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Spiders in New Mexico

There are over 30 different types of spiders in New Mexico. These arachnids are possibly the most well-known but grossly misunderstood group of arthropods in the world.

Arachnophobia is one of the top 10 phobias in the world, and some estimates say up to 30.5% of the US population suffers from it. But while this phobia is real, not everyone’s fear is deep-seated. Some of it is due to the misconceptions people hold about spiders.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the different types of spiders that call New Mexico home along with tips on how to identify them. You’ll also learn which species are dangerous to humans and interesting facts about these critters.

Learning about the spiders in New Mexico will not rid you of any phobias you have, but it might help you engage these arachnids with more context. They aren’t as creepy or dangerous as they seem, and most of them play beneficial roles in the environment.

Read on to learn more about these fascinating arthropods.

Spiders in New Mexico

1. Southern Black Widow

Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) on webbed straw in Abilene, Texas, USA
Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) on webbed straw in Abilene, Texas, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans
  • Other Names: 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 New Mexico and most parts of North America. Pop culture references in movies and music are some of the main drivers of these spiders’ popularity.

But the real reason many people who hear about black widows remember them is that these arachnids are infamous for inflicting highly venomous bites. That and the tendency of female black widows to consume their male partners after mating.

New Mexico is home to multiple black widow species, and the southern black widow is one of them. This arachnid, like other black widows, has a shiny, coal-black body. It also has a reddish-orange hourglass marking on its underbelly.

The spider, despite its venomousness, rarely bites people unprovoked. Most bites happen due to accidental skin contact that startles the spider, such as when you wear a shoe or shirt harboring it.

The southern black widow lives in various habitats, but you’ll most likely encounter it indoors. It spins sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, ceiling corners, window sills, and other undisturbed parts of the house.

This spider uses its cobweb for shelter and for trapping small arthropod prey, such as flies and gnats. When these insects enter the spider’s web, the sticky threads prevent them from escaping long enough for the widow to hurry over and kill them with venom.

Besides trapping prey, southern black widows also use silk to create egg sacs. After laying eggs, the spiders wrap them in the sacs and keep them in their cobweb or other safe places until the eggs hatch.

2. Western Black Widow

Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus) hanging from its web against a white wall in Socorro, New Mexico, USA
Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus) hanging from its web against a white wall in Socorro, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus hesperus
  • Other Names: Black Widow, Widow Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The western black widow is a close sibling of the southern black widow. Like its sibling, its body is glossy black and its bulbous abdomen has a reddish-orange hourglass marking on the underside.

This species’ hourglass marking may be unbroken as in southern black widows. It may also be broken in the middle, the resulting triangular halves of the hourglass marking connected by tiny reddish spots or nothing at all.

Western black widows are just as venomous as their southern counterparts. Their venom is up to 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake’s, which is why it’s advisable to seek immediate medical attention if one bites you.

Once in the body, the toxin might trigger a condition known as latrodectism. Latrodectism is marked by symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, muscle stiffness, and difficulty in breathing. In extreme cases, it might lead to death.

All western black widows are highly venomous. However, the venom adult female black widows inject is much more potent than the venom of male and juvenile black widows.

Female western black widows are the dominant sex in this species. They live much longer than males and tend to consume their partners immediately after mating. But even if females don’t eat them, male black widows wither and die shortly after mating.

Western black widows build sticky cobwebs to trap insects and other small arthropods. When insects get stuck in their cobweb strands, these spiders rush to inject and kill their victims before consuming them.

You’ll encounter most western black widows indoors. They tend to spin their cobwebs in corners and dark, secluded areas.

3. Brown Widow

Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus) in its web on dirt at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA
Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus) in its web on dirt at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus geometricus
  • Other Names: Widow Spider, Button Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.5 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The brown widow belongs to the same genus as black widows and, in theory, is just as venomous as its black siblings. Its bites can cause excruciating pain and redness or swelling, but most people don’t need emergency medical care.

It’s rare to experience symptoms of latrodectism in response to this spider’s bite. But that’s only because it injects people with a much smaller venom dose compared to its siblings. According to some studies, the drop-per-drop neurotoxin concentration of this species’ venom is the same as that of black widows.

You can identify the brown widow by its black cephalothorax and the reddish-hourglass marking on its underbelly. Its bulbous abdomen is brown and patterned, while its legs are brown with black joints.

This spider occupies similar habitats to black widows but tends to stay in slightly more exposed spots compared to its siblings. It’s common in undisturbed places at home, such as eaves, window sills, and garages. It’s also common among woody vegetation.

Brown widows spin sticky, messy cobwebs wherever they stay. They use these cobwebs as shelter and as traps for the arthropods they feed on. When arthropods get caught, the spiders quickly locate and sting their victims to death before eating.

These arachnids also spin silk egg sacs to house their eggs until the eggs hatch. Their egg sacs are covered in several tiny projections or spicules, while those of black widows are smooth. For many biologists, this difference is critical in distinguishing both species.

Male brown widows, like male black widows, die shortly after mating. They either wither on their own or their female mating partners consume them.

4. Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) walking on a cracked painted white wall in Oklahoma, USA
Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) walking on a cracked painted white wall in Oklahoma, 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 a fascinating arachnid with a brown body and a violin-shaped marking on its carapace. This violin marking is why this spider also goes by other names like “violin spider” and “fiddle spider.”

