and waved their pigmented forelegs like flags to get the attention of females.
The students and their co-author, professor Uetz, presented their findings in March at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference at the University of Illinois. The conference accepted 95 papers from universities across the Midwest.
Students Pickett and Lallo are building on an investigation of spiders that professor Uetz began more than 40 years ago. Uetz has co-authored 120 peer-reviewed papers, chronicling how spiders communicate, select the best mate and learn from their mistakes. In 1976, he compiled a comprehensive list of native spiders found in Delaware.
Scientists often choose fruit flies, nematodes or mice for research subjects because so much is already known about them, including whole genomes. Wolf spiders, too, are fast becoming a template for research because of work at UC and other universities.
"In the long view, we're building a new model organism for study," he said. "We know a great deal about [the spider's] behavior and are learning more about their physiology and immunology."
Uetz said spider behavior relies on multiple sensory systems completely different from our own and those of other vertebrate animals. Their visual, vibratory and chemical senses provide insights about the evolution of nervous systems and brain function.UC is helping to turn wolf spiders like this one (Schizocosa ocreata) into a model organism to study disease or environmental issues to benefit people. Credit: Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services
Each new study begins at the Cincinnati Nature Center where researchers collect wild spiders in the forest. Finding wolf spiders with LED flashlights is surprisingly easy at night. (Arachnophobes might say it's horrifyingly easy.) Their eyes glitter in the lamplight like green gemstones.
"They blend in really well with the leaf litter. But at night you can see all those eyes shining back. You have no idea how many spiders are actually in your backyard until you put a headlamp on and look," Lallo said.
Researchers scoop up the spiders and sort them by species and sex.
The biology lab is home to as many as 1,800 spiders at any time, which again could make some people anxious.
"For some people it's a hard, 'Nope!'" Lallo said. "I understand why some people can be afraid of them. But they're just too small to bite us."
Despite their ferocious name, wolf spiders are harmless to people. Researchers casually handle them by scooting them into vials or prodding them around their plastic containers.
Researchers feed pinhead crickets to their experimental subjects twice a week. The spiders drink from a sponge that soaks up water from a recessed reservoir.UC biology professor George Uetz is studying the courtship behavior of wolf spiders to learn more about evolution. Research by UC and other universities are helping to make the wolf spider a model organism for studies on disease or the environment that can benefit people. Credit: Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services
Lallo studied the courtship behavior of Gladicosa bellamyi by leaving a female overnight in a clear plastic bowl called an arena. The bottom is covered in a paper disk that helps researchers detect minute vibrations whenever the spider walks, scratches or engages in a courtship dance. Left to her own devices, the female spins a trail of pheromone-laced silk that is irresistible to male spiders.
Males can read chemical cues in silk to determine if a female is receptive, has already mated or even if it has cannibalized other males in the past, Uetz said.
"They will either avoid those females completely—hide and try to be invisible—or else court furiously to overwhelm her senses," he said.
The next day they place the arena atop a laser doppler vibrometer in the lab's soundproof recording studio. The laser beam converts vibrations in the filter paper into a digital rendering that researchers can compare side by side with other examples.
They drop a male in with the female and use a video camera and the vibrometer to record what happens.
In about 10 percent of Schizocosa ocreata mating encounters, the female immediately eats the male. The rate of cannibalism can be as high as half of the encounters in other species, so wolf spiders walk a thin line between courtship and consumption.
For a demonstration, they paired two spiders and waited. Up close, the ocreata is camouflaged with brindled brown and black fur. But the male's forelegs are covered in thick black bristles like a dancer's leg warmers.
With its antic mating dance, ocreata has a nickname in the lab: "the twerking spider."
The male raises his fuzzy appendages over his head while bouncing his body and fangs on the ground to create vibrations. Generally, spiders that make the strongest vibrations have the best breeding success, Uetz said.
The researchers watched as the male began to wave his front legs and strike the filter paper. "Here he goes," Uetz said. "Here comes the female. Now look at her. She's interested."
The female cautiously approached the male and did a curtsy—a spider invitation to mate. The male frantically bounced and waved.
"Yeah, she's excited. It's going to happen—unless the male gets a little skittish," Uetz said. Despite her apparent willingness, the male ran away to the edge of the arena where he resumed his dance, this time a little less enthusiastically. The female approached again and did another pivot and curtsy but the male again backed away.
"They were close but then she reared up slightly and scared him. She's armed and dangerous," Uetz said. "She's not being aggressive but he is clearly smaller than she is. He doesn't have a lot of experience."
After another minute of posing, the female suddenly chased the male in two frantic laps around the arena. Lallo rescued him before the encounter could turn gruesome.
The university's research has found that each species of wolf spider engages in a unique courtship dance, often employing multiple forms of communication.
"It's given us insights into the fact that this behavior is plastic. It's learned," Uetz said.
In other experiments, Uetz uses virtual reality to study spider communication. Spiders are placed in the arena in front of an iPod playing a recorded video of a spider of the opposite sex.
Researchers play recorded sound through the filter paper that mimics the vibrations observed from the dancing spider on the screen. Incredibly, the ruse works and researchers can elicit a mating response from the live spider.
Wolf spiders are selective about mating only within their species. But researchers can use digital animation to build their own chimeras or virtual hybrids to determine precisely what about the opposite sex stimulates a mating response. Phillip Taylor, a former postdoctoral researcher of Uetz's who is now an associate professor at Macquarie University in Australia, has taken the research a step further by using magnets to affix a spider to a rolling track ball in front of a three-dimensional screen to build a virtual world in which the spider can run around and interact with digital spiders.
Now UC's Uetz is turning his attention to the variability of behaviors within species—the advantages and disadvantages of being a bold or timid spider. If a male is too bold, he could get eaten by a female or passing bird. If he is too timid, he could survive but miss any chance to pass on his genes.
"This strong selection pressure to get the message across leads to the evolution of complex, multi-sensory behaviors," Uetz said. "He might contribute to future generations. Or he might be lunch."
Spider Identification Illinois - Biology
In any event, it’s easier to appreciate the main work of most spiders — namely their web building — when you’re an order of magnitude larger than insect-sized. To see webs for what they are, chiefly as a strategy to catch prey, is to understand that a spider’s survival hangs on a thread of silk and what it’s able to engineer with it.
In constructing a web, a spider has created an ideal trap. Delicate and transparent, a web can seem ethereal spiders often have to repair or rebuild from scratch every day. Yet, they are also incredibly strong and sticky, able to stop an insect hurling through space at a tremendous speed. A spider achieves these dualities by spinning with different types of silk, which emerge from silk glands in its abdomen by way of the spinnerets.
Indeed, the spider’s evolution into some 40,000 known species coincides with the diversification of silk and what that’s allowed in web designs, each type enabling a species to exploit a new ecological niche. Spider webs can be found in almost every imaginable place — even underwater — and have allowed spiders to populate every continent except frigid Antarctica. And there’s probably some spider out there working on how to exploit that last frontier (maybe with a penguin-snaring web?).
We’ve broken out five basic spiderweb designs (although there are more types) to give you a flavor of the range of hunting strategies spiders deploy. Any back porch can be an adventure in spidering if you know what to look for.
Orb webs are the classic, wheel-shaped webs that have inspired everyone from engineers to poets to, well, designers of computer networks. They are primarily associated with their namesake, the family Araneidae, commonly known as the orb-weaver spiders, and have allowed spiders to fully enter vertical space. It’s speculated that orb webs came into being with the evolution of flying insects more than 100 million years ago.
The web consists of a durable silk frame made up of the outer bridge lines with internal anchor lines that are pulled downward to create spokes. An elastic capture thread is then used to make the spiral lines that connect the spokes together, giving the web the ability to absorb an oncoming insect. The spirals are bounded by sticky droplets to secure the victims. Additionally, some orb webs have extra flourishes — zig zags, spirals and bands — made up of bright white non-capture silk, detritus or even egg sacs. The purpose of these individual markings is unknown, although there’s a lot of conflicting theory around whether stabilimenta, as they are called, disguise the spider from predators or help attract its prey, or even (unintentionally) repel prey.
Crafting such a web is a highly cognitive endeavor, requiring a spider to size up a space, pick out anchor points and assess how much silk it has available. Orb weavers often redo their webs daily and have a memory for spaces they’ve used before. Orb webs can be viewed as highly functional predatory devices and when the weather cooperates, a spider can capture as many as 250 insects in a single day!
Tangled webs are also known as cob webs as they appear messy and shapeless. But they should not to be confused with the disused, dust-collected mats that appear in unswept rooms. Far from it, tangled webs are intentionally designed to be a jumble of threads, anchored to the corner of a ceiling or some other support beam — what better way to entangle an unsuspecting ant or cricket. Tangle web spiders, also called cobweb spiders, chiefly belong to the family Theridiidae and are known for building three-dimensional space webs. Among them, the common house spider and the notorious black widow.
The basic design is a littery web that is secured in space by a upper trellis with strands of high-tension catching threads that reach to a floor or substrate. On the end of these catching threads are sticky droplets and when an unsuspecting insect crawls across the thread, it breaks and the insect is stuck in the gum and drawn up into the central tangle as the thread contracts. Struggling only furthers its entanglement until the spider arrives, at which point the insect is finished off with a bite.
Interesting factoid: Some tangle-web spiders form groups of as large as a thousand to create webs stretching hundreds of yards to catch everything: flies to birds and other vertebrates. These social spiders have elicited the interest of evolutionary biologists studying the basis of altruism in group behavior.
Woolly webs are distinctive not by shape as much as by texture. These webs consist of an adhesive silk that snags prey not with a sticky glue, but by electrostatically-charged silk nanofibers.
Spiders in the Desidae family, among others, construct these webs by extruding a gooey, raw silk through thousands of tiny spigots aligned along an abdominal plate, then using the bristles on a rear leg to comb it into woolly strands. The cribellum organ evolved early on in arachnids, and its presence (or absence) is a distinguishing feature in taxonomy. (For more about local spider evolution, read Bay Nature’s “Evolution’s Tangled Web.”)
The webs are often horizontal and are arguably not as geometrically perfect as, say, orb webs, but they get the job done. Insects that venture into the gauzy web are enveloped in a kind of silky cling-wrap. One of the best known woolly web builders, the cribellate orb weavers, lack venom glands and instead covers its prey with regurgitated digestive enzymes for later consumption of the liquified body. Yum!
Sheet webs are slightly concave webs strung across bushes or blades of grass or branches of trees, sometimes dozens blanketing a single shrub. These webs act like a deadly hammock, crafted as a dense mass of threads with a maze of crisscrossing trip threads strung above the sheet. When an insect flies into one of these threads, it’s knocked off course into the net below where the spider lies in wait.
A sheet web is typically permanent and regularly repaired with the spider enlarging it as she grows. Sheet web builders may hang upside down below their sheets or they may create adjunct funnels where they eat and lay eggs.
