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Spiders in Mississippi

There are over 40 different types of spiders in Mississippi. You’ll find these fascinating arthropods everywhere from basements and window sills in your home to porches, gardens, and forests outdoors.

Spiders are among the most commonly encountered arachnids in Mississippi. But despite their abundance, most people know very little about these critters and often misrepresent them as a result.

Many people unfamiliar with spiders regard them as creepy or dangerous creatures, but these arachnids aren’t. Only a tiny fraction of spiders are highly venomous, and even those species that are, rarely bite people.

These critters are docile creatures that often run when threatened and avoid human interaction. Most spiders only bite when left with no other way to defend themselves, so it’s unlikely that one will bite you.

That said, not all spiders behave the same way, and in this guide, you’ll learn interesting facts about the different species that call Mississippi home. You’ll also learn how to identify some of these critters so you can avoid highly venomous species.

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of spiders you’ll find in Mississippi.

Table of Contents

1. Southern Black Widow

Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) hanging onto a long stem of a flower in Missouri, USA
Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) hanging onto a long stem of a flower in Missouri, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans
  • Other Names: Eastern Black Widow, Widow Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Black widows are possibly the most well-known spiders in North America, in many parts due to references in pop culture. If you’re unfamiliar with spiders, you might not know that there are three different black widow species in the country. Mississippi is home to two.

The southern black widow is one of the two black widow species living in Mississippi. This spider has a glossy black body and a large, bulbous belly with a reddish-orange hourglass marking on the underside.

Like many spiders in Mississippi and other parts of the world, female black widows are larger than males. Females also live much longer than males. In some cases, females consume their male partners after mating. That’s why they’re called black “widows.”

Southern black widows are web-building arachnids that spin cobwebs to catch prey. These cobwebs are common in dimly lit, undisturbed, or hidden spaces inside the house or garages.

The cobwebs that these spiders spin look disorganized, but they are sticky and effective at trapping insects and other small arthropods that wander into them. When insects get caught in their cobwebs, southern black widows rush to inject their victims with venom.

The venom these arachnids inject often kills their victims immediately. This venom is also potent enough to harm humans. If a southern black widow bites you, seek urgent medical attention to reduce the risk of developing adverse symptoms.

2. Northern Black Widow

Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus) hanging onto a stem in Oxford, Mississippi, USA
Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus) hanging onto a stem in Oxford, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus variolus
  • Other Names: Black Widow, Widow Spider, Hourglass Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The northern black widow is the other black widow spider in Mississippi. This arachnid closely resembles its southern sibling and has a shiny black body with a bulbous abdomen bearing a reddish-orange hourglass marking on the underside.

While both species are easy to mistake for each other, you can differentiate them by observing their abdomen. The southern black widow’s hourglass marking is full, while that of the northern black widow is broken into two triangles at the center.

The northern black widow is just as dangerous as its southern sibling. Its venom is a neurotoxin up to 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake’s. If this spider bites you, you might develop latrodectism.

Latrodectism is an illness caused by bites from some spiders in the same genus as black widows. It’s marked by symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, muscle rigidity, and sweating. These symptoms may last a few days before fading.

In some cases, this spider’s bite can lead to death. Fortunately, this outcome is extremely rare. One reason is that while the venom is toxic enough to cause death, the spider rarely injects people with a venom dose high enough to cause death.

The second reason is that black widows, northern and southern, don’t bite people unprovoked. They only bite when threatened and unable to escape, and bites are usually due to accidental skin contact.

You’ll find most northern black widows indoors, where they spin messy cobwebs in secluded areas or corners around the house. These arachnids rely on their webs for food and often rush to bite insects and other arthropods that get stuck in their cobwebs.

3. Brown Widow

Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus) in its web in front of a white wall in St Martin, Mississippi, USA
Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus) in its web in front of a white wall in St Martin, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus geometricus
  • Other Names: Widow Spider, Button Spider, Hourglass Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The brown widow is another close relative of black widows. In many ways besides its color, this arachnid resembles its black siblings. Its brown body is shiny, and its bulbous abdomen has a reddish-orange hourglass marking on the underside.

Brown widows are in theory, just as venomous as black widows. The neurotoxin in their venom is just as concentrated as that of black widows. However, brown widows don’t inject as much venom as black widows when they bite.

That’s why you probably won’t develop latrodectism if a brown widow bites you. Still, this critter’s bites can be painful and result in localized redness or swelling. Fortunately, brown widows don’t bite people unless threatened.

Though brown widows are often sensationalized in the news, they aren’t spiders you should worry about. Their bites don’t trigger medically significant symptoms, so you’ll be fine without receiving treatment.

You’ll find brown widows in similar habitats as black widows, but brown widows prefer relatively more exposed areas compared to their relatives. These arachnids build tangled, sticky cobwebs to trap insects and other small arthropods, which they eat.

Like other widows and spiders in Mississippi, female brown widows outlive their male partners. Female brown widows are also noticeably larger than males. After mating, these spiders lay their eggs in silk cocoons and keep them safe until the eggs hatch.

4. Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) on a rock-like surface in Mississippi, USA
Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) on a rock-like surface in Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Sicariidae
  • Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa
  • Other Names: Brown Fiddler, Violin Spider, Fiddleback Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.24 to 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The brown recluse is another highly venomous spider you might encounter in Mississippi.

In reality, the chances of you encountering this species in Mississippi are slim. That’s because brown recluses are, as their name implies, reclusive.

These shy arachnids often stay hidden in their shelters and only wander out in the open when they need to. This could be when they go in search of food or when males seek out females during mating seasons.

Brown recluses live in various habitats, but they sometimes wander indoors in search of prey. These spiders don’t jump or build webs, and they hunt their targets by chasing down or ambushing them.

You can identify brown recluses by their brown bodies and the violin-shaped marking on their carapaces. This violin marking is why brown recluses are also called fiddle-back or violin spiders. The marking begins behind the spiders’ eyes and narrows in the center.

While the violin marking is often used as a diagnostic feature of brown recluses by laypeople, this marking isn’t unique to them. Other spiders in their family also have brown bodies and similar markings, so you may need an expert for a decisive identification.

Brown recluses are infamous for their cytotoxic venom. This venom, while less lethal than that of black widows, can be damaging. It kills off surrounding cells and tissues around the bite area, leaving open sores where it bites you.

The sores brown recluse bites cause can vary widely. While some bites leave small open wounds, others result in large ulcers that expand and are difficult to treat. That’s why it’s vital you see a doctor immediately if you suspect this spider has bitten you.

The good news is that brown recluses are unaggressive and don’t bite people, except as a last resort when threatened.

5. Yellow Garden Spider

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) on its web among flowers in Madison County, Mississippi, USA
Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) on its web among flowers in Madison County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia
  • Other Names: Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Steeler Spider, Black and Yellow Argiope, Zipper Spider, Golden Garden Spider, McKinley Spider, Corn Spider, Zigzag Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.1 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The yellow garden spider is a fascinating arachnid with a black and yellow body. Its black cephalothorax is covered in whitish hair, while the abdomen has a broad black stripe in the center. This black stripe has two or more pairs of yellow spots in the middle.

The rest of this critter’s abdomen is mostly yellow with black spherical rings. Its legs are long and spindly with alternating black and yellow bands.

You’ll find most yellow garden spiders in areas with a good amount of vegetation. Gardens are one of these places. However, these arachnids are also common in forests and grasslands.

Yellow garden spiders are orb-weavers that build large, wheel-like webs to trap insects and other small arthropods. These arachnids sit upside-down in the middle of their webs, waiting for insects to crash into the sticky threads.

When insects fly into the webs and get stuck, the spiders detect this via the vibration of the web strands. These arachnids then run toward the source of the vibration to immobilize their victims with venom and eat them.