This species is called a recluse because it’s pretty reserved. It avoids human interactions and rarely wanders in exposed places. Females, especially, can stay in the same place for long periods without wandering far from their base.

Males are more adventurous and tend to wander about, especially when searching for partners during mating seasons. In addition to being shy and reclusive, brown recluses have small, sparsely distributed populations in different parts of the country.

Despite the rarity of this species, brown recluses are among the most well-known spiders in New Mexico after black widows. This popularity is because spiders are also highly venomous.

Brown recluses produce cytotoxic venom that kills surrounding cells and tissue, causing sores to form where they bite humans. Depending on how much venom it injects, its bite might only cause small open sores. Sometimes, it causes large, slow-healing ulcers.

Other symptoms associated with this spider’s bite include fever, sweating, nausea, and jaundice. Unfortunately, there is no antivenom for brown recluse bites, but treatment can help wounds heal better with minimal scars.

Brown recluses sometimes inflict venomless bites, also called “dry” or warning bites. These bites don’t cause any symptoms. Sadly, it’s impossible to tell what kind of bite it is until symptoms show. That’s why urgent medical care is vital.

The good news is that brown recluses, like black widows, rarely bite people unprovoked. They only bite people in self-defense when they cannot escape threatening situations.

These spiders are skilled hunters that don’t trap prey in webs. They feed on small arthropods that they ambush and kill with venom.

5. Bold Jumping Spider

Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) on a leaf in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) on a leaf in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Phidippus audax
  • Other Names: Daring Jumping Spider, Bold Jumper,  White-spotted Jumper, White-spotted Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.25 to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Bold jumping spiders are small, stout-legged arachnids capable of jumping many times their height. Their legs are short relative to most spiders, but the legs are strong and effective at launching the spiders high.

The easiest way to distinguish jumping spiders from other spiders in New Mexico is to look at their eyes. These critters often have an enlarged pair in front of their head, and this pair helps the spiders see more clearly than other spiders in the state.

Differentiating bold jumping spiders from other jumping spiders is easier. These hairy critters are black with whitish hairs on leg joints and three reddish-orange markings on the lower half of their abdomen.

If you’re having trouble distinguishing bold jumping spiders from other similar-looking species, examine their fangs. Bold jumpers have a distinct pair of metallic-green fangs.

Bold jumping spiders don’t spin webs to catch prey the way most spiders do. Instead, these arachnids prefer hunting down their targets. They leap on their targets once within range and immobilize them with venom.

The toxin these arachnids inject is harmless to humans, and the spiders rarely bite people. It’s easy to play with these lively arachnids because they are often as curious about you as you are about them.

6. Texas Brown Tarantula

Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) on rocks in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, USA
Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) on rocks in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
  • Other Names: Ordinary tarantula, Missouri Tarantula, Oklahoma Brown Tarantula
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 40 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Texas brown tarantula is a large, brown arachnid with stout black or dark brown legs. Its abdomen, pedipalps, and legs are furry and dark, while the carapace is light brown with relatively less hair.

Unlike most spiders in New Mexico, this species prefers dry, arid areas to moist places with ample vegetation. It doesn’t build conventional webs like most spiders, preferring to live in silk-lined burrows in the ground.

This arachnid is a skilled hunter that doesn’t spin web traps for prey. It hides in its burrow during the day, emerging at night to hunt insects and other arthropods. But unlike many hunter spiders in New Mexico, this spider has weak eyesight.

Despite their size, these arachnids are unaggressive toward humans. They might inflict painful bites when threatened or mishandled, but the venom they inject doesn’t cause any significant symptoms.

Texas brown tarantulas are solitary creatures that can live for decades inside their burrows. Like many spiders, female Texas brown tarantulas live longer than males. They sometimes outlive males by up to three decades.

7. Western Parson Spider

Western Parson Spider (Herpyllus propinquus) on concrete in the sun in New Mexico, USA
Western Parson Spider (Herpyllus propinquus) on concrete in the sun in New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Gnaphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Herpyllus propinquusPars
  • 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 western parson spider is the eastern parson spider’s closest sibling. This hairy arachnid is black or dark gray with a white pattern running down its carapace and abdomen.

The white pattern on this spider’s back resembles the cravat or neckband Catholic clergymen used to wear in the 18th century. Clergymen are also called parsons, and it explains why there’s “parson” in the species’ common name.

You’ll find western parson spiders in various parts of New Mexico. These critters live outdoors and indoors, but they do so in crevices or under debris and rocks. Like their relatives, these critters don’t spin typical webs.

Western parson spiders spend the day resting, only emerging at night to hunt down prey. They stalk their victims, gauging their response to taunts before launching an attack to subdue them with venom.

This venom, while potent against insects and other arthropods, is harmless to humans. You might experience pain, redness, and swelling. But these symptoms quickly fade without treatment.

Western parson spiders won’t go out of their way to bite you. But if you threaten them but prevent them from escaping, these critters can get pretty aggressive and won’t hesitate to bite you.