Funnels are worth mentioning as they are sometimes a main feature of a web design and can be quite impressive. A spider uses a funnel for a multitude of purposes: as a hideaway from prey or predators to store eggs and in the case of some males, to cohabit with a female spider and wait for mating time. Typically a sheet spans the exterior of the funnel, which is used to entangle prey, and the spider waits in its funnel retreat for the springy web to vibrate.
Some of the more impressive funnels are built by the family Agelenidae, known as the funnel weaving spiders with a common example being grass spiders. They are fast runners and their hunting strategy involves rushing out of their tunnels at a high speeds to deliver a venomous bite to their prey, after which they drag it back into their retreat to feed. They also have good eyesight and are sensitive to changes in the light, a defense mechanism to avoid predators.
Funnel-weaver spiders are almost entirely harmless to people, but they should not be confused with funnel-web spiders, a different family endemic to Australia with members that feature in many a “Deadliest Spider” list.
Get Up Close (and Personal) With a Spider
If the ancient spidering adventures of reporter Alisa Opar in the East Bay and Bay Nature’s guide to spider webs have you eager to examine spiders on your own, we’ve got a few more tips on what to look for and bring. Top of the list, the Field Guide to the Spiders of California and the Pacific Coast States is an invaluable resource.
There are also a few pointers for ancient spider seekers to keep in mind. “The interesting ones are much harder to find,” says Steve Lew, University of California, Berkeley entomologist. “That can mean a lot of poking around, which often puts you up to your elbows in poison oak. And you might draw unwanted attention from law enforcement.” (He declined to share any tales of the latter, unfortunately.)
The safest bet is to stick to trails, says Tilden Nature Area naturalist Trent Pearce. And not just because of the threat of poison oak. “The number one reason I tell people not to go off trail is because they might unknowingly trample turret spiders.”
Here are several basic tools that the pros carry with them in the field, in addition to spider guidebooks:
Headlamp or flashlight
Plastic vials or zip lock bags for safely inspecting specimens (Note: it’s illegal to collect any spiders from East Bay parks without a permit.)
About the Author
Alison Hawkes was a Bay Nature editor from 2011-2017. Before Bay Nature she worked in journalism for more than a decade as a former newspaper reporter turned radio producer turned web editor with each rendition bringing her closer to her dream of covering environmental issues. She co-founded Way Out West, a site dedicated to covering Bay Area environmental news.
Every story from Bay Nature magazine is the product of a team of people dedicated to connecting our readers to the world around them and increasing environmental literacy. Please help us keep this unique regional magazine thriving, and support the ecosystem we’ve built around it, by subscribing today.
Urban Spider Chart
The majority of Kentucky's spiders are harmless to humans, even when they enter our living environments. This chart is designed to help with quick identification of spiders that are commonly encountered in homes, buildings, yards, and other urban environments. Click on the spider to read more about it.
Spiders of Medical Significance
Other Common Kentucky SpidersBlack Widow Spider
Size: Adult female is about 1/2 inch long.
Color: Adult females are glossy black with a variable number of red markings on the top and bottom of abdomen. Adults males are similar, but with a few white markings. Juveniles are highly variable.
Features: Abdomen is nearly spherical on adult females and juveniles. Male is slimmer with longer legs (pictured here).
Notes: Bites are very serious and require immediate medical attention, but the spider is timid and unlikely to bite unless handled. Black widows are common all over Kentucky. They tend to occur in concealed outdoor locations: piles of rocks, piles of firewood, and dark corners of garages and out-buildings. Females are common males are very rarely encountered.
Size: About the size of a U.S. quarter, with legs outstretched.
Color: Tan to dark brown, abdomen and legs are uniformly colored with no stripes, bands, or mottling. The legs are long and thin and lack conspicuous spines.
Features: Dark violin-shaped mark on back, with the neck of the violin pointing toward the rear (abdomen) of the spider. This feature is consistent in adult brown recluses, but can be hard to see and is less obvious in younger spiders. Also, brown recluses only have six eyes: most Kentucky spiders have eight.
Notes: Bites are very serious and require immediate medical attention, but brown recluses are timid and unlikely to bite unless handled. These spiders are more common in Western KY, less common in Central and Southeastern KY. They tend to occur in hidden locations indoors and outdoors: piles of cardboard or paper, stacks of cut wood, and wall-voids of buildings.
Size: About the size of a U.S. quarter, with legs outstretched.
Color: Brown with prominent longitudinal gray or tan stripes.
Features: Prominent hind spinnerets: these are two, small, finger-like projections on the end of the grass spider's abdomen (used to spin the web). Many other spiders have spinnerets, but they are very large and distinctive in grass spiders.
Notes: Grass spiders are very common in Kentucky lawns where they build large, funnel-shaped webs. They also occasionally wander into homes. Because they are brown and of a similar size, grass spiders are often mistaken for brown recluses. Like most Kentucky spiders, though, the bites of grass spiders are harmless except to allergic individuals.
Size: Wolf spiders range in size from tiny (the size of a pencil eraser) to about the size of a U.S. silver dollar, with legs outstretched
Color: There are many species of wolf spiders in Kentucky, but most are dark or light brown, usually with contrasting spots or stripes.
Features: Wolf spiders are fast-moving and they are typically seen running on the ground. They are not web builders.
Notes: Wolf spiders often wander into homes. Because they are brown in color, wolf spiders are often mistaken for brown recluses. Like most Kentucky spiders, the bites of wolf spiders are harmless except to allergic individuals. Wolf spiders are among the most common kinds of spiders in Kentucky.
Spider Identification Illinois - Biology
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Spiders (order Araneae, class Arachnida, subphylum Chelicerata, phylum Arthropoda, superphylum Protostomia, subkingdom Metazoa, kingdom Animalia, domain Eukarya)
Click on arrows to show pull-down menus:
This guide covers mainly spiders of the eastern U.S. and Canada. Exceptions are the arctic spiders that arachnologist Roy Erling Wrånes photographed in Finnmark County in far northern Norway he has given me permission to use these photos on the website, but he owns the copyrights. They are grouped by their families with the other spiders.
All spiders are venomous, but in the U.S. and Canada, only the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow are known to do serious harm to humans via their venom. The Brown Recluse, also called the "violin spider" because of a charactertistic dark marking on its cephalothorax, is often found indoors in old houses not protected by pest control and is most common in the south central part of the U.S. Black Widows are generally found outside. The tarantulas of the Southwestern U.S. sometimes bite in self-defense and can toss spine-like hairs at their attackers. The North American Funnel Web Spiders (members of the Agelenidae family) should not be confused with the highly venomous Sydney (Australia) Funnel Web Spiders (Atrax robustus), which are members of another suborder altogether (the Mygalomorphae).
Spiders have a cephalothorax (literally "head-neck") and an abdomen, unlike insects, which have distinct divisions between the head, thorax and abdomen. Also, unlike insects, spiders have eight legs and chelicerae and lack antennae and wings (which some insects do lack). They also have spinnerets on their abdomens. Most have eight eyes, although some have fewer spider eye arrangements can be key to distinguish spider families and sometimes genera, as shown by Lynette Elliott's Spider Eye Arrangement Page on BugGuide. Lynette generalized these patterns from spider photos on that site. Links to the applicable family eye arrangement information are shown below with the photos shown for each spider family. I have included this because it is the clearest attempt to demonstrate one of the rules by which spiders are classified.
Spiders have some natural insect enemies. One of the most unusual of them is an insect: the so-called thread-legged bug of the Stenolema genus. These bugs wiggle constantly, and when they contact a spider web, the spider mistakes them for prey.
However, other spiders can inflict painful nips under some circumstances. I once was surprised in Florida by a large wolf spider that had crawled into my shoe when I put it on it left two small, relatively deep indendations in my callused big toe.
There is one endangered North Carolina spider species, i.e., the Spruce Fir Moss Spider. As the name implies, the spider's natural habitat is found in the Southern Appalachians, among these northern conifers, at elevations above
John and Jane Balaban provided many identifications (not all specified below), especially of crab spiders, on their own initiative, which we checked out. We accept responsibility for the correctness of these IDs.
Purseweb Spiders ( Atypidae family, Mygalomorphae suborder)
Mygalomorphs are generally large spiders though they seem to be the species most likely to inspire arachnophobia, the bites of all of the US species are harmless to humans. "True tarantulas" (family Theraphosidae) are members of this suborder, while the spiders in this family are also called "atypical tarantulas" as well as "purseweb spiders." There are two genera in the US: Atypus and Sphodros.
|Male Purseweb Spider (Sphodros atlanticus) , Eno River State Park, Fews Ford access, top of Cox Mountain, Orange County, North Carolina, 5/27/06 . Family ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban, referring to BugGuide's Purseweb Spider page. Genus, species and sex ID thanks to Jeff Hollenbeck.||Purseweb Spider (Sphodros atlanticus), Durham, NC 5/15/16|
Trapdoor Spiders (Ctenizidae family, Mygalomorphae suborder)
|Trapdoor spider, Hope Mills, NC. Photo taken by Samantha Adkins-Witmill.||Trapdoor spider, Durham, NC, 10/14/14|
Folding-door Spiders ( Antrodiaetidae family, Mygalomorphae suborder)
|Folding-door Spider (Antrodiaetus microunicolor), Yadkinville, Yadkin County, NC, 11/30/10. Photo by Brandon Frye.|
Crevice Weavers (Filistatidae family, Haplogynae suborder, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) about half an inch long. Oviedo, Seminole County, FL, 7/18/11. Photo by Kurt Amesbury|
Mesh Web Weavers (Dictynidae family, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Mesh web weaver (Emblyna genus), Durham, NC, 6/4/21||Mesh web weaver, Durham, NC, 4/21/20||Mesh web weaver? Durham, NC, 5/31/16||Mesh web weaver. Family ID thanks to Chad Heins. Maybe Dictyna calcarata.||Mesh web weaver, Durham, NC, 5/23/20||Probably another mesh web weaver, Durham, NC, 5/23/20|
Pirate Spiders (Mimetidae family, Mimetoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
These spiders are predators of other spiders.
|Pirate spider (Mimetus puritanus), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 7/23/13. ID thanks to Laura P.|
Sac Spiders (Clubionidae family, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Sac spider, Durham, NC, 7/28/14|
Common Orb Weavers (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Araneus Genus Eye Arrangement (Elliott): This seems very similar to the eye arrangements of other Araneidae family members to me. However, to see close-up photos of eye arrangements of the Araneidae family, go halfways down the page of Spider Eye Arrangements (Elliott).
Spinning mainly vertical flat, spiral-patterned webs ("orbs") is characteristic of most these spiders, but it is not the most important taxonomically. Arachnologists consider anatomical structure and behavior to be more important than web characteristics, as exemplified by Willey and Johnson (1992) .