Yellow garden spiders are stunning arachnids that pose no threat to humans. They don’t bite people unless provoked, but even such cases are rare. If one bites you, you won’t develop any adverse reaction.

6. Tan Jumping Spider

Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus) on a painted wooden surface in Chunky, Mississippi, USA
Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus) on a painted wooden surface in Chunky, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Platycryptus undatus
  • Other Names: Bark Jumping Spider, Tan Jumper
  • Adult Size: 0.33 to 0.51 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The tan jumping spider is a brown, tan, or gray spider with two prominent eyes. Like most spiders in Mississippi, this arachnid has eight eyes. But two of its eyes are enlarged and resemble binoculars.

Fortunately, this spider’s large eyes aren’t wasted on it. Tan jumping spiders, like many jumping spiders, have excellent eyesight. They use this eyesight to navigate their surroundings and look for prey to consume when hungry.

Tan jumping spiders belong to a family of spiders that can leap several times their height. These arachnids jump by modifying the pressure in their back legs and using silk safety lines to protect themselves from injury in case a jump fails.

These spiders don’t spin conventional webs. They live in small silk shelters which they build on leaves, under tree bark, and in other places. When not resting, you may find these spiders on vertical surfaces, especially walls, fence posts, and tree trunks.

As true hunters, these arachnids don’t employ webs when hunting. They stalk their victims and leap on them when within range, inject them with venom and digestive enzymes, then consume the digested parts of their victims.

Tan jumping spiders don’t bite people unprovoked, and the venom they produce isn’t potent enough to harm humans. While these spiders can be elusive, you can safely hold them in your hands. Many people keep them as pets.

You can identify tan jumping spiders by the whitish or grayish pattern running down the center of their carapace and abdomen. This pattern resembles a serrate leaf or series of chevrons on the abdomen.

7. Common House Spider

Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) on a wood pointed surface in Eupora, Mississippi, USA
Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) on a wood pointed surface in Eupora, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
  • Other Names: American House Spider, Common Cellar Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.24 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

You’ll often find common house spiders indoors, hence their name. These arachnids build tangled cobwebs in cellars, dimly lit areas, ceiling corners, and other undisturbed parts of the house.

The cobwebs that these critters spin are messy but sticky and effective at catching prey. The spiders wait for prey to wander into the cobwebs, sense this via vibratory signals, then quickly go over to immobilize their victims with venom.

Although common house spiders belong to the same family as black widows, these arachnids are nowhere near as venomous. Their venom is a much weaker neurotoxin that might cause pain and mild redness or swelling but no significant symptoms.

Common house spiders, like black widows, don’t bite people for sport. These arachnids run when threatened and will only resort to biting if they can’t escape on time. That’s why most bites happen when you make forced skin contact with these spiders.

You can identify common house spiders by their brown bodies. They have a similar bulbous abdomen to widows, but this abdomen is typically hairy and stippled with black spots.

8. Starbellied Orbweaver

Starbellied Orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata) on a stem in Adams County, Mississippi, USA
Starbellied Orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata) on a stem in Adams County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Acanthepeira stellata
  • Other Names: Star-bellied Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.19 to 0.59 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The common star-bellied orb-weaver is a brown spider with a large but unusually shaped belly.

Instead of being round or oval, this critter’s belly resembles an irregular polygon. That’s because the top and edges of the belly have pointed tubercles instead of being smooth.

The outward projection of these pointed tubercles gives the abdomen the shape of a many-pointed star. That’s where the spider gets its name.

You’ll find the common star-bellied orb-weaver in various habitats, especially areas with lots of vegetation like woodlands and forests or grasslands. Like other orb-weavers, this arachnid spins orb-like webs to trap small insects and arthropods.

This species’ eyesight is poor, so it relies on reading the vibratory signals of its web strands to detect when the web has caught prey. It then quickly goes toward the vibration source to inject its victim with venom.

The venom that common star-bellied orb-weavers produce is too weak to harm humans. Common star-bellied orb-weavers don’t bite people unless threatened, but even in such situations, bites from these critters are uncommon.

9. Orchard Orbweaver

Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) walking along a stem with leaves in Mississippi, USA
Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) walking along a stem with leaves in Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Tetragnathidae
  • Scientific Name: Leucauge venusta
  • Other Names: Long-jawed Orb-weaver, Venusta Orchard Spider, Orchard Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.14 to 0.3 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The orchard orb-weaver belongs to a family of orb-weavers with long jaws and narrow abdomens. This stunning spider has a greenish cephalothorax and legs, while its belly slants downward at the rear and bears several colors.

These colors run down the belly in streaks. The top and first half of the body are mostly white with green, yellow, and black streaks, while the rear is mostly green, black, and orange or brown. Like many spiders, this pattern varies from individual to individual.

You’ll find many orchard orb-weavers in orchards as their name suggests, but these arachnids are common in other vegetation-rich areas like forests and grasslands. These critters spin horizontal orb webs and sit on them waiting for prey to come by.

When prey touches these webs and gets stuck, vibratory signals travel along the strands to alert the spiders. The spiders quickly run toward their prey, immobilize it with venom, then wrap their catch in silk.

Like many other orb-weavers in Mississippi, orchard orb-weavers are not harmful to humans. Their venom is too weak, and the spiders don’t bite people unless threatened and unable to escape.

10. Furrow Spider

Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) hanging in its web somewhere in Starkville, Mississippi, USA
Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) hanging in its web somewhere in Starkville, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Larinioides cornutus
  • Other Names: Furrow Orb Spider, Furrow Orb-weaver, Foliate Orb Spider, Foliate Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.4 to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The furrow spider is an orb-weaver with a reddish-brown carapace and a sandy brown abdomen with a broad black pattern running down the center.

This pattern resembles a leaf with wavy edges when viewed in full from above. That’s why this species is also called a foliate spider.

The spider’s common name comes from the resemblance of the wavy edges of its abdominal pattern to the furrows created after tilling the ground. Its legs, like those of many orb-weavers, are spiny and banded.

You’ll find furrow spiders in a variety of habitats, from forests and woodlands to residential areas. These spiders are common under eaves and porches around the home and they often build their large orb webs near walls.

Furrow spiders rely on their webs for food, but they often spend the day hiding in a retreat and usually only emerge at night to wait for prey on their webs. This behavior is likely to help them avoid daytime spider predators.

When insects or other arthropods get stuck on the web of these spiders, the spiders detect it via vibratory signals and go to immobilize their victims with venom. They may consume their prey immediately or wrap them in silk for safekeeping.

Furrow spiders are harmless arachnids that rarely bite people. They run when threatened instead of defending themselves.

But even if these spiders were aggressive toward people, their venom is too weak to trigger medically significant symptoms.

11. Magnolia Green Jumping Spider

Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis) hanging onto a leaf in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA
Magnolia Green Jumping Spider (Lyssomanes viridis) hanging onto a leaf in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Lyssomanes viridis
  • Other Names: Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.3 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The magnolia green jumper is a fascinating jumping spider with a pale green body, black markings on the sides of its hairy abdomen, and a yellowish or orange patch around its eyes.

The chelicerae of male magnolia green jumping spiders often stick out while those of females are folded under. The legs of both sexes are longer and more slender than those of many jumping spiders in Mississippi.

Like other jumping spiders, this arachnid can leap several times its height. It spins a silk dragline to control its jumps and protect it from injury in case a jump goes wrong. It attaches this dragline to the surface from which it’s jumping.

Besides being great jumpers, magnolia green jumpers also have excellent eyesight. They use their excellent vision and agility to their advantage when hunting. These spiders scout prey and lie in ambush instead of building web traps.

When insects and other small arthropod prey wander close enough, these spiders leap on their targets and inject them with venom. They may consume their victims immediately or cart them away to a more suitable location.

Although magnolia green jumpers don’t build web traps for their victims, these arachnids use silk for other purposes. They build small silk shelters for themselves, protective sacs for their eggs, and silk nests for their young.