8. Yellow Garden Spider

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) hanging on its web in South Valley, New Mexico, USA
Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) hanging on its web in South Valley, New Mexico, 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 brightly colored orb-weaver common in gardens, forests, prairies, and other places with ample vegetation. You’ll typically find it hanging upside-down in the center of its large, wheel-like orb web.

Like many web-spinning spiders in New Mexico, this critter relies on its web for food. It sits in the hub, waiting for insects to crash into its web strands and get stuck. When the web traps prey, the spider rushes toward its victim to immobilize it with venom and eat.

Yellow garden spiders are only threats to small insects and arthropods. They don’t pose any threat to humans and won’t bite unless threatened. Even when forced to bite, the toxin they produce is too mild to harm humans.

These critters play vital ecosystem roles and are beneficial to humans because of their diet. In gardens and around the house, these spiders consume large numbers of insects that otherwise act as pests and disease vectors.

You can identify yellow garden spiders by their black and yellow legs and bellies. The abdomen of this species is mostly yellow with black spirals.

In addition, a central black stripe with rows of yellow markings in the middle runs down the abdomen.

9. Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) hanging on its web in Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA
Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) hanging on its web in Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata
  • Other Names: Orb-weaver Spider, Yellow Garden Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.59 to 0.98 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The banded garden spider is an orb-weaver with whitish hair on its carapace and alternating light and dark bands on its legs. But it isn’t called a banded spider because of these leg bands.

This species’ common name comes from the rows of lateral bands running across its abdomen from side to side. The bands are of various colors, from white to orange, brown, and yellow.

Banded garden spiders are close siblings of the yellow garden spider and are often found in similar habitats. These critters favor areas with plenty of vegetation, such as gardens, woodlands, and prairies.

These arachnids spin large orb-like webs to trap flying insects and other arthropods they feed on. After spinning the webs, the spiders sit upside-down in the hub and wait for prey to hit the strands.

Banded garden spiders have sensitive hairs on their legs that pick up vibratory signals when insects hit their webs. The spiders use these signals to locate their victims on their webs and hurry there to paralyze and eat their victims.

The venom these critters use to paralyze their victims is harmless to humans. Besides, the spiders don’t bite people unless threatened and prevented from escaping.

You might encounter these arachnids near your home and feel tempted to destroy their webs. But don’t. Like many orb-weavers, these critters help control the populations of pesky insects you might dislike even more than them.

10. Woodlouse Hunter

Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) on concrete in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata) on concrete in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Dysderidae
  • Scientific Name: Dysdera crocata
  • Other Names: Woodlouse Spider, Sowbug Hunter, Pillbug Hunter, Long-Fanged Ground Spider, Roly-Poly Hunter, Cell Spider, Slater Spider, Sowbug Killer, 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 spider with a dark red carapace and a brownish or tan belly.

Its legs are lighter than its carapace, and its fangs are long. In addition, this spider has only six eyes instead of the eight seen in most spiders in New Mexico.

These eyes have a circular arrangement on the spider’s head and are an important identifying factor. This feature is especially relevant when trying to differentiate it from the broad-faced sac spider, which has eight eyes arranged in widely spaced columns.

Woodlouse hunters look nothing like woodlice. Biologists call them woodlouse hunters because that’s what they do—hunt woodlice. While these arachnids feed on other arthropods too, woodlice make up the bulk of their diet.

These critters are skilled hunters with agile bodies and keen eyesight. When hunting, they scout their targets and approach them stealthily. They ambush their victims when within reach and subdue them with venom.

Woodlouse hunters don’t spin typical webs like web-building arachnids. Instead, they spend the day hiding in the silk nests they’ve built in crevices and underneath rocks, rotting logs, and other debris.

The spiders leave their shelters at night to hunt prey. It’s common to find woodlouse hunter shelters near woodlice populations because this makes hunting easy for the spiders.

You may also encounter woodlouse hunters indoors. These critters aren’t aggressive unless threatened. While you might experience pain if one bites you, the toxin these spiders inject is harmless to humans.

11. False Black Widow

False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) in its web on a wooden table in Silver City, New Mexico, USA
False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) in its web on a wooden table in Silver City, New Mexico, USA. – 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 a brown to purplish brown or dark brown arachnid with a bulbous abdomen and legs that end in comb-like structures. It’s called a false black widow because people often mistake it for true black widows.

The easiest way to tell false black widows apart from true black widows is to examine their underbellies. Unlike true widows, false black widows don’t have a reddish-orange hourglass marking on their abdomens.

Although false black widows are related to true black widows, these critters don’t inflict medically significant bites on humans. But their bites can be excruciating. Fortunately, these symptoms typically fade on their own without treatment.

You’ll typically find these arachnids indoors, where they spin sticky cobwebs in corners and other secluded spaces to catch prey. They wait inside the cobwebs and quickly run to sting any arthropod that enters their cobwebs and gets stuck.

After immobilizing their victims, false widows remove them from the cobweb to leave room for other arthropods to get stuck. They consume their victims immediately or stash them away to eat later.