Spin ed Orb Weavers (Micrathena genus, Araneidae family, Araneoidea, Orbiculariae, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae)
These orb weavers have traditionally been considered to be in this family, and I'm betting it will be official in the final classification scheme. But their genus seems not to have come up for consideration yet.
These spiders, commonly known as Spined Micrathenas, have eight black spines on a mostly white abdomen.
|Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis), Durham, 7/28/05. This spider had spun a web across a walking path in my neighborhood that was high enough not to be disturbed by people.||Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis), Riverbend Park, Catawba County, 9/24/09||Male Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis), Third Fork Creek Trail, Curham, NC, 7/4/12. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban .|
These spiders have just two spines on their abdomens. ID based on remarks about this species near the bottom of the Micrathena Gracilis page of the University of Arkansas' Arthropod Museum Notes .
|Micrathena mitrata, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 9/7/07.||Chatham County, NC, 11/9/05. This one was about ¼ inch long.||Orb weaver (Micrathena mitrata), Durham, NC, 10/3/13||Micrathena mitrata, ventral view. Riverbend Park, Catawba County, NC, 9/24/09|
Arrow-shaped Micrathenas (Micrathena sagittata)
|Arrow-shaped Micrathena, Durham, NC, 7/5/17||Arrow-shaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata), Durham, NC, 9/13/20||Arrow-shaped Micrathena, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/12/08||Arrow-shaped Micrathena, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 7/30/05. This spider was in the process of web-spinning.||Another Arrow-shaped Micrathena spider Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 7/30/05.|
Crablike Spin ed Orb Weavers (Gasteracantha cancriformis, Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
These spiders may look like crabs, but they feel like sandspurs if you have the wrong kind of encounter with them. Perhaps because birds have learned to avoid them, they often feel free to spin their webs across trails.
|Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver (dorsal view), St. Augustine, St. Johns County, FL, 3/12/13||Same Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver (ventral view)||Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver, Cypress Gardens, Berkeley County, South Carolina, 10/12/07. See other spiders .||Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver (dorsal view), Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 8/4/09||Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver ( Gasteracantha cancriformis), Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 6/23/06||Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver, same spider||Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver, Fort Fisher Basin Trail, New Hanover County, NC, 6/22/06|
Star-bellied Orb Weavers (Acanthepeira stellata, Araneidae family, Araneoidea, superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae)
|Star-bellied Orb Weaver (mostly ventral view), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham, NC, 8/23/09.||Star-bellied spider, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/28/05. This one reminds of part of a cuckoo clock my mother once had!||Star-bellied spider, Indian Creek Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 7/7/06: ventral view on left, dorsal on right.|
Triangulate Orb Weavers (Verrucosa arenata, Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Triangulate Orb Weaver, Durham, NC, 8/24/15||Triangulate Orb Weaver, Little River Park, Orange County, NC, 10/20/07||Triangulate Orb Weaver , Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 9/18/05.||Triangulate Orb Weaver , White Pines Nature Preserve, Chatham County, NC, 9/25/05.|
Araneus genus members, Araneidae family, Araneoidea, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder
Araneus and Neoscona are very similar genera, and many of these photos were not taken at an angle that reveals the one tiny difference (the posterior dorsal longitudinal groove), as described at American Museum of Natural History's Orb Weaver Page . So many of these are guesses.
Marbled Orb Weavers (Araneus marmoreus)
These pictures illustrate the variation in abdominal patterns occuring among members of this species.
|Marbled Orb Weaver ( Araneus marmoreus), Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 9/27/07||Marbled Orb Weaver, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 10/9/06.||Marbled Orb Weaver?, Nova Scotia, Canada, 10/18/07. Photo taken by Nancy Crowell. ID is uncertain, since Nova Scotia may have some spider species unique to the area.||Marbled Orb Weaver, Sybertsville, PA, 9/26/08. Photo by Ted Reinmiller.||Marbled Orb Weaver (Araneus marmoreus), Durham, NC, 9/27/05.||Marbled Orb Weaver ( Araneus marmoreus) , ventral view, Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 9/16/05||Unusual Marbled Orb Weaver. Photo taken by Steve Harkins, Waxhaw, Union County, NC, 12/25/08. Not positive of ID.|
Cross Spider (Araneus diadematus)
|Cross Spider, Ludlow, Massachusetts, 10/31/07. Photo taken by Mark Moran.|
|Araneus bicentenarius, Great Smoky Mountains. Photo taken by "Vicki." A very big spider.|
|Orb weaver, Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 1/19/13||Orb weaver, Durham, NC, 10/22/13. Immature female.||Orb weaver (male Araneus miniatus), Durham, NC, 2/3/13||Orb weaver (male Araneus miniatus), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 1/19/13||Orb weaver (male Araneus miniatus), Durham, NC, 1/18/18|
|Araneus guttulatus, Durham, NC, 6/14/08. A very tiny spider, about 2 mm long.|
A tiny and very varied species: see BugGuide's collection:
|Araneus cingulatus, Louisville, Kentucky, 9/24/10. Photo taken by John Nation.|
|Araneus alboventris, Durham, NC, 7/4/13||Araneus alboventris, Durham, NC, 10/2/09. Has lost two legs.||Araneus alboventris, Holly Springs, NC, 10/25/10. Photo by Jason W.|
|Araneus bivittatus, Durham, NC, 8/21/13|
Araniella genus (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae )
|Orb weaver (Araniella displicata), Durham, NC, 2/1/14. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban ||Orb weaver (Araniella displicata), Durham, NC, 2/3/21|
Neoscona genus (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Hentz Orb Weaver (Neoscona crucifera)
|Hentz Orb Weaver attacking a leaf that had fallen in its web. Durham, NC, 10/17/12||Hentz Orb Weaver , dorsal view, Durham, 9/28/08||Orb weaver, Durham, NC, 8/14/07.||Hentz Orb Weaver , ventral view, Durham, 9/28/08|
Spotted Orb Weaver (Neoscona domiciliorum)
|Orb weaver, Pettigrew State Park, Washington County, NC, 11/11/10. Dorsal view.||Orb weaver, ventral view, White Pines Natural Area, Chatham County, 9/25/05. Maybe another male.||Orb weaver, Johnston's Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 8/25/05. Dorsal view.||Orb weaver, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/9/09||Orb weaver, side view, Durham, NC, 8/30/06|
Arabesque Orb Weaver (Neoscona arabesca)
|Arabesque Orb Weaver, Durham, NC, 10/19/20||Orb weaver, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 6/15/07||Orb weaver, Pettigrew State Park, Washington County, NC, 11/11/10||Orb weaver, Durham, 7/6/05||Orb weaver, Durham, NC, 5/29/08||Arabesque Orb Weaver||Same Arabesque Orb Weaver, Durham, NC, 7/28/20|
Argiope genus ( Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
Argiopes are standard orb weavers in that their webs are round and flat.
White-backed Garden Spider or Banded Argiope (Argiope trifasciata)
|White-backed Garden Spider, Durham, 9/27/05. Also very well-fed. Was hanging out next to a large lantana patch visited by many insects.||White- backed Garden Spider, Penny's Bend, Durham County, NC, 10/15/05, ventral view||White-backed Garden Spider. Dorsal view of the same spider. Definitely well-fed!||White-backed Garden Spider, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 10/17/07 Dorsal view.||White-backed Garden Spider, ventral view of the same spider.|
Yellow-and-black Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)
These are some of the biggest spiders in eastern North America not including their legs, they can reach one inch in length. As a result, they are also the most familiar outdoor spiders, though far from the most common.
|Yellow-and-Black Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia). Small spider on top left was a member of another species. Durham, NC, 8/13/18.||Closeup of female Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, Harnett County, NC, 8/10/04 .||Yellow-and-black Garden Spider , Durham, NC, 10/10/09, with prey.||Yellow-and-Black Garden Spider, Fayetteville, NC, 8/25/06. Taken by Adolph Thomas. Copyright © 2006 Adolph Thomas.||Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC 10/1/06|
|Male Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, 9/2/04.||Male Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, Indian Creek Trail, Chatham County, 8/2/05.||Immature female Yellow and Black Argiope, Durham, NC, 6/30/08.||Immature |
Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, Fort Fisher, New Hanover County, NC, 6/22/06.
|Immature Yellow-and-black Garden Spider, Holly Springs, NC, 10/25/10. Photo by Jason W.||Male Argiope genus (most likely aurantius) spider, given the species seen in this area. Durham, NC, 8/30/13. Genus ID thanks to Lynette Elliott.|
Mangora genus (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Mangora placida, dorsal view. Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 3/30/07||Mangora placida, dorsal view. Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 3/31/07||Mangora placida, ventral view. Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 7/27/07|
|Orb weaver (Mangora gibberosa), Durham, NC, 9/6/12||Orb weaver (Mangora gibberosa), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 9/3/15|
|Mangora acalypha, Finnmark County, Norway, 2010. On the red list. Photo by Roy Erling Wr ånes.|
Acacesia hamata (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Acacesia hamata, Durham, 7/18/05. ID provided by John and Jane Balaban .||Acacesia hamata, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 9/7/07. This was a very tiny spider, a few mm long. Its placement on the brown spot of this leaf camouflaged it effectively.|
Heptagonal Orb Weaver (Gea heptagon), Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Female Heptagonal Orb Weaver (Gea heptagon), Durham, NC, 1/4/20||Female Heptagonal Orb Weaver (Gea heptagon), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 11/14/10||Male Heptagonal Orb Weaver (Gea heptagon), Durham, NC, 8/21/06|
Basilica Spiders (Mecynogea lemniscata, Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
In contrast with the flat webs of the orchard spiders, the webs of most of these spiders fill a three-dimensional space and no two threads seem to be in the same plane. They often are found in groups in contiguous webs. Maybe they get their common name from this web structure. They do not weave orb-shaped webs Willey, Johnson and Adler say that although some have argued that they should be assigned to the Linyphiidae family on the basis of similarity of web construction giving greater weight to anatomical structure and behavior as critera led to their Araneidae classification. This illustrates another problem with common names: orb-weaving is not a universal Araneidae trait.