Magnolia green jumping spiders don’t have medically significant venom, and they rarely bite people unprovoked.

12. Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider

Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira longipalpa) on a dry leaf in Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira longipalpa) on a dry leaf in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Corinnidae
  • Scientific Name: Castianeira longipalpa
  • Other Names: Ant Mimic Spider, Many-banded Ant Mimic Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.19 to 0.39 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The long-palped ant mimic sac spider is a black arachnid with a yellow or yellowish-brown patch on its carapace and a series of same-colored markings running from side to side on its abdomen. The bands on its abdomen are why it’s also called a many-banded spider.

This spider belongs to a family of spiders that have behavioral adaptations to mimic ants. Although there are several possible explanations for this mimicry, one is that it helps the spiders approach and blend in with ants before preying on them.

Another theory is that this mimicry helps the spiders hide in plain sight from predators that target spiders. But regardless of the reason, the mimicry is effective at helping the spiders pass for ants.

Long-palped ant-mimic sac spiders mimic ants by raising their first pair of legs up when walking. They are left with only six legs to walk with, making them resemble six-legged ants with antennae. Like ants, these spiders also often tap their bellies on the ground.

These arachnids don’t spin webs to catch prey. When close to their targets, these spiders attack and subdue them with venom. You’ll find these spiders living in sac-shaped silk shelters near anthills or ant colonies, giving them easy access to their favorite prey.

Long-palped ant mimic sac spiders don’t bite people unprovoked, but their bites can be painful if you threaten them. Fortunately, the venom they produce doesn’t trigger medically significant symptoms.

13. Bowl and Doily Spider

Bowl-and-doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) in its web among long leaves in Mississippi, USA
Bowl-and-doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) in its web among long leaves in Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Linyphiidae
  • Scientific Name: Frontinella pyramitela
  • Other Names: Sheet-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.12 to 0.16 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The bowl and doily spider is a tiny arachnid with a shiny brown carapace and an abdomen much larger than its cephalothorax. This abdomen is also brown for the most part, but it has whitish vertical markings running down its sides.

The whitish markings running down the sides of the bowl and doily spider’s belly resemble commas and turn yellowish as they curve under the belly. The legs of this critter don’t have any obvious patterns.

Though bowl and doily spiders build webs to catch prey, these arachnids aren’t orb-weavers. They build sheet webs that lack the stickiness and beauty of orb webs, but these webs are effective at catching prey.

Bowl and doily spiders, in particular, are named after the interesting structure of their webs. These webs are composed of two structures, the first of which is a bowl-shaped web anchored to tree branches at the top with tangled silk threads.

This bowl-shaped web sits on a silk sheet or doily-like web anchored to nearby structures. When viewed collectively, the structure resembles a bowl and doily. You’ll often find bowl and doily webs near tree trunks in forests and woodlands.

Though it isn’t sticky, the bowl and doily web trap prey because flying insects often mistakenly fly into the tangled mass of silk above the bowl. The impact knocks them down into the bowl, where the spider immobilizes them with venom and eats them.

Unlike orb-weavers, you may find more than one bowl and doily spider in the same web outside mating seasons. This arrangement isn’t always romantic, as both sexes sometimes compete for prey that drops into the web.

Bowl and doily spiders are harmless to humans and rarely bite people.

14. Twin-flagged Jumping Spider

Twin-flagged Jumping Spider (Anasaitis canosa) on a yellow stem in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA
Twin-flagged Jumping Spider (Anasaitis canosa) on a yellow stem in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Anasaitis canosa
  • Other Names: Twin-flagged Jumper
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: Up to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The twin-flagged jumping spider is a black arachnid with white markings on its carapace and other parts of its body, but the most notable of these markings are the white patches on its pedipalps.

Twin-flagged jumping spiders are named after these patches on their pedipalps. The spiders often move their pedipalps in small circles, causing the patches to resemble waving white flags or handkerchiefs.

Like other species in their family, twin-flagged jumping spiders can leap to heights several times their own. These arachnids use silk safety lines to control how much they jump and reduce the risk of injury when jumps go wrong.

Twin-flagged jumping spiders are skilled hunters with excellent eyesight, so they don’t need to build web traps for prey. These critters often ambush or chase down their targets and subdue them with venom.

Fortunately, this venom is only potent against small prey, such as insects and other tiny arthropods. The venom is harmless to humans, and the spiders rarely attempt to bite people unless threatened.

Although twin-flagged jumping spiders don’t build conventional web traps, these arachnids use silk for other purposes besides spinning draglines. They use it to make small shelters for themselves, while females use silk to fashion egg sacs.

15. Green Lynx Spider

Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) walking among leaves in Eupora, Mississippi, USA
Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) walking among leaves in Eupora, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Oxyopidae
  • Scientific Name: Peucetia viridans
  • Other Names: Lynx Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.47 to 0.63 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The green lynx spider is common in areas with plenty of vegetation, especially green vegetation. You’ll find this spider in forests, woodlands, farms, and agricultural fields, where it feeds on various types of small arthropods.

Green lynx spiders can be beneficial because they consume many insects that act as crop pests. That’s why there are many proponents of their use as biological pest controls on farms.

The problem with adopting green lynx spiders as biological controls is that these critters can be indiscriminate in their consumption of arthropods. Sometimes, these arachnids also feed on beneficial insects like bees.

Green lynx spiders are, as their name implies, green. But many variants have translucent legs. Regardless of the color, the legs of these arachnids are often covered in tiny black stipples and long spines.

These arachnids have long legs and slender bodies and are good at jumping, although they aren’t as skilled as jumping spiders. They’re called lynx spiders because they leap on their victims like cats when hunting.

Green lynx spiders don’t build conventional webs, but they often spin draglines like jumping spiders when leaping. They have poorer vision quality compared to jumping spiders, but their vision is enough to help them scout prey before attacking.

16. Puritan Pirate Spider

Puritan Pirate Spider (Mimetus puritanus) on a wooden surface in Worcester County, Mississippi, USA
Puritan Pirate Spider (Mimetus puritanus) on a wooden surface in Worcester County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Mimetidae
  • Scientific Name: Mimetus puritanus
  • Other Names: Pirate Spider, Puritan Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.125 to 0.3 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The puritan pirate spider gets its name from its tendency to steal from other spiders. These critters invade the webs of other spiders, vibrate the strands to mimic prey or mates, then attack and eat the host spiders that come running to investigate.

Sometimes, these spiders meet their waterloo when they go in search of spiders to prey on. Instead of killing and eating the web hosts, the host spiders subdue and eat these pirate spiders.

You’ll find puritan pirate spiders in various habitats, but they often live near web-building spiders. You may find them around cobwebs or orb webs in the woods or around houses in residential areas.

The puritan pirate spider is a brown arachnid with an oval or triangular abdomen bearing red and black markings and a pair of white patches. The carapace has a dark central stripe that extends from behind the eyes.

This spider also has spiny long legs. The spines on its front legs are graduated, so you’ll notice many short spines between intervals of long spines. This graduation of spines in the spider’s leg is a feature that helps in identifying spiders in its family.

Puritan pirate spiders don’t bite humans unless threatened. But even then, their venom is too weak to trigger medically significant symptoms.

17. White-banded Fishing Spider

White-banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes albineus) on a mossy trunk in Homochitto National Forest, Mississippi, USA
White-banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes albineus) on a mossy trunk in Homochitto National Forest, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes albineus
  • Other Names: Albino Fishing Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.7 to 0.9 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The white-banded fishing spider comes in various colors, but most are light brown or greenish. The white band that this species gets its name from appears between its eyes and jaws.

This spider’s body is hairy, and its legs have dark bands at several intervals. Like most fishing spiders, this species’ carapace is flat and broad. Sometimes, the entire carapace is whitish, save for a black spot in the center.

