There are many different types of spiders around the world, and they can actually be pretty useful!
They’re great at bug control, and they’re an important part of the ecosystem. The problem is, you have to be able to put up with spiders in order to keep bug infestations at a minimum.
For many people, this is no simple task. In fact, arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) is one of the most common phobias people suffer from. This fear goes beyond being afraid of danger – such as an aversion to being bitten by a poisonous spider – but is a more carnal and deep-rooted aversion to anything arachnid.
To put things simply, people simply do not like spiders!
But in order to overcome this collective fear, one thing people can do is take the time to educate themselves about these fascinating eight-legged creatures. Once you delve into it, you’ll discover that the types of spiders around the world differ greatly from your regular old house spider: with varieties ranging from the redback spider to the ominously-named huntsman spider, or even the common garden spider.
Different Spiders Have Different Characteristics
While spiders are common household pests today, it is interesting to ponder over how they evolved over time. It is believed that spiders evolved about 400 million years ago, and it is also unanimously believed that they emerge from ancestors that resemble the anatomy of crabs.
Some spiders produce venom which is considered as a fundamental part of their evolution process. It allows them to have easy access to food and provide shelter for themselves. The evolution of spiders has also enabled them to be smaller in size and be able to survive in diverse regions.
Their ability to produce silk for making a spider web is a unique characteristic that has benefitted them greatly. While creating a web is a common feature that we associate with spiders, not all spiders create webs. Some spiders make webs to capture prey, while others don’t. Hence, different species of spiders function differently, depending on their exclusive characteristics. Consequently, there are five different categories of spider web:
- Funnel webs
- Orb webs
- Triangle webs
- Sheet webs
To give you a thorough insight into various types of spiders and their unique innate features, we have composed this blog post for you. Here we discuss all the popular types of spiders and what makes all these diverse species different from one another.
Table of Contents
- Different Spiders Have Different Characteristics
- Anatomy of a Spider
- Types of Spiders
Anatomy of a Spider
Types of Spiders
1. Brown Recluse Spider
Also known as the Violin Spider, the brown recluse spider is famous for its appearance similar to a violin. While it is common for spiders to have eight sets of eyes, this type of spider only possesses six sets of eyes. As the name suggests, these spiders boast a brown color but you may also find them in shades like cream, gray, and black.
Studies show that the varying locations of these one-inch long spiders may have an impact on their coloration which is why it is not so surprising to see them in colors other than brown. One of the most notable characteristics of the Violin spider is their ability to camouflage which helps them hide from their predators.
These hairy spiders are commonly found in places where human beings don’t visit on a daily basis or haven’t touched or changed things in there. These areas include attics, storage areas, backyard, and sheds. Hence, their natural habitat can be your homes.
The brown recluse spider builds its own web to catch prey. They usually catch nasty pests like cockroaches and crickets for their everyday meals. You may not know this, but these spiders can be dangerous to humans as they may bite them if they feel threatened. They inject their venom into humans and can be belligerent.
2. American House Spiders
Having the scientific name – Parasteatoda tepidariorum, American house spiders are locally termed as the common house spider. This spider species belongs to the genus Parasteatoda which is indigenous to the New World. You can typically encounter them in regions like North America, Pakistan, and Myanmar. The best way to spot the American house spider is by judging their abdomen which is round and their coloration typically dull brown with tiny spots on its body and legs. The average body size of this type of spider is a quarter-inch (6mm). It is believed that these species can live for years after they mature.
Did you know that a single egg of the American house spider can contain more than 400 eggs?
Belonging to cobweb spiders, American house spiders build their webs in places such as closets, cabinets, crawl areas, and basements. Unlike brown recluse spiders, common house spiders are absolutely harmless. However, wherever they reside, they tend to make the space messy with their cobwebs.
When it comes to big spiders, the first type that comes into mind instantly is the tarantula. Owing to their big size and hairy body, these spiders are also known as the “Baboon Spider” in several landmarks such as Africa. It is easy to get scared of the Tarantula as their large size can prove to be intimidating to many people. It is believed that the female Tarantula can grow up to 12 inches in length while the males can be as big as 8 inches only.
The Tarantula can be found in colors like brown and gray with dark black lines on their legs. Due to their unique size and shape, several people consider getting tarantulas as their pet spider. However, one must be fully aware of the conditions and tactics to safely house and look after tarantulas.
It may seem surprising, but this type of spider doesn’t spend time in creating webs to capture their prey. In fact, these species of spiders don’t even know how to create silk for themselves. This is also one of the reasons why people prefer them as pets for their lack of web-making skills helps keep the house clean.
The tarantula also happens to be a timid and harmless creature. That being said, they can show signs of hostility. This only happens when these spiders feel backed down or cornered by human beings. They can also display aggressive behavior when they see other male Tarantulas mating with their females. When angry, the tarantula will hiss or put their legs high up in the air.