12. Long-bodied Cellar Spider

Long-bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) in the corner of a wall in Lincoln, New Mexico, USA
Long-bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) in the corner of a wall in Lincoln, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pholcidae
  • Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides
  • Other Names: Daddy Longlegs, Cellar Spider, Daddy Longlegger, Carpenter Spider, House Spider, Granddaddy Longlegs, Vibrating Spider, Skull Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.4 inch
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Also known as “daddy longlegs,” the long-bodied cellar spider is a brown or tan arachnid with a small body, six eyes, and incredibly long legs that exaggerate its real size. Its second name “daddy longlegs” is because of these long legs.

Although people often associate this species with the name daddy longlegs, cellar spiders originally got the name by mistake. The real daddy longlegs spiders are long-legged spider-like arachnids called harvestmen.

The daddy longlegs name stuck with cellar spiders because people often mistook this species for the original daddy longlegs—and also because the name fit.

You’ll find long-bodied cellar spiders in various places indoors and outdoors, but especially indoors. These spiders are common in cellars, hence the “cellar” in their name. However, they also live in other parts of the house like ceiling corners, furniture bends, and window sills.

Long-bodied cellar spiders spin tangled silk webs to trap prey and hang upside-down waiting for prey to get stuck. Once this happens, the spiders vibrate their webs vigorously to make their prey get even more entangled in the web strands.

These arachnids have poor eyesight and rely on vibratory signals to locate their victims on their webs. They bite their victims to paralyze them then consume them immediately or save them for later.

When threatened, this species fiercely vibrates its web until the strands become blurry, making it hard for predators to see the spider clearly. The spider flees from its web if this tactic fails to discourage predators.

Although stories abound about this species’ “incredibly potent venom,” they are all false. Long-bodied cellar spiders don’t bite people unprovoked. But even if they did, the venom these arachnids produce is too mild to harm humans.

13. Carolina Giant Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis) on sand and shrub in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA
Carolina Wolf Spider (Hogna carolinensis) on sand and shrub in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Lycosidae
  • Scientific Name: Hogna carolinensis
  • Other Names: Giant 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 the largest wolf spider in North America, spanning up to 1.5 inches across. This critter has also been the official state spider in South Carolina since the year 2000.

This species is typically brown with two broad black stripes on its carapace and a thin brown line running down the middle. Its abdomen also has two black or gray stripes and a short dark line with chevrons in the middle sandwiched by brown lines.

Like other wolf spiders in New Mexico, this species is a hunter that doesn’t spin webs to trap prey. It prefers ambushing its targets and pouncing on them. It quickly immobilizes its victims with venom before consuming them.

The venom of this spider, while effective at paralyzing prey, is not medically significant to humans. You won’t develop any serious symptoms if one bites you. However, bites can be pretty painful.

The good news is that Carolina giant wolf spiders aren’t aggressive toward people and won’t bite unprovoked. They’ll only bite in self-defense if you mishandle or threaten them without letting them escape.

You’ll find Carolina giant wolf spiders outdoors more than indoors. These arachnids live in various types of habitats but are partial to drier, more arid places. Although these critters don’t spin conventional webs, females spin silk egg sacs.

After mating, females dig a hole in the ground, line it with silk, and lay eggs into it. They carry these silk sacs with them everywhere until the eggs inside the sacs hatch.

They then carry their spiderlings on their backs until the young spiders strike out on their own.

14. Western Desert Tarantula

Desert Blond Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) on rocky ground on the road to Mogollon, New Mexico, USA
Desert Blond Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) on rocky ground on the road to Mogollon, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma chalcodes
  • Other Names: Desert Blonde Tarantula, Arizona Blonde Tarantula, Mexican Blonde Tarantula
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 30 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The western desert tarantula is a large spider with a tan or brown body. It’s called a blonde spider because its carapace and hairy abdomen are blonde. In females, the color is usually uniform. 

Male western desert tarantulas typically have reddish abdomens and black hairs on their legs. The carapace of this species is copper.

Like many tarantulas, you’ll typically find this species in arid areas. This spider favors desert-like places, hence the desert in its name. It doesn’t build conventional webs, preferring to live in silk-lined burrows in the ground.

Western desert tarantulas feed on various small arthropods, but they chase and ambush their targets instead of trapping them in webs. Once close to prey, these spiders dash at their targets, then seize and fill them with venom before eating.

If you’ve never handled a tarantula before, the size of this spider can put you on edge. But there’s no need to worry. Western desert tarantulas don’t bite people unprovoked, so you can pick them up with no problem.

The spiders only bite when threatened or mishandled. Fortunately, their venom is not medically significant. You won’t develop any serious symptoms besides pain and a little redness or swelling.

These symptoms fade without treatment.

15. Southern House Spider

Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) up close from its web in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) up close from its web in Buenos Aires, Argentina. – 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

Southern house spiders are common indoors, hence their name.

You’ll find them in dark, sheltered corners, closets, windowsills, and wall or floorboard crevices inside the house. These spiders are also common in garages and barns.

These arachnids are cribellate spiders that spin wooly, haphazard silk webs near their crevices. These webs aren’t sticky, but the wooly, velcro-like texture tangles the legs of small arthropods that wander into it.

The spiders often stay in their crevices during the day, emerging at night to kill and eat the arthropods caught in their web strands. Sometimes, they leave the body parts of their victims on the web strands.

Only females and juvenile southern house spiders build webs to catch prey. Once adults mature, they go in search of female mates. Male southern house spiders have shorter lifespans and are smaller than females.