Like most fishing spiders, you’ll find white-banded fishing spiders close to streams, rivers, and other water sources. These spiders are common around damp, coastal vegetation.

As true hunters, white-banded fishing spiders don’t use webs to catch prey to eat. Instead, they stalk their victims and attack. These arachnids are capable of hunting on both land and water, and they often do.

While white-banded fishing spiders don’t spin web traps, they use silk for other purposes. Females spin protective silk sacs for their eggs, which they then carry in their jaws until the eggs are close to hatching. 

When the eggs are near the hatching time, female white-banded fishing spiders build nursery webs for them to stay in until they hatch into spiderlings. Females create these nursery webs by building silk nests on leaves and nearby structures.

18. Spotted Orbweaver

Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera) in its dark web at night in Grenada County, Mississippi, USA
Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera) in its dark web at night in Grenada County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Neoscona crucifera
  • Other Names: Barn Spider, Hentz Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The spotted orb-weaver is a brown spider with a large oval abdomen bearing a dark pattern that’s indistinct in most adults. This arachnid’s entire body is covered in spines and sharp bristles, and the legs have alternating light and dark bands.

You’ll find spotted orb-weavers in forests, woodlands, shrublands, prairies, and other places with ample vegetation. Like many orb-weavers in Mississippi, these critters build large orb webs to catch prey.

Spotted orb-weavers sit on their webs and wait for prey to hit the strands and get stuck. They can tell when this happens by listening for vibratory signals in the strands, after which the spiders run toward their prey to immobilize them with venom.

The venom spotted orb-weavers produce is only potent against small arthropods. In humans, this venom is harmless and doesn’t trigger serious symptoms. Fortunately, you won’t have to experience bites to confirm this because these spiders don’t bite people.

Like many spiders in Mississippi, female spotted orb-weavers are larger than males. These arachnids live much longer than their male mates and survive long enough to lay their eggs in silk egg sacs before dying in the winter.

19. Southern House Spider

Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) on a dark surface in Jones County, Mississippi, USA
Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) on a dark surface in Jones County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Filistatidae
  • Scientific Name: Kukulcania hibernalis
  • Other Names: Giant Crevice Weaver, Southern Crevice Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.31 to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The southern house spider is a brown arachnid with males that are often mistaken for brown recluses. While male southern house spiders have a dark pattern on their carapace, it narrows into a midline too early and isn’t shaped like the violin marking characteristic of recluse spiders.

Female southern house spiders are darker than their male counterparts, and their body colors range from dark brown to black or gray. Their bellies are also less slender than those of males.

You’ll find southern house spiders indoors in many parts of Mississippi, especially on window sills and dark, secluded parts of the house. These arachnids spin wooly webs that aren’t sticky but make good prey traps.

The wooly or velcro-like texture of the southern house spider’s web is what makes it an effective prey trap. The legs of insects and other critters that wander into the spider’s web get caught in the woolliness.

This critter can tell when its web has caught prey by listening for vibratory signals, and it rushes to investigate any time this happens. If it finds prey, the spider immobilizes its catch with venom and then feasts on it.

There’s no reason to panic if you find southern house spiders in your home. These arachnids aren’t aggressive toward humans, and their venom is not medically significant.

20. European Garden Spider

Cross Orbweaver(European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) hanging from a thread somewhere in Moskva, Russia
Cross Orbweaver(European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) hanging from a thread somewhere in Moskva, Russia. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus
  • Other Names: Cross Spider, Cross Orb-weaver, Crowned Orb-weaver, European Garden Orb-weaver, Orangie, Cross Spider, Diadem Spider, House Spider, Pumpkin Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.22 to 0.79 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The European garden spider is an orb-weaver with variants of many colors.

Some are greenish or brownish, while others are more tan or grayish. Regardless, these spiders all have a large abdomen with a broad dark pattern running down the center.

In the center of this broad pattern, you’ll notice a series of whitish markings that form a broken line running down the abdomen. Other sets of white markings run across this central white line at different points, breaking it into a repeating cross pattern.

European garden spiders are also often called cross spiders or cross orb-weavers because of this pattern.

You’ll find European garden spiders in damp places with lots of vegetation. These could be anywhere from gardens to woodlands, shrublands, or prairies. These spiders build large wheel-like webs to catch flying insects and sit in the hub waiting for them.

When insects hit the webs, European garden spiders detect it via vibratory signals and hurry over to immobilize their victims with venom. They then consume their victims on the spot or stash them away to eat later.

If the source of the vibratory signals these spiders picked up in their webs is not prey but an intruder the spiders can’t subdue, these arachnids run away. Often, the spiders first vibrate the webs vigorously to discourage the intruders and only run when this fails.

European garden orb-weavers are harmless to humans. Their venom is too mild to trigger any serious symptoms, and the spiders are unaggressive toward people.

21. American Nursery Web Spider

American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) on a rock in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, USA
American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) on a rock in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisaurina
  • Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira
  • Other Names: Common Nursery Web Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.35 to 0.7 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

There are two morphs of the American nursery web spider.

One morph is light brown, and it has a dark broad stripe running down the middle of its carapace and abdomen. This dark stripe has a broken or wavy light brown stripe hemming it in on either side.

The second morph is gray, but some variants are orange-brown. This morph has a dark stripe running down the center of its carapace, while the abdomen has two rows of whitish spots running down it.

You’ll find American nursery web spiders in damp areas with vegetation, such as woodland edges and coastal forests. You may also find these arachnids on walls around your home.

American nursery web spiders don’t spin typical webs for shelter or to catch prey. Instead, these spiders lie in ambush and hunt insects and other arthropods that come around. They rely on their strength and agility when nabbing prey.

Though these arachnids don’t spin conventional webs, they use silk for other purposes. Adult females spin silk sacs to hold and protect their eggs until spiderlings emerge from them.

When the eggs are close to hatching, these spiders build nursery webs by using silk to hold nearby leaves in place. This habit of building nursery webs for their young is why the spiders are called nursery web spiders.

American nursery web spiders aren’t dangerous spiders. They rarely bite people unless provoked. Fortunately, you won’t develop any medically significant symptoms if one bites you.

22. Carolina Giant Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis) in the sunlight on grass in Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA
Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis) in the sunlight on grass in Padre Island National Seashore, Texas, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Lycosidae
  • Scientific Name: Hogna carolinensis
  • Other Names: Giant Carolina Wolf Spider, Carolina Wolf Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.70 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: Up to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Carolina giant wolf spider is South Carolina’s official state spider and one of the largest wolf spiders in North America. This arachnid is brown and its carapace has a thin tan or brown midline with a broad black or dark brown stripe running down either it.

The outer edges of this carapace have thin brown or tan lines hemming the broad black stripes in. In addition, the spider’s abdomen has black and brown stripes running down it.

You’ll find Carolina giant wolf spiders in drier habitats compared to other spiders in Mississippi. These critters don’t build webs, preferring instead to live in burrows or under logs and other debris.

Since these spiders don’t spin webs, they rely on their excellent eyesight and agility to hunt down prey. They often lie in wait for their victims, attacking when they are within reach and subduing them with venom.

Although Carolina giant wolf spiders don’t spin webs, they use silk to create egg sacs, which females carry everywhere until the eggs hatch into spiderlings. They then carry their spiderlings on their backs until the tiny spiders can fend for themselves.

Carolina giant wolf spiders aren’t dangerous. Their venom is not medically significant, and they won’t bite you unprovoked. But if you threaten them, they might bite. While this bite is harmless, it can be painful.