The two pictures on the left (second row) suggest an aborted courtship (Durham, 7/20/05). It took place within one of a group of complex webs with elaborate three-dimensional structures. All webs were apparently spun by spiders of the same species, which had the abdominal patterns pictured in the two photos on the right.
|Female Basilica spider, Durham, NC, 7/6/09. Note the distinguishing green stripe on the side of the abdomen.||Female Basilica Spider, Durham, NC, 10/18/12||Female Basilica Spider, Durham, NC, 7/12/12||Basilica Spider, view of the bottom part of the abdomen, Durham, NC, 7/20/05. It mimics an open mouth with tongue and fangs.||Basilica spider egg sacs. Durham, 7/31/05. With egg sacs.|
|Male Basilica Spider, Durham, NC, 7/6/15. Seen on a trail bollard.||Male Basilica Spider, Durham, NC, 7/1/08. The dominant color on the side of the abdomen is yellow.||Male Basilica Spider, Durham, 6/30/05, wrapping up its prey.||Basilica Spiders: female on the left, male on the right. Durham, NC, 6/30/05||Same Basilica Spiders interacting. The female let the male touch her with two feet for a second or two, then they quickly separated.|
Cyclosa turbinata (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Cyclosa turbinata, Durham, NC, 3/18/16|
Larinoides cornutus (Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Larinoides cornutus, Finnmark County, Norway, 1/30/11. Photo by Roy Erling Wr ånes.|
Unidentified orb weavers ( Araneidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Another orb weaver, upstaged by its dew-adorned web at the very beginning of the day.|
Golden Silk Spiders and Allies (Nephilinae subfamily, Nephilidae family, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Golden Silk Spiders (Nephila clavipes)
|Female Golden Silk Spider, Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 9/16/07.||Same female Golden Silk Spider (lateral view)||Same female Golden Silk Spider (dorsal view)|
|Golden Silk Spider couple (big one is female), Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 8/4/09||Male Golden Silk Spider, Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 8/4/09||Juvenile Golden Silk Spider (Nevila clavipes), Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 6/23/07. At first I thought it was an Argiope, but the pattern was completely different.||Juvenile Golden Silk Spider, Theodore Roosevelt State Natural Area Nature Trail, Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, NC 7/23/08||Juvenile Golden Silk Spider, Ft. Fisher Basin Trail, New Hanover County, NC, 6/24/08. The variant pattern is puzzling.|
Long-jawed Orb Weavers (Tetragnathidae family, derived araneoids, Araneoidea superfamily, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Long-jawed Orb Weavers (Tetragnatha genus)
These spiders are so named because of their unusually large chelicerae , ending in fangs, which contain venom-producing glands ending in hollow spikes through which they deliver their venom.
|Long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha extensa), |
Durham, NC, 8/21/09
|Long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha extensa), Durham, NC, 2/7/20||Long-jawed orb weaver, Durham, NC, 6/13/05.||This same Long-jawed orb weaver sought cover on a form of swamp grass, using impressive camouflage.|
|Long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha extensa), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 5/17/13||Long-jawed orb weaver, Jordan Lake Gameland, Chatham County, NC, 6/19/07||Long-jawed orb weaver, Durham, NC, 4/28/06||Long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha versicolor), Durham, NC, 6/9/11|
|Long-jawed orb weaver (Tetragnatha viridis), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 11/19/12||Long-jawed orb weaver, Durham, NC, 8/18/20|
|Long-jawed orb weaver spider (Glenognatha foxi), Durham, NC, 3/26/20. ID thanks to John Rosenfeld.|
|Pachygnatha degeeri, Finnmark County, Arctic Norway, 1/30/11. Photo by Roy Erling Wr ånes.||A thick-jawed orb weaver (Pachygnatha brevis), Durham, NC, 4/8/14. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.||Same spider, but a frontal view. Durham, NC, 12/17/13|
Orchard Orbweaver s (Leucage genus )
Orchard spiders spin orb-shaped webs much of the time, but they can settle on trail bollards, where they spin webs on the sides of these structures.
|Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 3/26/20||Orchard Spider, private garden near Asheville, Buncombe County, NC, 5/1/14||Orchard Spider, North Carolina Botanical Garden nature trail, Orange County, NC, 5/6/19||Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 5/6/20||Orchard Spider, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/11/12||Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 5/27/09|
|Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 7/8/18||Orchard Spider with prey, Moses Cone Memorial Park, Watauga County, NC, 7/18/13||Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 8/29/13||Orchard Spider, perhaps pregnant female, Durham, NC, 9/9/16||Another Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 9/9/16||Orchard Spider, River Park North, Greenville, Pitt County, NC, 9/26/13||Orchard Spider , Santee National Wildlife Refuge (Bluff Unit), Claredon County, SC, 4/29/11|
|Male Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 6/21/15.||Male Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 6/7/15||Male Orchard Spider (dorsal), Durham, NC, 6/13/14||Orchard Spider (dorsal view), Santee National Wildlife Refuge (Bluff Unit), Claredon County, SC, 4/29/11||Female Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 4/2/20||Female Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 9/19/12 (Dorsal view).||Female Orchard Spider, Durham, 6/17/05. Dorsal view.||Juvenile Orchard Spider, Durham, NC, 1/23/13. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.||Juvenile orchard spider (Leucage venusta), Durham, NC, 1/17/21.|
|Orchard Spider, Marie G. Selby Botanical Garden, 2/28/18||Orchard Spider, Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 9/17/07||Orchard Spider, Audubon Swamp Garden, Charleston County, SC, 10/11/07.||Orchard Spider, Audubon Swamp, Charleston County, SC 10/11/07||Orchard Spider, Buccaneer State Park, Waveland, Hancock County, MS, 10/13/17||Orchard Spider, Goose Creek State Park, Beaufort County, NC, 9/20/08. Dorsal view.|
|Orchard Spider, Shipley Trail at Bailey Homestead, Fort Myers, Lee County, FL, 2/22/19||Orchard Spider, South Lido County Park, Sarasota County, FL, 2/27/18|
Comb-footed or Cobweb Spiders (Theridiidae family, Theridioidea, Araneoid sheetweb weavers, Reduced pyriform clade, Derived Araneoids, Araneoidea superfamily, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
These spiders spin cobwebs, which humans detest and songbirds love to use for nesting material. These webs are small and compact, eventually becoming frayed and indistinct, and probably not especially effective in catching flying insects. But they frequently catch insects crawling up the sides of houses.
American House Spiders (Achaearanea tepidariorum)
|American House Spider attacking a Marbled Orb Weaver, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, 7/15/06||American House Spider with egg sac. Durham, 7/22/05||American House Spider , Durham, NC, 8/10/07||American House Spider with egg sac. Durham, 6/14/05. One of the larger spiders I've seen.||American House Spider with prey, Durham, NC, 7/6/05|
|Cobweb spider (Euryopis genus), Durham, NC, 7/5/17||Cobweb spider (Euryopis funebris), Durham, NC, 11/22/20|
|Comb-footed spider (Yunohamella lyrica), Durham, NC, 2/6/19. ID thanks to Chad Heins, confirmed by Laura P.|
Dewdrop spiders (Argyrodes genus)
|Dewdrop spider (Argyrodes elevatus) with orb weaver prey. Durham, NC, 8/27/13||Same dewdrop spider (Argyrodes elevatus) attacking orb weaver prey||Another Dewdrop Spider (Argyrodes genus), Durham, NC, 11/23/13|
|Cobweb spider (Theridion genus), Durham, NC, 6/1/20||Theridion pictipes, Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 5/17/13||Theridion pictipes, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 5/31/07. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.||Theridion murarium, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 7/26/13|
|Asagena americana, Hanging Rock State Park, Stokes County, NC, 5/22/08|
Widow Spiders (Latrodectus genus members) use a neurotoxic venom. They are outdoor spiders some are reclusive, while others appear out in the open. It is unusual to see a male they are much smaller and very different in appearance. These spiders are venomous at every age. It is best to be observant.
Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)
The characteristic marking is a red hourglass (really two opposing triangles fused) on the ventral side of the abdomen. There are no red markings on the dorsal side.
|Adult female Southern Black Widow?, Zebulon, NC. Photo taken by and provided by Cindy Privette. Species ID uncertain because the red hourglass figure is partially obstructed.|
Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)
The characteristic marking is a divided red hourglass figure on the ventral side of the abdomen. The dorsal side typically has three or more red spots.
|Adult male (note the larger pedipalps) Northern Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans) , Durham, NC, 5/27/09. This spider is also shown in the picture on the right.||Male and female Northern Black Widow Spiders, Durham, NC, 5/29/09. The female was much more reclusive and had made a rare trip outside this dark hiding place. The other disappeared after a couple of days.||Adult female Northern Black Widow, Durham, NC, 7/22/09. Note dorsal red spots on abdomen. You can also see how the web is becoming frayed, filling a particular small space.|
Immature black widows
Stripes characterize immature black widows that are past the spiderling stage.
|Black widow spiderling, one of a large group near a rock crevice on a power line cut in Durham, NC, 10/15/08. Might be a Southern Black Widow, but not sure. It matches this BugGuide picture of Missouri spiderlings.||Immature Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus), Tulare, CA, 10/20/10. Photo by Rebecca Mustin. Another example, from Texas by Joe Lapp.||Immature black widow, which was attacking a large fly, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 4/24/10|
Brown Widows (Latrodectus geometricus)
|Brown Widow, Lakeland, FL, 11/28/10. Copyright © 2010 Noella T. Martell Segura.|
False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa)
|False Black Widow , dangerous despite what its name suggests. Durham, NC, 12/30/05.|
|Steatoda bipunctata, Finnmark County, Norway, 1/30/11. Photo by Roy Erling Wr ånes.|
Cribellate Orb Weavers (Uloboridae family, Entelegyne, Araneomorphae suborder)
Uloborus genus (Uloboridae family, Entelegyne, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Feather-legged Orb Weaver (Uloborus glomosus), Durham, NC, 8/7/20||Uloborus glomosus, Durham, NC, 6/16/12|
Sicariidae family (Haplogynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Brown Recluse (Loxosceles genus, Sicariidae family, Haplogynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
This is a very poisonous spider, arguably the most dangerous spider in the U.S.
There are six brown recluse species in the USA Loxosceles reclusa is the most widespread, with the center of its range in Arkansas. The others are found in Mexico and near its border with the USA.
|Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), Rogers, Arkansas, 11/28/10. Photo taken by Todd Nida.|
Sheet Web Weaver and Dwarf Spiders (Linyphiidae Family, Linyphioids, Araneoid sheetweb weavers, Reduced pyriform clade, Derived araneoids, Araneoidea, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
All photos in the first row were taken of members of the species Florinda coccinea, subfamily Linyphiinae member, according to Wikipedia's Blacktailed Red Sheetweaver page and Samford University's Florinda coccinea page . Levi and Levi (2002) describe this species as yellow-colored (rather puzzling) and most commonly found in the southeastern US.
This spider family has the most species, although its members are very tiny and probably overlooked altogether by most people. The two shown below are apparently the most common in Piedmont North Carolina.