4. Goliath Bird-Eater Spider
Recognized as the world’s biggest spider, the Goliath bird-eater is a type of spider that hails from the Tarantula family, and has a leg span of a whopping 12 inches! This spider species was named soon after it was seen feeding on a hummingbird one day. Since then, it is known as the “bird-eater” spider.
The native land of the Goliath bird-eater is the rainforests of South America. They dig burrows for themselves where they live and capture their prey. These spiders tend to have a fighting streak as they can be aggressive with other spiders in matters of claiming their territory and ownership.
These species make hissing noises by rubbing their legs together when they feel threatened by other spiders. At that point, it is ideal to stay away from them or else get ready to be bitten by their venom and suffer in pain.
5. Camel Spider
If you have ever heard of someone saying names like the Wind Scorpion or the Sun Spider, then it clearly means that they are referring to none other than the camel spider. Researchers debate over whether these creatures are really spiders or scorpions, considering they display some characteristics common in scorpions. As compared to other types of spiders, these reptiles are longer in size; generally, they can grow up to 3 to 6 inches long. These big-eyed creatures can be seen in a wide range of colors from tan to light brown to darkish hues. Ironically, male camel spiders are smaller in size as compared to their female counterparts. They are so small, in fact, that many people mistake them for baby spiders.
Camel spiders prefer to hide in their surroundings, which is why they are commonly spotted in darker areas like a shed or basement. They may also be seen under the rocks, wooden boards, clothing piles – basically any spot that is dark and allows them to hide without getting caught. The stand-out feature of camel spiders is that they seem to run like the speed of light, having the ability to run 10 miles an hour!
Camel spiders feed on insects (both alive and dead) and can also store fat in their body which helps them sustain during times when they don’t have enough food for their intake. Some of the insects that camel spiders consume include rodents, lizards, termites, and beetles.
6. Wolf Spider
Wolf spiders are a muscular and fast-moving species with a face resembling a wolf (hence the name – wolf spider) and eight eyes that vary in their sizes and shapes. The coloration and the body size of the wolf spider vary depending on the area they are living in. For example, in some regions, wolf spiders are 1 inch long, while they may be half that size in other regions. While these spiders live in many different areas, they are commonly found in North Carolina. They are spotted residing around coastal areas, suburban areas, grassy fields, and pastures.
Wolf spiders are capable of digging burrows which they spend most of their time doing. They also put trap doors all around their burrows to capture their prey. This shows that these creatures are smart and intelligent. They also put small stones on their burrows to avoid unnecessary intervention. It is not easy to find these spiders since they are good at hiding under rocks and woods. While they thrive best in a harsh climate, they turn to homes and basements as the temperature starts to drop.
Given that they have a flexible abdomen, wolf spiders eat like a wolf! Their basic food includes crickets and flies.
Fun fact: The male wolf spiders are drawn to the female ones due to their fragrance. However, they approach them with love and caution as the females can turn hostile and make them leave. The males usually soothe angry females by dancing.
7. Black Widow Spider
The black widow spider is notorious for being one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. That’s because it has humongous venom glands that can ignite pain, especially if you are bitten by the female black widow spider. It is quite easy to identify female black widow spiders as they boost an intense dark body with small red spots on them. The males usually exhibit a yellow or white-colored body. Besides having a different coloration, the male black widow spider also comes about half the size of their female counterpart. If you ever spot a spider displaying a hot red shade, beware and move toward the opposite direction. Coming near to the spider at that time can prove to be very harmful to you.
Generally, these spiders live in the warmer areas of the United States, Mexico, and Canada as they prefer hot regions. As the weather turns cold, these venomous spiders find shelter and go into hiding. Like typical spiders, they kill their prey through webs. They wait for roaches, insects, and beetles to come near their web and hang in an upside position and instill venom in them.
8. Hobo Spider
Like the black widow spider, the hobo spider is considered to be hostile and dangerous. Unlike other species of spiders, they don’t come in a variety of colors. In fact, they have brown shade with black spots on their bodies. Their central region of the abdomen contains “V” marks and two striking spinnerets that pop out of their abdominal.
Europe is the home of Hobo spiders, but with time, these creatures have moved to many other new localities. In the 1930s, the United States started spotting hobo spiders, especially in Seattle. It is believed that an agricultural shipment, containing several Hobo eggs, resulted in the spread of the spider in the United States.
The hobo spider is very hard to encounter, considering it is an excellent hider. It usually hides when the season becomes warm – this is also the time when it may be found inside your houses. These spiders are also popular for making a special type of web – known as a funnel web. If you’re afraid of suffering a hobo spider bite – don’t fret too much. They usually feed on creatures like silverfish, flies, beetles, and cockroaches – and since they are somewhat reclusive; you don’t need to worry too much about encountering one
It’s also worth noting that hobo spiders have poor vision, which is why they can’t climb properly and hence prefer to live and eat on the ground. So keep your eyes down when hunting for this particular spider variety.