You’ll also notice other differences in the appearance of both sexes. While the spiders are brown or grayish-brown, females have dark patches on their carapace and a long but ovoid abdomen.

Males have long, slender abdomens and a brown stripe on their carapace. This stripe runs from behind the eyes and narrows toward the center of the carapace, resembling the violin marking characteristic of brown recluses.

Although people sometimes mistake this species for the brown recluse, the violin marking of brown recluses is much broader and extends up to the end of the carapace. The pedipalps of male southern house spiders are also much longer than recluses’, and look like an extra pair of legs.

Like virtually all spiders, southern house spiders are venomous. But their venom is not medically significant to humans. The spiders also avoid human interaction and don’t bite people unless threatened.

16. European Cross Orbweaver

European Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) spinning a web on grass in British Columbia, Canada
European Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) spinning a web on grass in British Columbia, Canada. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus
  • Other Names: Cross Orb-weaver, Crowned Orb-weaver, European Garden Spider, 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 cross orb-weaver is common in gardens, woodlands, forests, and other places with ample vegetation. But you may also come across this species around human-made structures.

Like other orb-weaving spiders in New Mexico. The European cross orb-weaver builds wheel-like silk webs with sticky spiral threads. It sits on its web, waiting for insects to fly into these sticky threads and get stuck.

This spider can tell when its web has caught prey using vibratory signals from its web strands. It then rushes toward its catch and immobilizes it with venom before consuming it. Sometimes, it wraps its catch in silk to eat later.

The venom the European cross orb-weaver injects is effective against prey, but it is harmless to humans. Also, this spider doesn’t bite people unless threatened and unable to run away.

When threatened, this spider typically vibrates its web to dissuade the threat. If this approach fails, it abandons its web and seeks shelter elsewhere until its web is safe to return to.

This species is typically brownish, but you’ll find many variants that are anything from yellow to dark gray. Its abdomen is massive and bears a broad dark pattern with wavy edges that narrows toward the rear.

You’ll also notice several white spots in the middle of this broad pattern that form a cross-like shape. The spider’s name comes from its cross-like markings.

17. American House Spider

Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) in between someones fingers in Llano Grande, Mexico
Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) in between someone’s fingers in Llano Grande, Mexico. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
  • Other Names: Common House Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.24 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The American house spider is a relative of black widows. However, this species is harmless compared to its infamous cousins. Its bites can be painful, but its venom is too mild to trigger any significant reactions.

Like other cobweb spiders in New Mexico, American house spiders don’t bite people unprovoked unless threatened and unable to escape. And even then, such bites are uncommon.

You’ll find most American house spiders indoors. These arachnids build sticky, tangled cobwebs in dark, undisturbed places like ceiling corners, basements, garages, windowsills, and furniture bends.

American house spiders rely on their cobwebs to trap arthropod prey. These critters sit in their webs, waiting for insects and other arthropods to wander in and get stuck before swooping in to immobilize their victims.

The spiders sometimes eat their victims immediately or wrap them to consume later. Insects make up the bulk of these spiders’ diet, but the spiders feed on various arthropods, including other spiders.

18. Barn Funnel Weaver

Barn Funnel Weaver (Tegenaria domestic) on a rocky surface in Cundinamarca, Colombia
Barn Funnel Weaver (Tegenaria domestic) on a rocky surface in Cundinamarca, Colombia. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Tegenaria domestica
  • Other Names: Drain Spider, Barn Spider, Funnel Web Weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.24 to 0.45 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 7 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Barn funnel weavers are common in gardens, hence their name.

But it’s also common to encounter these spiders in garages and sheds. Indoors, people often find these critters in their bathtub drains, which is why they are also called drain spiders.

Despite what their nickname suggests, these spiders don’t live in drains when indoors. They hide in wall crevices and dark corners around the house. They also build conical or funnel-shaped silk webs to catch arthropod prey around their shelters.

Outdoors, these arachnids often spin their funnel-shaped webs on garden beds and or grasses in forests and prairies. Sadly, species that live outdoors have shorter lifespans compared to those indoors. That’s because most die when the weather gets too cold.

Barn funnel weavers are closely related to hobo spiders and can be hard to differentiate from their relatives. The carapace of this species is reddish-brown, and the abdomen is dark brown with black markings. Chevrons also run down the middle of this abdomen.

Barn funnel weavers are not aggressive spiders, and they don’t bite people unless threatened. Their venom is also not medically significant. So you’ll be fine even if one bites you.

19. Arrowhead Orbweaver

Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) hanging in its web in Sweeny, Texas, USA
Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) hanging in its web in Sweeny, Texas, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Verrucosa arenata
  • Other Names: Arrowhead Spider, Triangulate Orb-weaver
  • 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 spines on its legs.

Unlike most orb-weavers in New Mexico, this species’ abdomen is shaped like a triangle or arrowhead. That’s where it gets its name.

The top of this species’ abdomen is covered in a yellow, whitish, or sometimes pinkish pattern. This pattern is also triangular and has several veiny reddish-brown streaks running across it.

You’ll find arrowhead orb weavers among woody vegetation in woodlands, forests, and gardens. These critters spin wheel-like orb webs to trap insects and other small arthropods that crash into the sticky spiral threads.