23. Woodlouse Hunter

Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) walking into grass and dirt somewhere in France
Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) walking into grass and dirt somewhere in France. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Dysderidae
  • Scientific Name: Dysdera crocata
  • Other Names: Woodlouse Spider, Sowbug Hunter, Cell Spider, Slater Spider, Pillbug Hunter, Roly-Poly Hunter, Sowbug Killer, Long-Fanged Ground Spider, Orange Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.35 to 0.59 inch
  • Lifespan: 3 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The woodlouse hunter is a fascinating arachnid that gets its name from its tendency to prey on woodlice. You’ll typically find this arachnid living close to woodlouse populations, giving it easy access to food.

Woodlouse hunters don’t spin conventional webs, whether to catch prey or for shelter. They often hide under logs, rocks, or inside crevices in forests and woodlands. But you might find them close to buildings.

Instead of spinning web traps, these arachnids get their victims by hunting them down. They stalk their prey and attack when within reach. These critters have long, sharp fangs to pierce the woodlouse’s body and deliver venom.

Despite having long, sharp fangs, woodlouse hunters aren’t threats to humans. They don’t bite people unprovoked, and the venom they produce is only potent against prey. It’s harmless to humans.

You can identify woodlouse hunters by their reddish bodies and tan or yellowish-brown bellies. Unlike most spiders in Mississippi, woodlouse hunters have six eyes instead of eight.

These eyes also have a circular arrangement on the head.

24. Sylvana Jumping Spider

Sylvan Jumping Spider (Colonus sylvanus) on a furry leaf in Petal, Mississippi, USA
Sylvan Jumping Spider (Colonus sylvanus) on a furry leaf in Petal, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Colonus sylvanus
  • Other Names: Sylvana Jumper
  • Adult Size: About 0.28 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The sylvana jumping spider is a stunning arachnid that exhibits sexual dimorphism.

Males have a reddish-brown carapace with two white stripes, while the legs are either black or reddish-brown with black bands on the first half. The abdomen also has white stripes, but it’s sometimes more green than brown.

Females are light brown with white stripes running down the center and sides of the belly. This belly is peppered with black spots, while the area around the spider’s eyes is yellowish or yellowish-brown.

Like other jumping spiders in Mississippi, the sylvana jumping spider can leap several times its height. It makes these jumps by regulating the pressure in its legs before extending them. It also uses draglines to aid its jumps.

Sylvana jumping spiders also have good eyesight, which they use to their advantage when hunting prey. They scout targets, then stalk or ambush them. Unlike most spiders in Mississippi, these arachnids don’t trap prey in webs.

You’ll find sylvana jumping spiders in forests, woodland edges, and around human-made structures. These spiders live in small shelters made out of silk, which you’ll find on leaves or tree bark.

25. Pantropical Huntsman Spider

Pantropical Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria) in forest floor litter of Fujian, China
Pantropical Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria) in forest floor litter of Fujian, China. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria
  • Other Names: Giant Crab Spider, 
  • Adult Size: 0.87 to  1.1 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The pantropical huntsman spider is a flat arachnid with a wide carapace and long legs up to three times its body length. It’s sometimes called a giant crab spider because its legs curve forward like those of crabs.

This arachnid is brown, tan, or grayish with black spots on its legs. The carapace’s center is dark brown and encircled by a brown or tan section. In males, you’ll notice a black stripe on the abdomen and a pale region behind the eyes.

You’ll find the pantropical huntsman spider around human habitations, hiding in wall cracks and crevices in houses, barns, or under floorboards, plant pots, and other stationary items.

Pantropical huntsman spiders don’t build webs to trap prey, relying on their speed and agility to hunt down targets and subdue them with venom. These critters can be beneficial to have around because of their high consumption of pest insects.

Although the pantropical huntsman spider has an intimidating size, this arachnid is harmless to humans. The spider doesn’t bite people unprovoked, and its venom is too weak to trigger severe symptoms.

26. Shamrock Orbweaver

Shamrock Orbweaver (Araneus trifolium) walking through dry dirt and grass in Minnesota, USA
Shamrock Orbweaver (Araneus trifolium) walking through dry dirt and grass in Minnesota, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus trifolium
  • Other Names: Shamrock Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The shamrock spider is variable in color. But regardless of the color, this spider’s body is covered in spines, its legs usually have black and white bands, and its abdomen has white dots. The abdomen may be any color from white to orange, brown, greenish-brown, or yellow.

You’ll find shamrock spiders among vegetation in forests, woodlands, and grasslands. These arachnids are orb-weavers that build large orb webs to catch prey and sit on their webs, waiting for prey to get stuck to the strands.

When this happens, the spiders detect it using vibratory signals from their web strands since they have poor eyesight. They follow these signals to locate their catch, then they immobilize it with venom to eat immediately or save for later.

Like other orb-weavers in North America, the shamrock spider is not an aggressive spider. It won’t bite you unless you threaten it, but even then, its venom is not medically significant to humans.

27. Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) hanging from a thread of its web in Pearl River County, Mississippi, USA
Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) hanging from a thread of its web in Pearl River County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus bicentenarius
  • Other Names: Lichen-marked Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.39 to 1.2 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The giant lichen orb-weaver is one of the heaviest orb-weavers in Mississippi. Its body is variable in color, but the cephalothorax is usually reddish-brown, and its legs have alternating light and dark bands.

This spider’s name comes from the pattern on its massive belly. This belly is greenish, and while there are several ways to describe the pattern on it, the best way is that it resembles the type of lichen found on rocks.

You’ll find giant lichen orb-weavers in damp areas with ample vegetation, such as forests and woodlands. But you may also encounter these spiders around buildings and other human-made structures.

Giant lichen orb-weavers build large orb webs to trap insects, and these webs are sometimes as wide as eight feet. The spiders tend to stay on the web’s edges instead of the center when waiting for potential prey to hit the strands.

These arachnids are most active at night, and they rely on vibratory signals to know when their webs have caught prey. When this occurs, they quickly go to immobilize their victims with venom and consume or wrap them for later.

Giant lichen orb-weavers are harmless spiders that don’t bite people unless threatened, but even such bites are rare.

28. Triangulate Cobweb Spider

Triangulate Combfoot (Steatoda triangulosa) on a rocky surface in Carriere, Mississippi, USA
Triangulate Combfoot (Steatoda triangulosa) on a rocky surface in Carriere, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda triangulosa
  • Other Names: Checkered Cobweb Spider, Triangulate Comb-footed Spider, Triangulate Bug Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The triangulate cobweb spider belongs to the same family as black widows, but it is much less venomous. It rarely bites people, and the venom it injects doesn’t cause any medically significant symptoms besides mild pain and possible redness or swelling.

You’ll find triangulate cobweb spiders in various places, especially undisturbed or secluded parts of the house, such as attics, corners, garages, or basements. These arachnids spin tangled cobwebs in their habitats, which they use to trap prey.

Insects such as flies and gnats make up the bulk of these spiders’ prey. However, these arachnids also consume many other types of arthropods, including other spiders. They wait for prey to get stuck in their cobwebs, then quickly go inject them with venom.

Like other cobweb spiders, triangulate cobweb spiders have bulbous abdomens that are noticeably larger than their cephalothorax. They also have comb-like structures on their legs, a feature they share with all members of their family.

You can identify triangulate cobweb spiders by the wavy dark lines running down their brown abdomens. The spaces between these wavy lines are lighter in color and roughly resemble triangles. The spiders get their name from this pattern.

29. Spinybacked Orbweaver

Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) creating its web in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA
Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) creating its web in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Gasteracantha cancriformis
  • Other Names: Crab-like Orb-weaver, Spiny Orb-weaver, Spiny Orb Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.063 to 0.39 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

You’ll find the spiny-backed orb-weaver outdoors among vegetation in shrublands, grasslands, forests, and fields. This critter spins large, flat webs with circular and radial threads that give it the appearance of a wheel.

Like other orb-weaving spiders in Mississippi, this species relies on its orb web for food. When active, the spider sits on its web and waits for flying insects and other arthropods to hit the web strands and get stuck.