Black-tailed Red Sheetweavers (Florinda coccinea)
These spiders usually spin their webs, in the form of horizontal sheets, near the ground in grasses.
|Male Black-tailed Red Sheetweaver, Durham, NC, 8/11/16||Female Black-tailed Red Sheetweaver, Durham, NC, 10/3/16||Black-tailed Red Sheetweaver, Durham, NC, 7/16/05, local swamp. Possibly the same species as at left, but maybe not as well-fed.||Black-tailed Red Sheetweaver, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 9/30/06. This picture was taken on a cool morning when the dew was still on its web.|
Bowl-and-doily Spiders (Frontinella communis)
These spiders have typically showed up in the branches of small trees. Their webs have two parts, one that is bowl-shaped and another below it that is disk-shaped and looks like a doily. When prey lands on the "doily," the spider leaps down from the "bowl" and attacks it.
|Female Bowl-and-doily Spider, Durham, NC, 5/1/12||Female Bowl-and-Doily Spider, Durham, 10/3/16||Bowl-and-doily Spider, Durham, NC, 9/5/17|
|Female Bowl and Doily Spider, Eno River State Park, 10/18/07||Female Bowl-and-doily Spider on a streetlamp pole, Durham, NC, 11/20/12|
|Male Bowl and Doily Spider, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/12/08||Male Bowl-and-doily Spider, Durham, NC, 9/8/16||Male Bowl-and-doily Spider, ventral view. Durham, NC, 7/2/12||Same male Bowl-and-doily Spider, dorsal view|
Filmy Dome Spiders (Prolinyphia marginata)
|Filmy Dome Spider with fly prey, Congaree National Park, Richland County, SC, 4/30/11||Filmy Dome Spider, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 8/18/06. ID thanks to John Robinson, confirmed by Samford University's relevant page.||Filmy Dome Spider, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 7/30/09||Filmy Dome Spider, Korstian division, Duke Forest, Orange County, NC, 5/3/06||Female Filmy Dome Spider, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 4/18/09.|
Dwarf Spiders (subfamily Erigoninae)
|Dwarf spider (Baryphyma trifons) Subfamily ID thanks to Lynette Elliott.||Dwarf spider (Baryphyma trifons), Durham, NC, 12/10/20||Dwarf spider (Baryphyma trifons), Durham, NC, 12/29/18||Dwarf spider (Ceraticelus atriceps)||ID uncertain|| |
|Diplocephalus cristatus, Finnmark County, Norway, 1/30/11. Photo by Roy Erling Wr ånes.|
Ghost Spiders (Anyphaenidae family, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Ghost spider (Hibana genus). ID thanks to Laura P.||Ghost Spider, Durham, NC, 6/5/09. Family ID thanks to Lynette Elliott.||Ghost spider, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/16/07.|
Funnel Web Spiders and Grass Spiders (Agelenidae family, Other Amaurobioids, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Funnel web spiders have a two-part web consisting of a horizontal sheet which catches prey and a funnel-shaped tunnel in which the spider hides. In this way, these harmless (to humans) spiders bear a superficial resemblance to the highly venomous Sydney (Australia) Funnel-web Spiders, members of the Hexathelidae family, suborder Mygalomorphae. This is a classic example of how common names can cause serious confusion, not the least because web shape is a relatively unimportant spider classification factor.
On our deck, funnel web spiders spin horizontal webs that attach at one end to large round lights, curving partially around them across to the "funnel" end of the web. Moths drawn to the light find themselves trapped in the web because the web partially blocks their departure from the light. The web isn't sticky and sometimes moths find their way out. Yet sometimes the spider is faster, jumping up to bite a flying moth, which lands on the web. Since these lights are such a recent development in natural history, these spiders' strategic use of them looks a lot like human-like engineering reasoning. But spiders don't even have real brains: a single ganglion (a bundle of nerves) serves instead.
Grass spiders (Agelenopsis genus) are small and very common, often seen running along the ground.
In general, it is not possible to identify definitively the species of individual Agelenopsis genus spiders with only a dorsal view.
The infamous Hobo Spider (Tegenaria agrestis), found in the western US, is a member of this family, but not easy to identify. There is some controversy about their having a dangerous bite, but clear scientific evidence remains to be produced. Some points of view: https://www.arachnology.org/Arachnology/Pages/Hobo.html.
The spiders in this row are seen in summer mode, catching prey out in the open:
|Funnel web spider, with part of web on bush. A sight often overlooked. American Tobacco Trail, Durham, NC, 9/29/11||Funnel Web Spider, emerging from the "funnel" part of its web among pine needles, Piedmont Wildlife Center, Durham, NC, 5/8/10||Funnel web spider (probably Agelenolopsis genus), Johnston Mill, Orange County, NC, 7/1/06||Funnel web spider, Boone, Watauga County, NC, 8/7/06||Funnel web spider with moth prey, Durham, NC, 9/24/08. ||Funnel web spider? Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, 5/10/07, ventral view. The light color suggests that it's a recent molt.|
We know less about how funnel web spiders function in the winter, but this group of spiders (which may or may not be members of the same species as above) hid in white cocoon-like enclosures beneath the bark of a rotting tree, but they are much tougher than moth cocoons and probably do an excellent job of protecting spiders from cold.
|Funnel web spider, Durham, NC, 2/27/11. This web didn't have an obvious funnel shape.||Cocoon-like structures containing spiders, Durham, NC, 2/27/11.|
Nursery Web Spiders and Fishing Spiders (Pisauridae family, Lycosoidea, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
These spiders are noted both for their ability to walk on water and for their spiderlings, which stay together until relatively large. Their only use of silk is to build their "nursery webs."
Six-spotted Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes triton)
|Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton) with sea snail, Durham, NC, 5/03/05||Six-spotted Fishing Spider, Durham, NC, 5/9/19||Six-spotted Fishing Spider, Durham, NC, 6/9/11|
Six-spotted Fishing Spider juveniles
|Young fishing spider (Dolomedes genus), Durham, NC, 5/10/20. Genus ID thanks to Laura P.||Young fishing spider with leafhopper or aphid prey, Durham, NC, 8/9/20||Juvenile Six-spotted Fishing Spider, Durham, NC, 8/18/20||Spider, maybe Dolomedes genus, Durham, NC, 6/24/009|
Dark Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus)
|Male Dark Fishing Spider, Durham, NC, 6/6/11||Dark Fishing Spider, Eno River State Park (Old Cole Mill Rd. access), Orange County, NC, 3/24/11||Dark Fishing Spider, Cherryville, Gaston County, NC, 5/30/11. Photo by Destiny Canipe.||Dark Fishing Spider, seemed to be injured at first glance but was simply completely limp. It was large and apparently old. Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 7/18/11||Dark Fishing Spider, indoors. Photo by Michaela Brown. ID is uncertain: markings aren't typical.|
|Dark Fishing Spider , a lake in Illinois, 7/9/07, taken by Danielle Lessing. © 2007 Danielle Lessing||This picture gives a better picture of how big this Dark Fishing Spider was. Ms. Lessing said it seemed to be five inches across.|
Whitebanded Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes albineus)
|Whitebanded Fishing Spider. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban. Confirmed by wolfpacksved.|
Nursery Web Spiders (Pisaurina genus)
|Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) , Durham, NC, 6/22/05.||Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) , Durham, NC, 8/14/08||Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira), Durham, NC, 9/13/11||Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira), Geithner Park, Hickory, Catawba County, NC, 9/25/09||Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira), Durham, NC, 9/10/20||Same Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira), Durham, NC, 9/10/20||I'm guessing these are Nursery Web spiderlings. Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 9/16/05.|
|Nursery web spider (Pisaurina dubia), Durham, NC, 10/27/13||Nursery web spider (Pisaurina dubia)||Nursery web spider (Pisaurina dubia), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 9/12/12|
Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae family, Lycosoidea, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
|Wolf spider (Tigrosa georgicola), Durham, NC, 5/5/14. ID thanks to Laura P.|
|Wolf spider (Allocosa funerea), Durham, NC, 3/27/20||Wolf spider (Allocosa funerea), Jordan Lake, Chatham County, NC, 11/29/15||Wolf spider (Allocosa funerea), Durham, NC, 4/26/09|
|Pirate Wolf Spider, Durham, NC, 1/21/13. ID thanks to Laura P. and John and Jane Balaban.||Pirate Wolf Spider, Durham, NC 11/17/20||Pirate Wolf Spider, Durham, NC, 12/10/20|
|Wolf spider (Gladicosa gulosa), Durham, NC, 2/6/19. ID thanks to Laura P.||Gladicosa pulchra, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 11/27/07. ID thanks to Laura P.|
|Lance Wolf Spider (Schizocosa avida), Durham, NC, 1/12/13||Lance Wolf Spider (Schizocosa avida), Durham, NC, 11/1/06||Wolf spider (Schizocosa crassipes), Durham, NC, 5/5/15||Wolf spider (Schizocosa crassipes), Durham, NC, 4/19/11|
|Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida) carrying young, Durham, NC, 9/22/18||Rabid Wolf Spider with egg sac, Durham, NC, 9/28/20||Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida), relatively large and moving fast, at the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 11/22/11||Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham, NC, 8/31/08||Rabid Wolf Spider (Rabidosa rabida), a Jordan Lake gameland, 6/19/07|
|Wolf spider (Trabeops aurantiacus), Durham, NC, 2/17/17. ID thanks to Steve Scholnick.||Wolf spider (Trabeops auranticus), Durham, NC, 2/23/17|
Lynx Spiders (Oxyopidae family, Lycosoidea, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)
|Green Lynx Spider, Durham, NC, 9/4/12||Green Lynx Spider with wasp prey, Durham, NC, 7/31/07||Green Lynx Spiders: mother and spiderlings with egg sac, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 10/27/13. This image illustrates this species' capability for camouflage.||Green Lynx Spider with egg sac, Durham, NC, 10/17/20||Green Lynx Spider, Durham, NC, 8/10/13||Green Lynx Spider, with egg sac, Opelika, AL, 10/16/13||Green Lynx spiderlings of the spider on the left, Opelika, AL, 10/16/13||Green Lynx Spider, NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 7/17/09||Female Green Lynx Spider, in fall brown coloring, central Florida, 11/16/11. Photo taken by Chester Wheeler|
Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus)
|Striped Lynx Spider, Durham, NC, 7/16/20||Striped Lynx Spider, Durham, NC, 7/29/12||Striped Lynx Spider , with small green prey, Boone, NC, 8/6/08||Striped Lynx Spider , with large black prey, Durham, 8/16/08.|
Crab Spiders (Thomisidae family, Dionycha, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Whitebanded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)