Arrowhead orb-weavers sit on their webs waiting for prey to get caught. When this happens, the spiders use vibratory signals to locate their victims and swoop in to paralyze them with venom.

Although these arachnids are aggressive toward prey, they are pretty docile around humans. They avoid human contact and rarely bite, even when threatened.

Fortunately, their venom is also mild. So if one bites you, you won’t develop any serious symptoms.

20. Bark Crab Spider

Bark Crab Spider (Bassaniana versicolor) on bark in Syria, Virginia, USA
Bark Crab Spider (Bassaniana versicolor) on bark in Syria, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Thomisidae
  • Scientific Name: Bassaniana versicolor
  • Other Names: Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.27 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The bark crab spider is a black spider with spiny legs and brown mottles on its legs and abdomen. This coloration provides it with excellent camouflage on tree barks in forests, where you’re most likely to find it.

It’s called a crab spider because it shares some traits with crabs, such as its ability to walk forward, backward, and sideways. Like crabs, its first two leg pairs are longer than the rest.

This arachnid is a swift runner and skilled hunter. Like most hunter spiders, it doesn’t use webs to catch its targets. It chases or ambushes them before subduing its catch with venom. Its strong front legs help it when seizing prey.

Although these arachnids don’t spin silk webs, they use silk for other purposes. For example, females spin silk sacs to hold their eggs after laying them. The spiders then guard the egg sacs until spiderlings emerge from them.

Bark crab spiders have an upsetting appearance, but they are harmless to humans. Their venom is not medically significant, and the spiders rarely bite people unless threatened.

21. Arrow-shaped Micrathena

Arrow-shaped Orbweaver (Micrathena sagittata) on a leaf in Harlington, Texas, USA
Arrow-shaped Orbweaver (Micrathena sagittata) on a leaf in Harlington, Texas, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Micrathena sagittata
  • Other Names: Arrow-shaped Orb-weaver, Arrow-shaped Spider, Micrathena Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.35 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The arrow-shaped micrathena is also an orb-weaver with an unusual abdomen. Its body is orange or reddish brown with a yellowish stripe on either side of the cephalothorax, and its abdomen is yellow with black spots.

It’s called an arrow-shaped spider because its abdomen has three pairs of pointed tubercles at the edges: one pair is near the cephalothorax, the second in the middle, and the third pair is at the rear.

The protrusions at the rear are the longest and most prominent of the three pairs. Both rear protrusions are widely spaced, and they give the spider an overall arrow or “flying V guitar” shape. The tips of all three pairs are black with reddish-brown bases.

Arrow-shaped orb-weavers are common in areas with ample vegetation, and they spin large orb-shaped webs to trap prey. The spiders then sit on their webs and wait for prey to hit the strands and get stuck.

Like most orb-weavers in Mexico, these arachnids have weak eyesight. They use the sensitive hairs on their legs to detect when prey hits their webs and locate their victims. After immobilizing their catch, these spiders consume it immediately or stash it away.

Arrow-shaped orb-weavers are not aggressive spiders. They don’t bite people unless threatened, and even such incidents are rare.

In addition, their venom is not medically significant and you’re unlikely to experience any symptoms if you’re not allergic.

22. Banded Fishing Spider

Banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes vittatus) hanging on some leaves in Franklin, Connecticut, USA
Banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes vittatus) hanging on some leaves in Franklin, Connecticut, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes vittatus
  • Other Names: Raft Spider, Dock Spider, Wharf Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.27 to 1 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The banded fishing spider is a semi-aquatic arachnid that’s common along the banks of streams, rivers, and ponds. You may also encounter this species in coastal forests, prairies, and bushes.

Like other fishing spiders, this species is a skilled hunter capable of hunting on land and water. It doesn’t use webs to trap its targets when hunting on land, preferring to ambush and seize them before paralyzing its victims with venom.

This species relies on surface vibrations when hunting in water. It walks on the surface film, listening for vibrations and ripples caused by prey underneath. It uses the source of these vibrations to locate potential prey and dives in to seize its target.

After subduing its target, the spider drags its victim back to the shore to liquefy its insides and consume it.

Like other fishing spiders, this species can stay underwater for long periods because its book lungs create bubbles to help it breathe. It feeds on various aquatic insects and sometimes preys on larger animals like fish and tadpoles.

You can identify this species by its dark brown body, mottled legs, and black patch at the center of its carapace. Its carapace and abdomen are also rimmed by a broad white or cream line.

Although this species isn’t aggressive, its size sometimes makes people wary of it. It runs when threatened and only bites in self-defense. Bites can be painful, but the venom it injects does not cause any medically significant symptoms.

23. Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider

Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia spp.) on a white surface in Evergetoulas, Greece
Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia spp.) on a white surface in Evergetoulas, Greece. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Halonoproctidae
  • Scientific Name: Ummidia spp.
  • Other Names: Mygalomorph Spider, Trapdoor Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 1.6 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The cork-lid trapdoor spider is a fascinating arachnid. It has a dark brown to black body with a hard carapace, hairy abdomen, and large fangs. Its legs are also stout and glossy at the top but hairy towards the tips.