The spider has poor eyesight, but it can tell when the prey has hit its webs via the vibrations that travel through the web strands. After picking up these vibratory signals, the spider follows it to go inject its victim with venom.

This species, like other orb-weavers, is harmless to humans. Its venom is not medically significant, and the spider doesn’t bite people unprovoked.

The spiny-backed orb-weaver gets its name from its peculiar physical appearance. The abdomen is often wider than it is long, and it bears spin-like structures on its sides and rear.

While the legs and cephalothorax are usually brown, the abdomen comes in various colors, such as white, yellow, orange, or brown. The spines on the abdomen are typically black or dark brown, and the abdomen has several spots of the same color.

30. Giant Golden Silk Orbweaver

Giant Golden Silk Orbweaver (Trichonephila clavipes) on its web in Jackson County, Mississippi, USA
Giant Golden Silk Orbweaver (Trichonephila clavipes) on its web in Jackson County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Trichonephila clavipes
  • Other Names: Banana Spider, Golden Silk Orb-weaver, Giant Golden Silk Orb-weaver, Banana Silk Spider, Calico Spider, Golden Silk Spider, Golden Orb-weaver, Giant Golden Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 1 to 1.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The giant golden silk orb-weaver is a beautiful spider with a long, slender abdomen. The abdomen is yellow and stippled with white markings of different sizes that form several columns as they run down its length.

This spider is often called a banana spider because the abdomen is yellow, slender, and has a slight tilt. You shouldn’t mistake it for the Brazilian banana spider, a species named after its penchant for hiding in banana bunches from where it bites people.

Unlike the Brazilian banana spider, this banana spider is unaggressive and rarely bites people unprovoked. The venom of this species is also mild and doesn’t cause any of the medically significant symptoms attributed to Brazilian banana spiders.

The carapace of this arachnid is covered in whitish hair, but it has a few dark spots that form what is often described as a skull pattern. Its legs are yellow, but the joints of these are reddish brown and hairy.

You’ll find giant golden silk orb-weavers in places with plenty of vegetation, such as forests and tallgrass prairies. They spin large orb-like webs to catch prey and sit upside-down on it, waiting for prey to get stuck.

These arachnids get their name from the golden-yellow tint of their web strands.

31. False Black Widow

False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) on a dirt wall in Rhone-Alps, France
False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) on a dirt wall in Rhone-Alps, France. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda grossa
  • Other Names: False Widow,  Dark Comb-Footed Spider, Brown House Spider, Cupboard Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.25 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 6 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The false black widow is another black widow relative. Many people often mistake this species for black widows because they share many physical features. Although false black widows are usually brown, some species are so dark that they look black.

One of the easiest ways to tell false black widows apart from true black widows is to examine their bellies. False black widows lack the reddish-orange hourglass marking characteristic of true black widows.

You’ll find false black widows in various habitats, but most sightings happen indoors in cellars, attics, corners, and window sills. These spiders spin tangled, sticky cobwebs to catch small arthropod prey, especially insects.

Although false black widows belong to the same family as true black widows, these arachnids are harmless. Their bites might hurt, but their venom is not medically significant.

False black widows can even help prevent true black widows from invading your home. That’s because, in addition to insects and other arthropod types, false black widows often prey on true black widows.

32. Red-spotted Ant-mimic Spider

Red-spotted Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira descripta) in pebbles in Mississippi, USA
Red-spotted Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira descripta) in pebbles in Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Corinnidae
  • Scientific Name: Castianeira descripta
  • Other Names: Ant Mimic Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The red-spotted ant mimic spider is a black arachnid with reddish spots on the second half of its belly, hence its name. It belongs to a family of spiders known for mimicking the behavior of ants.

Although there are several explanations for why this spider mimics ants, the most common reason is that it makes hunting easy. Red-spotted ant-mimic spiders feed primarily on ants, and they don’t use webs to catch these insects.

By mimicking ants, red-spotted ant-mimic spiders and can easily approach ant populations without causing alarm. When close to their targets, these arachnids seize and subdue their victims with venom before consuming them.

Red-spotted ant-mimic spiders mimic ants by walking on only six of their eight legs. They raise the first leg pair up while walking to mimic the antennae of six-legged ants. In addition, these spiders often tap their bellies the way ants do.

Red-spotted ant mimic spiders are harmless arachnids that don’t bite unless provoked. If one bites you, you won’t develop any medically significant symptoms, but you might experience pain and mild swelling or redness around the bite site.

33. Broad-faced Sac Spider

Broad-faced Sac Spider (Trachelas tranquillus) on a concrete wall in Akron, Ohio, USA
Broad-faced Sac Spider (Trachelas tranquillus) on a concrete wall in Akron, Ohio, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Trachelidae
  • Scientific Name: Trachelas tranquillus
  • Other Names: Bullheaded Sac Spider, Sac Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.19 to 0.39 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

If you only take one quick glance, it’s easy to mistake the broad-faced sac spider for the woodlouse hunter spider. Both species have reddish bodies and tan or yellowish-brown bellies. But if you examine them closely, you’ll notice differences between them.

One of such differences is their eye arrangements and counts. Broad-faced sac spiders have eight eyes, instead of the six eyes of woodlouse hunters. Broad-faced sac spiders also have widely spaced eyes arranged in rows, not circles.

You’ll find broad-faced sac spiders in forests and woodlands, but you may also encounter them around artificial structures. These arachnids tend to hide under debris, logs, and other items.

Broad-faced sac spiders don’t spin typical webs for hunting or shelter. Instead of conventional webs, these spiders rest in sac-like shelters made out of silk when inactive. That’s why they’re called sac spiders.

These spiders are hunters that often stalk their victims before attacking. In addition to live prey, these spiders also scavenge dead and decaying arthropods and other matter. This varied diet keeps them filled even in times of prey scarcity.

Broad-faced sac spiders are harmless, unaggressive spiders, so bites are rare. While there are some reports of bites causing tiny sores in the bite area, the venom these spiders produce is not medically significant. You have nothing to fear.

34. Marbled Orbweaver

Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) on its web in a forest in Madison, Mississippi, USA
Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) on its web in a forest in Madison, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus marmoreus
  • Other Names: Pumpkin Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.7 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The marbled orb-weaver is a beautiful spider with a massive abdomen. The cephalothorax is orange, while the abdomen’s color ranges from orange to yellow, green, or brown.

The abdomen of this species bears several markings or streaks that form a symmetrical, marble-like pattern. These streaks also vary in color but are often brown, black, or a mix of these colors.

Marbled orb-weavers are common in areas with plenty of vegetation, such as forests and woodlands. Like most orb-weavers, they spin large orb webs to catch prey and wait for prey to get trapped.

Unlike most orb-weavers in Mississippi, marbled orb-weavers don’t sit in the center of their webs. They often hide in a retreat on the web’s edges but remain connected to the web’s center via a single line of silk.

When insects get caught in a marbled orb-weaver’s web, this silk thread vibrates to alert it. The spider then runs toward the source of the vibration to paralyze its victim with venom.

Like other orb-weavers in Mississippi, this venom is harmless to humans.

35. Cat-faced Orbweaver

Cat-faced Orbweaver (Araneus gemmoides) in its web among trees in Palestine, Asia
Cat-faced Orbweaver (Araneus gemmoides) in its web among trees in Palestine, Asia. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus gemmoides
  • Other Names: Jewel Spider, Cat-faced Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 1 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The cat-faced orb-weaver is an interesting spider with an abdomen that roughly resembles a cat when viewed from certain angles. This spider comes in several colors, but most variants you’ll encounter are brown, orange, yellow, or white.

The abdomen of this spider has a hump on either side of the top, and a dark pattern running between the humps. You’ll notice black puncture-like markings on this dark pattern that resemble a cat’s eyes, while the humps stand in for the ears.