9. Golden Silk Spider
The golden silk spider, also known as the giant wood spider and the banana spider, builds a web that is golden in color. This hallmark is exactly why this spider species is called “the golden silk spider”. The golden-hued silk makes the spider’s web more attractive than any other spiders’ web. However, the color is not the only striking feature of the webs. These webs are always created in a special zig-zag style.
The giant wood spider appears in several kinds of colors such as red, green, yellow, black, or brown. It also consists of white spots on both its abdomen and legs. The female banana spider usually grows up to 2 inches in size while the males are only able to grow up to an inch. However, their overall size largely relies on their habitat.
The banana spider can be spotted all around the world, especially in areas that experience warmer climatic conditions. Some of the common locations to encounter the golden silk spider are Madagascar, Australia, USA (Texas and North Carolina).
Like hobo spiders, golden silk spiders are unable to see properly which is why they depend on their senses most of the time. Through vibrations, they can detect danger and can run or jump to defend themselves. These spiders prefer small or medium-sized creatures to feed on. Their favorite food sources include flies, moths, grasshoppers, butterflies, mosquitoes, and tiny snakes. While these spiders are venomous in nature, they hardly bite human beings. Their bite may lead to pain or blisters but it would hardly get to the point where you will have to see the doctor.
10. Jumping Spiders
You will be astounded to find out that there are about 5,000 species of the jumping spider. It is estimated that there is approx. 13% of jumping spiders out of all the spider species in this world. The most distinctive feature of the jumping spider is its four large eyes that are lined in a single row. Three of these eyes help them see and hence these species of spiders are popular for having good eyesight. Like an insect, these four-eyed spiders have lungs along with a tracheal system. Both of these body parts support their respiratory system.
As the name suggests, the jumping spider has the ability to jump higher. They are known to jump with the help of their silk. They also jump around from one place to another during the daytime in search of food which includes bugs and several insects. The jumping spider is found in forests, woodlands, grasslands, and mountainous areas. However, in order to survive in these areas successfully, these spiders require proper food and shelter.
11. Redback Spider
The redback spider is also known as the ‘Australian black widow’ and when you take a look at its colors and its markings, it’s easy to see why. It resembles the black widow spider; black in color with a bulbous body featuring a red stripe. As with most spider species – the female spider is larger than the male spider, with a body length of about 10 millimeters (compared with just 3-4mm for the males).
The redback spider is a highly poisonous spider, and has historically been responsible for more treatments of antivenom in Australia than any other venomous creature! However, it looks like the incidences are no longer as frequent, with just 250 bites reported where the spider venom was sufficient to need antivenom treatment in 2017.
12. Brazilian Wandering Spider
The Brazilian wandering spider is claimed to be the deadliest spider in the world – but this is a subject that is often up for debate (with many people claiming that the black widow or the funnel web spider takes that title). The leg length of the Brazilian wandering spider can reach up to 6 inches, with 2 inches wide around their abdomen. These spiders like to wander in jungles, especially in the dark, damp areas of the woods. Their most common habitats include the forests in Peru, Columbia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Brazil.
One of the popular hiding places of Brazilian wandering spiders is bananas. So one of the common ways they spread and have spread in other parts of the world is by hiding in the crates of bananas meant to be exported. When held captive, the Brazilian wandering spider can expose their vehement side. Their dark side is also revealed when they fight others over their territory and mate.
While it is understandable why one may be afraid of spiders, but one thing, we got to say, they are, indeed, quite interesting species!
What are the most common house spiders?
Aside from the common house spider, some of the most common spider species that may be found in the home include the wolf spider, the brown recluse, daddy longleg spider, the yellow sac spider and the grass spider – among others.
What is the most venomous spider?
The deadliest group of spiders are those belonging to the Phoneutria genus. Among others, spiders in this category include the black widow, brown widow, red widow, and funnel web spider (also known as atrax robustus).
In fact, atrax robustus has been called the deadliest spider in the world, due to a combination of its highly poisonous venom, its aggressive nature, and the fact that it can often be found in close proximity to human life.
How many different types of spiders are there?
At present, there are 45, 000 known types of spiders in the world. This number will change as more species are discovered; with the latest new species of spider discovered as recently as September 2020 – in central cordillera, not far from the Pacific coast.
What types of spiders jump?
Of course, the jumping spider is a variety of spider that can jump (as the name suggests) – this is actually a category of spider known as the Salticidae family. There are about 500 species within this family, all of which are capable of jumping. While some other spider types can jump, it seems to be the jumping spider that is the most common.
What spiders make webs?
There are different categories of spider web, and spiders that many spiders that can construct them. It is easiest to list some of the common types of spiders that weave specific types of webs, such as the funnel web spider that weaves a funnel web, or the orb weaver, which weaves an orb style bait web. Common house spiders are sometimes referred to as a cobweb spider simply because of the webs they weave in people’s homes.
How many different types of spider webs are there?
There are five different types (or categories) of spider webs created for trapping bait. These are: orb webs, funnel webs, cobwebs, sheet webs, and triangle webs.