This arachnid doesn’t build typical webs, and it spends most of its life on the ground. It lives in silk-lined tunnels on the ground, which it covers with a lid made out of silk and debris. This lid opens and closes like a trapdoor, hence the spider’s name.

Sometimes, the opening of this spider’s tunnel can be hard to spot because it often uses the same materials surrounding the tunnel to build the trapdoor. But if you look closely, you might see the spider raising the lid slightly to peek out.

Like many spiders that don’t spin webs to catch prey, the cork-lid trapdoor spider is a skilled hunter. It hunts from the comfort of its burrow, using the sensitive hairs on its legs to detect movements around its tunnel.

Once prey gets close enough to the cork-lid trapdoor spider’s burrow, the spider leaps out and grabs it immediately. It pulls its target into the tunnel in less than a second and immobilizes its catch with venom.

Cork-lid trapdoor spiders are wary of humans and rarely bite unless threatened and unable to escape. They have large fangs, so their bites might hurt, but their venom is harmless to humans.

24. Bolas Spider

Southern Bolas Spider (Mastophora cornigera) under a webbed leaf in San Diego, California, USA
Southern Bolas Spider (Mastophora cornigera) under a webbed leaf in San Diego, California, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Mastophora cornigera
  • Other Names: Southern Bolas Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.07 to 0.59 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The bolas spider is a fascinating arachnid with a massive abdomen bearing two small bumps near the cephalothorax. The spider carapace and legs are brown, but the abdomen may range from uniformly brown to brown mixed with white.

When you examine this arachnid closely, you’ll notice that its carapace is covered in tiny tubercles. Its abdomen isn’t smooth either, and there’s a pair of crown-like structures on its carapace.

The bolas spider is inactive during the day to avoid predators and because its favorite prey—male moths—are more active at night. It often hides in plain sight on leaves, but its skin color and texture make it easy to mistake for bird poop.

This species is technically an orb-weaver, but it does things differently. Unlike other orb-weavers in New Mexico, this species doesn’t spin orb-like webs to trap prey. It uses a single line of silk.

At night, the bolas spider suspends itself in the air using silk threads anchored to its shelter. This spider then spins a silk line with a sticky blob on one end. This silk line, or bolas, swings from the tip of one of the spider’s eight legs.

Female bolas spiders attract male moths by secreting chemicals that mimic the pheromones produced by female moths. When a male moth follows this scent to find female mates, the bolas spider picks up the vibration of the moth’s wing beats.

This spider readies itself for attack and swings its bolas at the moth to trap it. The spider then pulls its catch closer to immobilize it with venom.

It’s called a bolas spider because the sticky blob that the spider swings from its legs to catch prey resembles the bolas weapon some Native Americans used in the past. The word bolas means “ball on a string.”

25. Bowl and Doily Spider

Bowl and Doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) on its web on Railroad Canyon, New Mexico, USA
Bowl and Doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) on its web on Railroad Canyon, New Mexico, 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 brown arachnid with a shiny carapace and an abdomen patterned with vertical whitish lines on the sides. These whitish lines resemble commas, and they turn yellow as they curve under the spider’s belly.

This tiny arachnid is common in forests and woodlands, where it spins a large web parallel to tree trunks. This web has two parts: a doily-like sheet web anchored to nearby tree trunks and a bowl-shaped web sitting on the doily.

Although the strands aren’t sticky, the web is effective at catching prey. Tangled silk threads anchor the bowl part of the web to tree branches above. Flying insects often crash into this tangle and fall into the bowl, where the spider is waiting to kill them.

Bowl and doily spiders are not aggressive spiders, so they don’t bite people unprovoked. Bites are rare even when the spiders are threatened. But if one does bite you, no need to panic. The venom these critters produce is too weak to harm people.

26. Giant Crab Spider

Giant Crab Spider (Olios giganteus) on a brick wall in Alberquerque, New Mexico, USA
Giant Crab Spider (Olios giganteus) on a brick wall in Alberquerque, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Olios giganteus
  • Other Names: Golden Huntsman Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.8 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The giant crab spider is not a true crab spider. But its body is flattened, and its legs are oriented like those of true crab spiders. Like crab spiders, this species is also capable of moving sideways without turning.

This arachnid is brown with hairy black or gray mouthparts, and a black stripe runs down the middle of its abdomen. It also has brown legs that turn black or dark gray toward the tips. These legs are hairy and several times the spider’s body length.

You’ll find the giant crab spider in various types of habitats, but it shows a preference for dry areas. It doesn’t spin typical webs and is common under rocks, on tree barks, inside crevices, and on walls.

While it prefers climbing textured surfaces, its legs are also adapted for climbing relatively smooth walls and even ceilings. This spider is primarily an outdoor species, but hunting sometimes takes it indoors.

Because of its large size and uncanny long legs, sighting this spider indoors can be unsettling for some people. But there’s no need to worry because the spider doesn’t bite people unless threatened.

This spider’s bite can be painful, especially if you’re allergic to spider venom. However, the symptoms the venom triggers are mild and fade quickly without treatment. That’s because the venom isn’t medically significant.

Although giant crab spiders don’t spin typical webs, females use silk to create protective sacs for their eggs. They then guard these eggs fiercely until spiderlings hatch from the eggs.