Like many orb-weavers, this spider is hairy, and its spiny legs have alternating light and dark bands. The dark bands are often brownish, while the light bands are whitish or simply translucent.

Cat-faced orb-weavers are common in forests, gardens, and woodlands. These spiders build wheel-like orb webs to trap small arthropod prey, especially flying insects. When these insects fly into the webs, these spiders detect it via vibratory signals.

These critters follow the vibratory signals to the source and immobilize their victims with venom. They may consume their victims immediately or wrap them up to eat later in the future.

There’s no reason to fear cat-faced orb-weavers. Even if you find their appearance unsettling, rest assured that they don’t bite people unless threatened and unable to escape. But even if they were aggressive, their venom is not medically significant.

36. Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Northern Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei) on a wall in Worrstadt, Germany, Europe
Northern Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei) on a wall in Worrstadt, Germany, Europe. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Eutichuridae
  • Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium mildei
  • Other Names: Long-legged Sac Spider, American Yellow Sac Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.16 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The northern yellow sac spider is a fascinating arachnid without many distinct features besides its dark face and the short, dark stripe on its abdomen. Its body is usually yellowish or greenish, though many variants tend toward white or brown.

Northern yellow sac spiders often live indoors, but you may not notice them for months because these arachnids are nocturnal. They hide in crevices, closets, and other undisturbed or hidden parts of the house.

Unlike many spiders in Mississippi, northern yellow sac spiders don’t spin conventional webs to catch prey or for shelter. They live inside silk sac-shaped shelters when resting, which is why they are called sac spiders.

Since these arachnids don’t spin webs, they hunt their victims by relying on their speed and agility. They attack targets when close and subdue them with venom before consuming them.

Though there are reports of northern black widows biting people unprovoked sometimes, these arachnids are harmless. Their venom doesn’t trigger medically significant symptoms, but you should be careful if you’re allergic to spider venom.

37. Arrowhead Orbweaver

Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) walking through its own web in Holly Springs, Mississippi, USA
Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) walking through its own web in Holly Springs, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Verrucosa arenata
  • Other Names: Triangulate Orb-weaver, Arrowhead Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.55 inch
  • Lifespan: Up to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The arrowhead orb-weaver is a reddish-brown spider with a large abdomen. This abdomen is shaped like a triangle or arrowhead, which is why the species is called an arrowhead spider.

In addition to having a triangular abdomen, this spider has a triangular patch on the abdomen. The patch is usually yellow, pink, or whitish, and several veiny reddish-brown lines crisscross it.

You’ll find the arrowhead orb-weaver in vegetation-rich places, such as forests and gardens. Like other spiders in its family, this species builds wheel-like orb webs to catch prey.

The spider sits on its web, waiting for prey to get stuck. It listens for vibratory signals to know when prey hits the web strands, after which it goes over to inject its victim with venom.

Like other orb-weavers in Mississippi, the arrowhead orb-weaver is harmless to humans. This arachnid’s venom is too weak to cause medically significant symptoms, and it doesn’t bite people unless threatened.

38. Tropical Orbweaver

Tropical Orbweaver (Eriophora ravilla) on its web in Jackson County, Mississippi, USA
Tropical Orbweaver (Eriophora ravilla) on its web in Jackson County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Eriophora ravilla
  • Other Names: Tropical Orb Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.35 to 0.94 inch
  • Lifespan: Up to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The tropical orb-weaver is a brown spider with indistinct or variable body patterns, which can make identifying it difficult. Its body is covered in long, whitish spines, and its legs have alternating brown and white or pale brown bands.

In some variants, the abdomen has a yellow patch that vaguely resembles a mushroom. This patch is wide at the top and narrow in the second half. Some variants have a white leaf-like pattern with black markings running down the abdomen’s center.

Regardless of this spider’s appearance, its behavior is typical of an orb-weaver. The tropical orb-weaver builds large orb webs and sits upside-down in the center, waiting for prey to fly into its web’s sticky strands.

This spider is active at night and often builds its web at sunset. It relies on vibratory signals traveling along its web strands to know when its web has trapped prey, after which it rushes to immobilize and wrap its victim in silk.

Tropical orb-weavers are harmless arachnids that don’t bite people unless threatened. Their venom is not medically significant.

39. Eastern Parson Spider

Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) on something seethrough in grass in Mongomery County, Mississippi, USA
Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) on something seethrough in grass in Mongomery County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Gnaphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus
  • Other Names: Stealthy Ground Spider, Ground Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.3 to 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The eastern parson spider is a black or dark gray arachnid with a white or light gray pattern running down its back. This pattern runs along the center of the carapace and abdomen and resembles the cravat or neckband Catholic clergymen wore in the past.

This species is called a parson spider because of the resemblance of its whitish body pattern to cravats. That’s because “parson” is another name for a person of the clergy. You’ll also find this clerical reference is also in its species name: “ecclesiasticus,” presumably from “ecclesiastes,” a Hebrew word that means preacher in English.

You’ll find eastern parson spiders in various places, including your home. These spiders hide in wall cracks, under unmoved items, and in other crevices in the house. They are nocturnal, so you might not notice them unless you’re awake at night.

Eastern parson spiders don’t spin web traps for prey. Instead, these arachnids scout and stalk their targets, gauging their reaction before launching a proper attack. They subdue their victims with venom before settling down to feast on them.

The venom in the bites eastern parson spiders inflict is only potent against small arthropod prey. It won’t trigger any medically significant symptoms in humans, and the spiders don’t bite people unprovoked.

However, if you back eastern parson spiders into a corner, these spiders won’t hesitate to defend themselves by biting you. Yes, this species’ bite is harmless but the pain can be excruciating before it wears off.

40. Dimorphic Jumping Spider

Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Maevia inclemens) walking down a stick in Jones County, Mississippi, USA
Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Maevia inclemens) walking down a stick in Jones County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Maevia inclemens
  • Other Names: Dimorphic Jumping Spider, Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.3 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The dimorphic jumping spider’s name comes from the fact that males of this species come in two distinct morphs. There’s no known difference between these morphs besides their physical appearance, and both morphs seem equally represented in most dimorphic jumping spider populations.

It’s still unclear what informs the appearance of these morphs. That’s why it’s not possible for biologists to determine which morph a juvenile male dimorphic jumping spider will assume in adulthood.

One morph has white legs, a black body, and three tufts on its head. This morph is known as the black or tufted morph. In contrast, the other morph lacks tufts on its head, and it has a gray body with oblique stripes on its legs. It’s called the gray or striped morph.

Female dimorphic jumping spiders aren’t dimorphic. There’s only one form, and this spider has a light brown carapace with a rust-colored abdomen. The face is whitish, and there are two dark lines running down its belly.

Like many jumping spiders in Mississippi, this species can leap several times its height. It spins silk draglines to regulate its movement in the air and reduce the risk of injury if its jumps fail.

You’ll find the most dimorphic jumping spiders outdoors on walls, tree barks, and other vertical surfaces. These spiders are also common among vegetation, where they build small silk shelters to rest in when inactive.

These spiders don’t build conventional webs, and they catch prey by using their speed, agility, and excellent eyesight. They stalk their victims, ambush them, and leap on them when within reach.

Dimorphic jumping spiders are harmless to humans. They don’t bite unprovoked, but even if they did, their venom is too mild for humans.

41. Spined Micrathena

Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) upside-down on a leaf stem in Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA
Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) upside-down on a leaf stem in Noxubee County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Micrathena gracilis
  • Other Names: Castleback Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The spined micrathena is a brown or black spider. Its abdomen is usually white or cream with black or brown spots, but some variants have entirely black or brown abdomens.

This arachnid gets its name from the pointed projections along both sides of its abdomen. These projections look like spines or crowns, and they are often brown or black.