|Male Whitebanded Crab Spider, Durham, NC, 9/7/12||Male Whitebanded Crab Spider, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/12/08||This male Whitebanded Spider was busily spinning a web. It looks as though this spider has only three legs however, its two hind pairs are small and light-colored and didn't come out in these photos. The spider is missing one of its large black forelegs. Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Durham County, NC, 9/16/05.||Same male Whitebanded Crab Spider|
|White-banded Crab Spider, Durham, NC, 9/10/20||Female Whitebanded Crab Spider, assuming yellow color, with bumblebee prey. Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 9/19/11||Female Whitebanded Crab Spider also assuming yellow color, with bee prey, Durham, NC, 9/24/15|
|Female Whitebanded Crab Spiderwith wasp prey, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 8/23/13||Female White-banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes, Thomisidae family), on a Little-leaf Sensitive Briar flower, Riverbend Park, Catawba County, NC, 9/24/09||Female Whitebanded Crab Spider, Durham, NC, 5/21/16||Whitebanded Crab Spider with fly prey on Siler's Bald in Macon County, NC, on 8/10/05.||Female Whitebanded Crab Spider with Eastern Tailed Blue prey on Brazilian Verbena, Durham, NC, 9/28/08|
Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia)
|Female Goldenrod Crab Spider, Durham, NC, 8/28/18||Goldenrod Crab Spider, Tanawha Trail, Avery County, NC, 7/1/10||Goldenrod spider?, a very young spider.||Male Goldenrod Spider, Durham, NC, 7/7/12. This one landed on a trail bollard.|
|Very young Goldenrod spider, Durham, NC, 4/14/20||Goldenrod Spider, Durham, NC, 9/8/16||Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia), on oak catkin, on 3/30/20.||Goldenrod Spider, Durham, NC, 4/2/16||Goldenrod Spider, Durham, NC, 5/31/14|
Mecaphesa (formerly Misumenops) genus
|Crab spider (Mecaphesa asperata), Blue Ridge Parkway, Avery County, NC, 8/2/12||Female Flower Spider ( Mecaphesa asperata), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 10/2/05.||Crab Spider (Mecaphesa genus ), Durham, NC, 8/13/05. Apparently lying in wait for prey.||Crab Spider (Mecaphesa genus ) North Carolina Museum of Art outdoor trail, Wake County, NC, 5/8/07, with grasshopper prey.|
|Crab spider (Mecaphesa carletonica), Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines, Moore County, NC 10/31/14||Crab spider (Mecaphesa dubia), Durham, NC, 6/8/12||Crab spider (Mecaphesa dubia), Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 6/23/05. This one showed up on my car.|
|Crab spider (Synema parvulum), Durham, NC, 10/27/20||Crab spider (Synema parvulum), Durham, NC, 4/11/19||Crab spider (Synema parvulum), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 1/4/13||Crab spider (Synema parvulum) with spider prey, Durham, NC, 3/17/12||Crab spider (Synema parvulum), Durham, NC, 2/28/17||Tiny crab spider (Synema parvulum), with prey, Indian Creek Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 7/7/06.|
|Crab spider (Xysticus funestus), Durham, NC, 5/29/20||Xysticus genus spider with egg sac. Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment, NC, 8/15/10||Xysticus genus spider. Durham (swamp in my neighborhood), NC, 9/22/05.||Xysticus genus spider, Durham, NC, 10/1/05. Also found in local swamp. This spider was about ⅛ inch long.|
|Xysticus genus spider , Wannamaker County Park, Charleston County, SC, 3/28/06||Xysticus genus spider, Durham, NC, 5/17/08||Xysticus genus spider with ant prey, Durham, NC, 5/27/09|
|Crab spider, Durham, NC, 7/2/12. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban .||Crab spider, Durham, NC, 10/10/12|
|Crab Spider, Bassaniana genus maybe, Southern Village, Chapel Hill, NC, 5/7/09|
Unidentified Crab Spider
|Crab Spider, Durham, NC, 8/17/06. Showed up on door to our deck.|
Running Crab Spiders (Philodromidae family, Dionycha, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder )
|Male running crab spider, maybe Ebo genus, Durham, NC, 1/5/13||Running crab spider, Congaree National Park, SC, 4/30/11. ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban, confirmed by Lynette Elliott.||Running crab spider (Philodromus genus perhaps), Durham, NC, date unknown. ID thanks to John R. Maxwell.||Metallic Crab Spider (Philodromus maxi) spider, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/9/07||Philodromus fuscamarginatus, Finnmark County, Norway, 1/30/11. Photo by Roy Erling Wrånes.|
Ground Spiders (Gnaphosidae family, Gnaphosoidea, Dionycha, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
These are mainly nocturnal spiders that hide under rocks during the day, but every now and then we get a glimpse of them scurrying across a walking path. They may be often overlooked because they look like ants from a distance. However, they should not be confused with the "ant-mimic" spiders of Corinnidae, which look like brown ants up close.
|Gnaphosa muscorum? Durham, NC, 6/9/05. You can see only six legs, but this small (magnified) spider apparently lost some.||Gnaphosa muscorum? Durham, NC, 6/16/05. The abdomens have different colors and different numbers of spots.||Ground spider (Sergiolus capulatus), Durham, NC, 2/17/06||Ground spider (Cesonia bilineata), McAfee's Knob, Roanoke County, VA, 1/1/12||Ground spider (Cesonia bilineata), Durham, NC, 6/13/06.||Ground Spider (Drassyllus genus), Durham, NC, 4/3/20. ID thanks to Laura P.https://bugguide.net/user/view/59933|
Ant Mimic Spiders (Corinnidae family, Gnaphosoidea, Dionycha, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Ground sac spider (Castianeira longipalpa)
|Ground Sac Spider, Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 6/6/11||Antmimic spider , Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 5/15/15||Ground sac spider, American Tobacco Trail (miles 0-2), Durham, NC, 5/2/10||Ground sac spider, Southpoint Swamp, Durham, NC, 9/26/07, a moderate-sized spider. Thanks to Lynette Elliott for genus ID.||Ground sac spider, Durham, NC, 7/7/08||Corinnid spider , Hanging Rock State Park, Stokes County, NC, 6/18/09|
Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider (Castianeira descripta)
|Red-spotted Ant Mimic , Durham, NC, 11/20/07||Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider , Durham, NC, 5/18/08|
Three-lined Ant Mimic Spider (Castianeira trilineata)
|Three-lined Antmimic Spider, Durham, NC, 5/24/20||Three-lined Ant Mimic Spider, Durham, NC, 6/02/11. ID thanks to Kevin Pfeiffer.||Three-lined Ant Mimic Spider, Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 11/19/12|
Pleasing Ant Mimic Spider (Castaneira amoena)
|Ant mimic spider (Castaneira amoena), Durham, NC, 11/7/13|
Sac Spiders (Clubionidae family)
|Sac spider (Clubionidae family). Note the spinnerets at the end of the abdomen. Kyron thinks it might be a Clubiona genus member.||Sac spider, Durham, NC, 3/10/16|
Jumping Spiders (Salticidae family, Dionycha, RTA Clade, Entelegynae, Araneomorphae suborder)
Jumping spiders seem to have excellent vision and quick response times. One thing that's obvious is that they (except those in the Synemosyninae subfamily) can make big moves, such as 180° complete turnabouts, almost instantaneously, and don't need to have a completely horizontal surface to do it, either! They pounce on prey rather than using webs to catch it.
Attidops genus (no subfamily)
|Jumping spider (Attidops youngi, female)|
These spiders mimic the ant Pseudomyrmex caeciliae very closely.
|Male antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 5/27/14||Male antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 6/1/14||Female antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 12/29/20||Female antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 12/10/20||Female ntmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica)||Female antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 10/25/14||Apparently pregnant antmimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica), Durham, NC, 5/5/19|
|Orange Antmimic Jumping Spider (Sarinda hentzi), Durham, 6/4/16||Same Orange Antmimic Jumping Spider|
|Antmimic jumping spider (Peckhamia americana)||Same antmimic jumping spider|
|Female Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis, subfamily Lyssomaninae), outdoor trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 5/8/07||Male Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis), which showed up on my hat at the Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 5/22/09||Male Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis), Durham, NC, 5/29/15|
|Twinflagged Jumping Spider (Anasaitis canosa), Carolina Beach, New Hanover County, NC, 6/25/08. ID thanks to Ryan Kaldari see associated BugGuide page .|
Bronze Jumper (Eris Militaris) (no subfamily)
|Bronze Jumper, Durham, NC, 11/24/14||Bronze Jumper, Durham, NC, 10/3/13||Bronze Jumper, Durham, NC, 9/10/20||Bronze Jumper, Durham, NC, 11/13/17||Bronze Jumper, Durham, NC, 11/18/17|
|Jumping spider (Phidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 5/7/20. Is carrying prey.||Male jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 5/30/15||Male jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 5/19/15||Jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 4/28/07. Probably juvenile.||Very young jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 2/22/12.||Jumping spider (probably Paraphidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 5/11/21||Very young jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius), Durham, NC, 2/10/20|
|Female jumping spider, Prairie Ridge Ecostation, Raleigh, NC, 6/7/14||Female jumping spider, with prey. Flat River Impoundment, Durham County, NC, 7/18/11||Male jumping spider , Durham, NC, 6/15/08||Male jumping spider with prey, Durham, NC, 5/29/08|
|Jumping spider, Durham, NC, 6/14/13||Jumping spider, Durham, NC, 10/8/20||Jumping Spide, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 5/6/19||Same jumping spider|
|Male jumping spider (Phidippus whitmani), at Abbott Lake, Peaks of Otter Recreational Area, Bedford County, Virginia, 7/9/09|
|Jumping spider, a female Phidippus otiosus, Durham, NC, 10/28/14||Jumping spider (female Phidippus otiosus), Durham, NC, 10/3/14||Jumping spider (male Phidippus otiosus)||Jumping spider (male Phidippus otiosus) on a pokeweed plant, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 10/29/15||Big jumping spider (male Phidippus otiosis), Durham, NC, 4/20/12||Another view of the big jumping spider (male Phidippus otiosus)|
Daring Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)
|Jumping spider, Durham, NC, 9/6/19||Daring Jumping spider, Durham, NC, 9/5/17||Same Daring Jumping Spider, Durham, NC, 9/5/17||Daring Jumping spider, Durham, NC, 9/22/13|
|Jumping spider (Phidippus mystaceus), Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC, October 29, 2009|
|Jumping spider (male Phidippus princeps), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham, NC, 4/4/09. ID thanks to Ryan Kaldari.||Jumping spider (female Phidippus princeps), Durham, NC, 9/30/15||Jumping spider (female Phidippus princeps), Durham, NC, 7/1/15||Jumping spider (female Phidippus princeps), Durham, NC, 10/7/14||Jumping spider (female Phidippus princeps), Durham, NC, 10/23/15||Jumping spider (female Phidippus princeps), Durham, NC, 10/23/15|
Red-backed Jumping Spider (Phidippus johnsoni)
Note: these are generally believed to be Western spiders, so this is an interesting finding.
