Common Spider Species
Black Widow Spiders
The most venomous spider in North America, the black widow spider, is also widespread in temperate climates around the world. Black widow spider venom is nearly 15 times as toxic as that of a rattlesnake. Fortunately, however, black widows are not aggressive and will only attack when their nests are disturbed.
Black widow spiders are easy to identify, with a red hourglass marking on their abdomen. As the name implies, the female black widow will eat its male counterpart after they’ve mated.
Brown Recluse Spiders
As the name suggests, brown recluse spiders prefer solitude and will generally build webs in dark, dry areas that are normally undisturbed. These spiders have a tendency to flee, but if provoked, will bite. This species is also known to eat one another and are nocturnal hunters, rather than relying on their webs to catch prey. The brown recluse spider has a dark violin-shaped figure on its cephalothorax with very fine hairs on its legs. The range of brown recluse spiders is not widespread, limited only to the south-central United States.
Hobo spiders are mistaken as being aggressive due to their quick movements, but it is actually due to very poor vision that they tend to run directly toward people. Hobo spiders are brown and oftentimes are confused with other spiders, including the brown recluse. Hobo spiders weave funnel-shaped webs that are not sticky, like most spider webs, but rather give them space to attack their prey upon entry. In addition to poor vision, they are also poor climbers, so hobo spiders are often found at ground level.
Wolf spiders are rather large in size, and can be up to 2 inches long. Wolf spiders are named as such due to their stalking and hunting of prey, much like wolves, although unlike wolves, they are unable to move their eyes, forcing them to rotate their body position when stalking. Wolf spiders have vast range, found on all continents but Antarctica. They are nocturnal hunters and do not rely on a web to catch prey, but rather run quickly after them.