You’ll find the spined micrathena among vegetation outdoors, especially in gardens and forests. This orb-weaver spins wheel-like webs to catch insects and other small arthropods. It then sits in the hub to wait for prey.

When prey hits the spider’s web, vibratory signals travel along the web strands. The spider detects these signals and rushes toward the source to inject its victims with venom and consume it.

This spider’s venom is only toxic to small insects and arthropods. It’s too weak to trigger any severe symptoms in humans, and the spiders themselves rarely attempt to bite people even when provoked.

42. Lined Orbweaver

Lined Orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa) on a web in greenery in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA
Lined Orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa) on a web in greenery in Forrest County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Mangora gibberosa
  • Other Names: Lined Orb Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.25 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The lined orb-weaver is a green spider with a dark groove on its carapace and several dark brown or black lines on its white or cream belly. Like many orb-weavers, this belly is much larger than the cephalothorax.

You’ll encounter most line orb-weavers among vegetation in forests and woodlands, where they spin large orb webs to catch prey. The web of these spiders is easy to spot because the center has a circle of reinforced or thickened silk.

While the function of this silk is still contested, many scientists believe the silk helps to strengthen the web’s integrity. This area of reinforced silk may also serve to dissuade birds from destroying the webs or to reflect light wavelengths that attract insect prey.

Lined orb-weavers feed on various types of insects, and they sit on their webs while waiting for these insects to come to them. They detect insects stuck on their webs via vibratory signals and hurry over to kill and eat their victims.

These spiders are not aggressive toward people, so bites are uncommon. Their venom is also not medically significant, so you’ll be fine even if one bites you.

43. Deadly Ground Crab Spider

Deadly Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus funestus) in bright lighting on a white surface in Rankin County, Mississippi, USA
Deadly Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus funestus) in bright lighting on a white surface in Rankin County, Mississippi, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Thomisidae
  • Scientific Name: Xysticus funestus
  • Other Names: Ground Crab Spider, Bark Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.18 to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The deadly ground crab spider is a brown arachnid with a mottled body. This species is called a crab spider because it shares some traits with crab spiders, such as a flattened body and front legs that curve forward and outward.

This spider’s first two leg pairs are noticeably larger and longer than the others. In addition, this spider can move forward, backward, and sideways without turning, like a true crab.

Despite the “deadly” in the deadly ground crab spider’s name, this arachnid is harmless to humans. It won’t bite you unless you threaten it. But while its bite might hurt a bit, the venom it injects doesn’t trigger any severe symptoms.

You’ll find the deadly ground crab spider in forests and woodlands. This spider’s mottled brown body provides it with excellent camouflage on the ground, on tree bark, and among dried leaf litter.

This arachnid doesn’t build webs to catch prey. Instead, it relies on its speed, strength, and the camouflage its color gives it when hunting. It ambushes its targets, seizes them with its strong forelegs, and immobilizes them with venom before eating.

Although this species doesn’t spin webs, it uses silk for other purposes. For example, female deadly ground crab spiders use silk to create protective sacs to hold their eggs after laying them.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably still have questions about spiders in Mississippi. Read on to get answers to your most pressing questions.

What do spiders in Mississippi eat?

Spiders in Mississippi feed on small arthropods, especially insects. That’s because insects are the most readily available group of arthropods. Some spiders also consume other spiders in addition to other arthropods, including their species members.

Some spiders, such as fishing spiders, consume non-arthropods like fish, tadpoles, and slugs.

Do spiders in Mississippi have good eyesight?

It depends on the type of spider. As a rule, most spiders that build webs to trap prey have poor eyesight. That’s why they rely on the vibratory signals that travel along their web strands to make sense of their environments.

On the other hand, many hunter spiders have excellent vision. Jumping spiders and wolf spiders are examples of such spiders with keen eyesight. But you’ll also find some hunter spiders with weak eyesight.

Where can I find spiders in Mississippi?

You can find spiders almost anywhere in Mississippi. If you’re not after finding a specific species, the first place you should look is your home. You’ll find one or two spider species hiding in your window sills, ceiling corners, basement, or around your furniture.

Outdoors, there are even more spiders. These arachnids live in various habitats, and you’re sure to find many around your building. You’re more likely to encounter less common species in forests and woodlands, but some spiders are partial to arid places.

You should always check the natural range and habitat preferences of any spider species you’re particular about finding before going out in search of it.

Are there any poisonous spiders in Mississippi?

Yes, there are many venomous spiders in Mississippi. But this statement alone means nothing because nearly all spiders everywhere are venomous (not poisonous). What’s important is how venomous these spiders are.

Nearly all the spiders you’ll encounter in Mississippi are harmless because their venom is too weak to cause medically significant symptoms in humans. Only three spider species in the state can produce potent enough to harm humans.

These highly venomous spiders are the northern black widow, the southern black widow, and the brown recluse. Bites from these spiders might require medical attention to prevent complications.

Can a spider bite kill you?

Yes, a spider bite can kill you. But it’s highly unlikely that a spider bite will kill you. One, because most spiders just don’t produce venom toxic enough to kill a human. Two, because most spiders, even highly venomous species, rarely bite people.

What is the deadliest spider in Mississippi?

Black widows and brown recluses are the deadliest spiders in Mississippi. These spiders produce highly toxic venom that can cause symptoms requiring medical attention.

The neurotoxin that black widows produce cause latrodectism, a condition characterized by several adverse symptoms like pain, nausea, difficulty in breathing, and muscle stiffness. In extreme cases, bites can lead to death.

Fortunately, deaths from black widow bites are rare. Children, the elderly, and adults with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable groups to such an outcome. That’s why prompt medical care is essential.

Brown recluse bites are less likely to cause death, even in extreme cases. But the wounds the venom from severe bites creates can leave behind deep, long-lasting scars or tissue damage.

Are there brown recluses in Mississippi?

Yes, there are brown recluses in Mississippi. These fascinating arachnids are shy and rare to come by, so you might have difficulty finding them in the state. Many reported sightings of brown recluses in Mississippi are due to people mistaking similar-looking spiders for recluses.

Are there jumping spiders in Mississippi?

Yes, there are jumping spiders in Mississippi. The state is home to a diverse collection of these lively arachnids, and some people keep several species as pets.

Are there black widows in Mississippi?

Yes, there are black widows in Mississippi. Two species call this state home: the northern black widow and the southern black widow.

Yes, you can own a pet spider in Mississippi. The state doesn’t ban people from keeping spiders as pets.

How many species of spiders are there in Mississippi?

There are over 40 different types of spiders in Mississippi. It’s unclear what the exact number of spiders in the state is, but the total count likely runs into the hundreds. Sadly, information about them is sparse because scientists know little about them.

What are the most common spiders in Mississippi?

Orb-weavers and cobweb spiders are among the most common spiders in Mississippi. Orb-weavers are common outdoors, while cobweb spiders are common indoors.

Wrapping up

Mississippi is home to a diverse group of spiders, all of which have features that differentiate them from other species in the state. This diversity reflects in their appearance, habitat preference, and behavior.

While you’ll find a few highly venomous spiders in the state, these highly venomous species are only a fraction of Mississippi’s rich spider fauna. You can share the same space with most spiders in the state without any negative incidents.

In fact, having spiders around your home can be highly beneficial because of their diet. These arachnids feed on many arthropods that otherwise constitute a nuisance or act as pests in your home.

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David Carrasquillo

Friday 8th of December 2023

Roses are red, violets are blue, the only thing sweeter than sleep is you.

Daniel Kelly

Saturday 2nd of December 2023

Great information shared.. really enjoyed reading this post thank you author for sharing this post .. appreciated

Travellernote

Tuesday 21st of November 2023

I wanted to express my gratitude for this helpful post. The information you've shared has been instrumental in solving a problem I've been facing.