|Durham, NC, 3/23/16. ID thanks to Sebastian A. Eccheverri, Ph.D.||Durham, NC, 5/5/15|
|Peppered Jumping Spider (Pelegrina galathea), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/10/14.||Peppered Jumper (Pelegrina galathea), Durham, NC, 5/8/08||Jumping spider (male Pelegrina proterva), Durham, NC, 10/13/20||Jumping spider (another male Pelegrina proterva), Durham, NC, 3/27/17||Jumping spider (yet another male Pelegrina Proterva), Durham, NC, 4/21/21||Jumping spider (male Pelegrina proterva)||Jumping spider (yet another male Pelegrina Proterva), Durham, NC, 11/1/12|
|Jumping spider (female Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 6/5/14||Jumping spider (juvie female Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 9/16/20||Same jumping spider (Colonus sylvanus)||Jumping spider (female Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 5/17/19||Durham, NC, 9/15/11|
|Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 10/20/20||Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 5/17/19||Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus), Durham, NC, 5/28/13||Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus, Durham, NC, 5/21/16||Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus, Durham, NC, 5/21/09||Jumping spider (male Colonus sylvanus, Durham, NC, 9/25/11|
|Female, Durham, NC, 10/27/11||Female with wasp prey, Durham, NC, 3/30/18||Female, Durham, NC, January 31, 2017||Male, Durham, NC, 11/30/18||Male, Durham, NC, 4/17/18||Male, Durham, NC, 9/28/20||Jumping spider (male Hentzia mitrata), Durham, NC, 5/11/21||Male, Durham, NC, 3/7/16|
|Jumping spider (Hentzia palmarum), Durham, NC, 11/20/20||Another jumping spider, wiping eye, Durham, NC, 12/22/20||Same jumping spider, wiping eye, Durham, NC, 12/22/20||Female, Durham, NC, 10/24/20||Female, Durham, NC, 11/2/20||Female, Durham, NC, 10/20/20||Female, Durham, NC, 3/7/16||Female, Durham, NC, 11/13/17||Female, Durham, NC, 11/17/16||Male, Durham, NC, 6/11/20|
|Jumping spider (Tutelina elegans), Durham, NC, 6/11/09|
|Jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus)||Jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus), Durham, NC, 8/14/07. This was a relatively large spider, at least 13 mm long and very lively.||Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus),Durham, NC, 7/13/06. It is missing its left foreleg.|
|Jumping spider (Metacyrba taeniola), Durham, NC, 6/20/05|
|Female Dimorphic Jumper (Maevia inclemens), Durham, NC, 5/30/15||Female Dimorphic Jumper (Maevia inclemens), Durham, NC, 3/30/20||Same female Dimorphic Jumper||Female Dimorphic Jumper (Maevia inclemens), Durham, NC, 7/10/14||Female Dimorphic Jumper ( Maevia inclemens), Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 7/27/07||Male Dimorphic Jumper (Maevia inclemens), Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC, 6/16/13|
Notes on Taxonomy Choices
Generally speaking, spider taxonomy is based on anatomical structure characteristics and nature of behavior, e.g., the movements a spider makes while constructing a web, with final web shape a lesser consideration. Some spiders ambush and pounce on prey rather than catching it in a web. This is based on the theoretical heredity pattern on certain traits during the process of evolution. Nevertheless, certain families have misleading common names, e.g., "orb weavers."
Spider taxonomy today, now basically on spider genome data, is a work in progress: although the family, genus and species classifications shown below are mainly traditional, the higher taxa are in the process of substantial revision and different sources seem to represent different stages of the process. We have done our best to make sense of this situation and are trying to keep as current as possible.
We have chosen the Tree of Life Web spider pages to supply the higher taxa shown here: we should note, however, that all or most of its web pages used here are marked "temporary page." The Tree of Life Web does not supply taxa under the Araneidae family: for this, we have used Animal Diversity Web Araneidae pages . Since the number of levels in the developing hierarchy is still under consideration, none are assigned names such as "superfamily." The classifications below represent their trees in a simplified form to show the relationships among the members of this small subset of (mainly North Carolina) spider species, with taxa at the head of each family category presented from lowest to highest in the hierarchy. For details on where this process was in 1999, see Griswold et al., 1999 .
Copyright © 2005-2020 by Dorothy E. Pugh, except for photos explicitly designated as having been taken by other photographers.
Spiders are beneficial despite their reputation
They are vacuumed up, swept away with brooms, sprayed and stomped on.
But despite their battered image, spiders labor on — consuming even more insects than do birds or reptiles.
“It’s mainly because of their high numbers that they are beneficial in that respect,” says Bennett Moulder, adjunct research associate with the Illinois State Museum. “It’s astounding the number of spiders that are out there.”
Spiders get no respect.
They are vacuumed up, swept away with brooms, sprayed and stomped on.
But despite their battered image, spiders labor on — consuming even more insects than do birds or reptiles.
“It’s mainly because of their high numbers that they are beneficial in that respect,” says Bennett Moulder, adjunct research associate with the Illinois State Museum. “It’s astounding the number of spiders that are out there.”
There are more than 500 species of spiders to be found in Illinois, Moulder says, and he can’t think of a single one that is endangered or threatened.
“Some of them are web builders and some of them are active hunters,” he says. “Some are ambush feeders. They use a number of strategies to capture the insects.”
Moulder, 75, is retired from Illinois College, where he taught biology for 27 years. He is the author of “A Guide to Common Spiders of Illinois,” available through the Illinois State Museum.
“Most spiders are perfectly harmless,” he says. “If they do happen to bite you, it is generally a defensive bite. Very few spiders are aggressive biters of humans.
“You may experience a little temporary pain, and that’s about it.”
Fear of spiders may be built in – or it may not be.
“Most people are afraid of spiders,” Moulder says. “I suppose it’s partly learned and partly imprinted in us.
“They have a lot of legs and are kind of creepy looking,” he says. “And people have an aversion for them.”
There are a few exceptions to the “harmless” rule, of course, including the black widow and brown recluse.
But Moulder says bites from one of those two spiders “are pretty rare events.”
The black widow has a characteristic red hourglass marking on its abdomen, while the brown recluse has long legs and a violin-shaped mark on its back.
Spiders come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes — some with no real explanation of the benefit of such physical features.
Some of the more intriguing spiders in the woods right now are the spiny-bellied orb weavers, or Micrathena spiders.
“They are particularly prevalent right now,” Moulder says. “If you take a walk in the woods right now, you will probably encounter one.”
Another common spider is the triangular orb weaver, with its triangle-shaped abdomen.
Moulder is at a loss to explain the purpose of the unique features.
“I have no idea whatsoever,” he says with a laugh. “It might discourage birds from feeding on them. Some of these adaptations, they are there, but I don’t have any idea what the evolutionary benefit might be.
“There are so many odd shapes of spider’s abdomens, it is kind of mind-boggling.”
At home, people are most likely to encounter the domestic or house spider. Another basement-dwelling spider, the bulbous cellar spider, has long, thin legs and a longish body.
“It looks somewhat like daddy longlegs,” Moulder says. “It builds webs in basements and garages.”
Wolf spiders are active hunting spiders of which there are a large number of species. Some of them can take up residence inside, too.
There are two species of Argiope garden spiders that have dramatic yellow and black markings.
Sometimes even the predator can become prey. Mud dauber wasps capture spiders and seal them into their nests to be food for hatching young.
“Wasps provision their nests with them,” he says. “If you break open the nest, you will find a whole bunch of spiders crammed inside. They lay their eggs on them and the young feed on them.”
Apparently, the fear of spiders is universal.
Explanation of Solution
Explanation/justification for the correct answer:
Option (B) 4. The spiders have 8 legs in total, which means they have a total of 4 pairs of joint appendages. Hence, the correct answer is option (B).
Explanation for incorrect answer:
Option (A) 3. Three pairs of joint appendages represent 6 legs. Hence, it is an incorrect answer.
Option (C) 5. Five pairs of joint appendages represent 10 legs. Hence, it is an incorrect answer.
Option (D) 6. 6 pair of joint appendages mean 12 legs. Hence, it is an incorrect answer.
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Spider Identification Illinois - Biology
469 Morrill Hall
Mail: 515 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
PhD 2002: Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University
BSc 1996: Organismal Biology, Yale University
DSc 2010: Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
MSc 2011: Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington
Ornithology, Physiology, Topics in Ecology and Evolution, Animal Behavior, Neuroethology
I am a professor and behavioral ecologist, conservation scientist, and comparative psychologist, focusing on the evolution of recognition systems, and using land- and seabirds to address questions about how individuals recognize themselves, their mates, their young, their prey, and their predators. Shifting gears between behavioral, developmental, and molecular tools, my lab has been studying the social and genetic consequences of species recognition in avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos and cowbirds. We also explore the cogntive and neurophysiological bases of self/other discrimination critical for the social functioning of individuals, including crowded nests, dense seabird colonies, and even large human settlements. We use comparative and genetic tools, chemical and physical models, and perceptual and mathematical models to understand how individuals make the decisions which are critical for their survival and success, including sexual reproduction.
Research in the Hauber lab (@cowbirdlab on Twitter) in the Department of Animal Biology at the School of Integrative Biology of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, focuses on the evolution of recognition systems. Shifting gears between behavioral, developmental, physiological, and molecular tools, we are studying the social and genetic consequences of species recognition in avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos, cowbirds, and whydahs, and their hosts. Obligate brood parasitism in birds provides an exciting model system for the evolution of social behaviors because, unlike 99% of bird species, they lay their eggs into nests of other species and are reared by foster parents. Several other projects in the lab tap into national and international collaborations throughout the world of birds, including the unique and often endangered sea- and shorebird fauna of New Zealand, as well as mammals, spiders, and other organisms from around the globe.
Editor-in-Chief, The Auk: Ornithological Advances (2014-2018)
Fellow, American Ornithological Society (2013)
Miller Institute Basic Research in Science Fellowship (2002-2005), UC Berkeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship (1997-2002)
Phi Beta Kappa (1996)
Cuthill I, Allen W, Arbuckle K, Caspers B, Chaplin G, Hauber ME, Hill GE, Jablonski N, Jiggins C, Kelber A, Mappes J, Marshall J, Merrill R, Osorio D, Prum R, Roberts N, Roulin A, Rowland H, Sherratt T, Skelhorn J, Speed M, Stevens M, Stoddard MC, Stuart-Fox D, Talas L, Tibbetts E, Caro (in press) The Biology of Color. Science.
Stoddard MC, Hauber ME (in press) Colour, vision, and coevolution in avian brood parasitism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 372: 20160339.
Hanley D, Grim T, Igic B, Samas P, Lopez AV, Shawkey MD, Hauber ME (2017) Egg discrimination along a gradient of natural variation in eggshell coloration. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20162592.
Mendelson TC, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Pence CH, Rodgriguez RL, Safran RJ, Stern CA, Stevens JR (2016) Cognitive phenotypes and the evolution of animal decisions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11: 850–859.
d’Alba L, Rafael M, Hauber ME, Shawkey MD (2016) The evolution of eggshell cuticle in relation to nesting ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20160687.
Louder MIM, Voss HU, Manna TJ, Carryl SS, London SE, Balakrishnan CN, Hauber ME (2016) Shared neural substrates for song discrimination in parental and parasitic songbirds. Neuroscience Letters 622: 49-54. Hebets EA, Barron AB, Balakrishnan C, Hauber ME, Mason P, Hoke K (2016) A systems approach to animal signaling. Proceeding of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20152889.
Hanley D, Grim T, Cassey P, Hauber ME (2015) Not so colourful after all: eggshell pigments constrain avian eggshell colour space. Biology Letters 11: 20150087. Read about it in Audubon Magazine.
Igic B, Nunez V, Voss HU, Croston R, Aidala Z, Lopez AV, Van Tatenhove A, Holford ME, Shawkey MD, Hauber ME (2015) Using 3D printed eggs to examine the egg-rejection behaviour of wild birds. PeerJ 3:e965. Read about it in Science and listen about it on NPR.
Igic B, Fecheyr-Lippens D, Xiao M, Chan A, Hanley D, Brennan PR, Grim T, Waterhouse GI, Hauber ME,Shawkey MD (2015) A nanostructural basis for gloss of avian eggshells. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12: 20141210. Read about it in the NY Times.
Barron AB, Hebets EA, Cleland TA, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Stevens J (2015) Embracing multiple definitions of learning. Trends in Neurosciences 38: 405-407.
Hauber ME (2014) The Book of Eggs. University of Chicago Press. Read about it in The Guardian.
Colombelli-Negrel D, Hauber ME, Kleindorfer SM (2014) Prenatal learning in an Australian songbird: habituation and individual discrimination in superb fairy-wren embryos. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 281: 20141154. Read about it in Science and the Smithsonian Magazine.
Hauber ME, Woolley SMN, Cassey P, Theunissen FE (2013) Experience dependence of neural responses to different classes of male songs in the primary auditory forebrain of female songbirds. Behavioural Brain Research 243: 184-190.
Colombelli-Negrel D, Hauber ME, Robertson J, Sulloway FJ, Hoi H, Griggio M, Evans C, Kleindorfer S (2012) Embryonic learning of vocal passwords in superb fairy-wrens reveals intruder cuckoo nestlings.Current Biology 22: 2155-2160. Read about it in the NY Times . Highlighted as a top-10 research discovery by ABC.
Igic B, Cassey P, Grim T, Greenwood DR, Moskat C, Rutila J, Hauber ME (2012) A shared chemical basis of avian host-parasite egg colour mimicry. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279: 1068-1076.
Machovsky Capuska GE, Howland HC, Raubenheimer D, Vaugh R, Wursig B, Hauber ME, Katzir G (2012) Visual accommodation and active pursuit of prey underwater in a plunge diving bird: the Australasian gannet.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279: 4118-4125. Read about it in Current Biology.
Rayner MJ, Hauber ME, Steeves TE, Lawrence HA, Thompson DR, Sagar PM, Bury SJ, Landers TJ, Phillips RA, Ranjard L, Shaffer SA (2011) Contemporary and historical separation of transequatorial migration between genetically distinct seabird populations. Nature Communications 2: 232. Featured on Radio New Zealand.
Igic B, Braganza K, Hyland MM, Silyn-Roberts H, Cassey P, Grim T, Rutila J, Moskat C, Hauber ME (2011) Alternative mechanisms of increased eggshell hardness of avian brood parasites relative to host species.Journal of the Royal Society Interface 8: 1654-1664.
Hubbard JK, Uy AC, Hauber ME, Hoekstra HE, Safran RJ (2010) Vertebrate pigmentation: from underlying genes to adaptive function. Trends in Genetics 26: 231-239
Steeves TE, Holdaway RN, Hale ML, McLay E, McAllan IAW, Christian M, Hauber ME, Bunce M (2010) Merging ancient and modern DNA: extinct seabird taxon rediscovered in the North Tasman Sea. Biology Letters 6: 94-97.
Anderson MG, Ross HA, Brunton DH, Hauber ME (2009) Begging call matching between a specialist brood parasite and its host: a comparative approach to detect co-evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 98: 208-216.
Cassey P, Honza M, Grim T, Hauber ME (2008) The modeling of avian visual perception predicts behavioural rejection responses to foreign egg colours. Biology Letters 4: 515-517. Read about it in Current Biology.
Rubenstein DR, Hauber ME (2008) Dynamic feedback between phenotype and physiology in sexually selected traits. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23: 655-658.
Rayner MJ, Hauber ME, Imber MJ, Stamp RK, Clout MN (2007) Spatial heterogeneity of mesopredator release within an oceanic island system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104: 20862-20865. Read about it the NY Times.
Hauber ME, Moskat C, Ban M (2006) Experimental shift in hosts' acceptance threshold of inaccurate-mimic brood parasite eggs. Biology Letters 2: 177-180.
Shawkey MD, Hauber ME, Estep LK, Hill GE (2006) Evolutionary transitions and mechanisms of matte and iridescent plumage coloration in grackles and allies (Icteridae). Journal of the Royal Society Interface 3: 777-786.
Hauber ME, Lacey EA (2005) Bateman's principle in cooperatively breeding vertebrates: the effects of non-breeding alloparents on variability of female and male reproductive success. Integrative and Comparative Biology 45: 903-914. Cited in Nature, Sciences, and PNAS
Kilner RM, Madden JR, Hauber ME (2004) Brood parasitic cowbird nestlings use host young to procure resources. Science 305: 877-879. Read about it in the NY Times and listen about it on NPR.
Hauber ME, Yeh PJ, Roberts JOL (2004) Patterns and coevolutionary consequences of repeated brood parasitism. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 271: S317-S320.
Hauber ME (2003) Interspecific brood parasitism and the evolution of host clutch sizes. Evolutionary Ecology Research 5: 559-570.
McGraw KJ, Mackillup EA, Dale J, Hauber ME (2002) Differential effects of nutritional stress during molt on the expression of melanin- and structurally based ornamental plumage coloration. Journal of Experimental Biology 205: 3747-3755.
Hauber ME, Sherman PW (2001) Self-referent phenotype matching: theoretical possibilities and empirical tests. Trends in Neurosciences 24: 609-616.
Hauber ME, Russo SA, Sherman PW (2001) A password for species recognition in a brood parasitic bird.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 268: 1041-1048. Read about it National Geographic.
Hauber ME, Sherman PW (2000) The armpit effect in hamster kin recognition. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15: 349-350.
Because of media hyperbole and anxiety-filled stories by the general public extolling the horrors associated with brown recluse spiders, people are very interested in knowing if the spiders they find are brown recluses. Although it is true that a brown recluse has a violin pattern, many non-arachnologists creatively misinterpret many markings on spiders as "violins" and feel that they have found recluse spiders. Therefore, if you can learn to identify your spider as NOT a recluse, you can relieve your worries. You won't be able to tell what it is (and please don't send them to me for identification because due to shift in the California economy, I no longer provide these services) but you will at least know that it is not a recluse spider.
Several important things:
- to see if you live in an area that is supposed to have recluse spiders. If you do not live in any of the colored areas in the map, then it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that you have a recluse spider. It is POSSIBLE but incredibly unlikely.
- Because so many people have mistaken markings on a spider as violins, this is NOT a reliable characteristic for a non-arachnologist. You need to look at the eye pattern.
- Even if you have a recluse, bites from them are extremely rare, despite all the stories. Many of the really graphic nasty wounds you see on the internet as recluse bites can also be other conditions like necrotizing bacteria and pyoderma gangrenosum. Ninety percent of brown recluse bites are not medically significant, heal very nicely often without medical. intervention and treatment for most brown recluse bites is simple first aid (RICE therapy - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Many conditions are misdiagnosed as recluse bites when their cause is something else like infection, bad reaction to medication, diabetic ulcers, Lyme disease, or other underlying medical conditions.
What does a brown recluse look like?
A brown recluse has a dark brown violin shape on the cephalothorax (the portion of the body to which the legs attach). The neck of the violin points backward toward the abdomen. However, what you should look at instead is the eye pattern of 6 eyes in pairs with a space separating the pairs. Most spiders have 8 eyes in two rows of four.
Here are the things that describe a brown recluse spider (but some other spiders have a few of these characters too). There are pictures below to illustrate what is NOT a recluse.
- Six eyes arranged in pairs, with one pair in front and a pair on either side.
- A dark violin shape on the cephalothorax.
- Uniformly light-colored legs - no stripes, no bands
- Uniformly colored abdomen which can vary from cream to dark brown depending on what it has eaten, however, it will never have two colors of pigment at the same time. (The little discoloration on the spider above left is the heart which can be seen through the thin skin.)
- No spines on the legs, only fine hairs
- Recluses make small retreat webs behind objects, never out in the open.
- It is about 3/8 of an inch in body length.
All of the specimens shown below have been submitted to me as brown recluses. None of the spiders below should be considered dangerous.
Six eyes, not eight
You may not always be able to count the eyes and some eye pairs are so close together that you might not be able to see both of them, however, the 6 eye pattern of the brown recluse is easy to see with minor magnification. Most spiders can be eliminated as NOT brown recluses simply from this aspect. Be aware that there are spitting spiders (genus Scytodes) (below) which have a similar eye pattern but they do NOT have a violin (plus it has more than one color on its legs and abdomen).
Dark violin pattern
People have submitted the following spiders because they thought that they saw violins on their bodies. People also claim to see the violins on the top and bottom of the abdomen, and the underside of the cephalothorax. In the left photo, the two light spiders look like they have violins but they also have 8 eyes (although you need a microscope to see all 8 of them) and more than one pigment on the abdomen so they are not recluses (they are cellar spiders, genus Psilochorus and/or Physocyclus). The other spider in the left picture has a very faint dark line pattern which people assume is a violin. It also has 8 eyes and massive spines on its legs, so it is not a recluse. In the right photo, this spider has a slight darkening near its eyes so people mistake this for a recluse violin. This spider has 8 eyes clumped together and black spines on its legs although you may not be able to see the spines in this image (genus Kukulcania).
Uniformly colored legs and uniformly colored abdomen
If there is more than one color on the legs, or if the legs are brown or darker, it is NOT a recluse. If the spider has more than one pigment on the abdomen, it is NOT a recluse. The top two spiders are funnel weavers (family Agelenidae), the bottom left is an orbweaver (family Araneidae), and the bottom right spider is a male huntsman spider (Heteropoda venatoria) found most often in Florida but occasionally in other gulf coast states. They are can be determined to be NOT recluses by more than one color on their legs or abdomens.
Fine hairs only, no spines
If the spider has conspicuous thick spines on the legs, it is NOT a recluse. This orb weaver below has many spines sticking out perpendicularly from the legs.
Web made out of sight
If the spider has a conspicuous web out where you can see it, or between two trees or in rose bushes, it is NOT a recluse. The "classic" spider webs like that of Charlotte's Web are made by orb weavers.
Not larger than 1/2 inch in body length
If the spider has a body length of greater than half an inch, it is NOT a recluse.