27. Furrow Orbweaver

Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) hanging onto a leaf in France
Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) hanging onto a leaf in France. – 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 orb-weaver is a brown spider with spines on its legs. Its cephalothorax is reddish-brown, and its legs have reddish-brown, dark brown, and regular brown bands. Like many orb-weavers. This species has a large abdomen.

Its abdomen may be brown or tan, but there’s always a broad dark pattern running down the center. The edges of this pattern are wavy like the furrows a plow makes on the soil, hence the name furrow orb-weaver.

If you look at this abdominal pattern from above, the whole thing resembles a serrate leaf. That’s why many people also call this arachnid a foliate spider or foliate orb-weaver.

You’ll find furrow orb-weavers in various places, from forests and gardens to porches and eaves in residential areas. These critters spin large orb-like webs to catch prey but often spend the day hiding in a retreat near the web’s location to avoid predators.

At night, these spiders sit on the webs to catch prey caught in their webs. They use vibratory signals to locate their victims and immobilize them with venom. Afterward, the spiders either eat their catch immediately or wrap them in silk to eat some other time.

Furrow orb-weavers are non-aggressive spiders, and you’d have to mishandle them very badly for them to bite you. Fortunately, their venom is harmless to humans and won’t cause any significant symptoms besides mild pain or itching.

28. Goldenrod Crab Spider

Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) on some white flowers in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) on some white flowers in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Thomisidae
  • Scientific Name: Misumena vatia
  • Other Names: Smooth Flower Crab Spider, Red-spotted Crab Spider, Flower Spider, Flower Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.12 to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The goldenrod crab spider is a yellow or white to pale green spider with an oval belly.

This belly is wider at the rear and narrower near the cephalothorax. Depending on the variant, the belly may or may not have a reddish streak on either side.

This species is called a crab spider because it has a flattened body and shares some qualities with real-life crabs. For example, its first two leg pairs are curved and larger than the rest. It walks with both pairs wide open like the front legs of crabs.

Like crabs, the goldenrod crab spider can also walk forward, backward, and sideways without turning.

You’ll typically find goldenrod crab spiders among vegetation. Females are common in flowerheads and can stay in the same flowerhead for most of their life. Males, however, tend to wander around in search of food and mates.

Goldenrod crab spiders are skilled hunters that don’t use webs to trap prey. These arachnids ambush their victims, seizing them with their strong front limbs before injecting them with venom.

While males are more active in their pursuit of prey, females are more passive. That’s because females can change their colors to match their flowers in the surroundings while males can’t.

This color change can take anything from six days to three weeks, but it gives females an advantage when ambushing unsuspecting prey. It keeps them concealed from arthropod prey—especially insects that come to pollinate the flowers—before attacking.

Goldenrod crab spiders are not aggressive spiders, so bites are unusual. They only bite as a last resort when threatened, but this isn’t a problem.

That’s because the spiders’ venom is not medically significant.

29. Running Crab Spider

Running Crab Spider (Philodromus spp.) on concrete in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Running Crab Spider (Philodromus spp.) on concrete in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Philodromidae
  • Scientific Name: Philodromus spp.
  • Other Names: Running Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.75 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The running crab spider is a brown arachnid with a mottled body and spiny long legs. Most of the abdomen is dark brown, while the carapace is dark brown on the sides and light brown in the middle.

This body coloration provides the spider with excellent camouflage on tree barks, forest floors, and among dried leaves, where you’re most likely to encounter it. It doesn’t spin typical webs, preferring to chase down prey and subdue them with venom.

Like many hunters, this spider is agile and strong. As its name suggests, this species is also a fast runner. This quality allows it to cover large distances in a short time when chasing prey or escaping predators.

This species is called a crab spider because its first two leg pairs appear larger than the rest, but it’s not a true crab spider. However, its family is closely related to true crab spiders.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that only the second pair of legs is longer than the rest. This is an important differentiating factor because the first two leg pairs are larger than the others in true crab spiders.

Running crab spiders are harmless arachnids with medically insignificant venom. These spiders avoid human interactions and don’t bite people unprovoked, so bites are uncommon.

30. Banana Spider

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

The banana spider is a stunning orb-weaver with a long slender abdomen mottled with white dots that form columns. This abdomen is yellow and has a slight bend that makes it resemble a banana, hence the name.

You shouldn’t mistake it for the Brazilian banana spider, a wandering spider species native to South America and infamous for hiding in banana bunches and inflicting painful bites on people. Both spiders belong to different families and look nothing alike.

You’ll find the banana spider in forests, woodlands, and gardens. Its dark carapace is covered in whitish hair and dark spots that resemble a skull pattern. In addition, its long legs are golden yellow with hairy, reddish-brown joints.

Like many orb-weavers, this species spins orb-like webs to trap prey. The web of this species has a distinct golden yellow shade. That’s why it’s also called a golden silk orb-weaver.

The spider sits on its web and waits for prey to crash into the sticky strands. It can tell when prey is stuck using vibratory signals, after which it hurries toward its catch and immobilizes it with venom before eating.

Unlike the Brazilian banana spider, this species’ venom is not medically significant. The spider doesn’t bite unless threatened. You won’t experience any serious symptoms if one bites you.

Female banana spiders are the dominant sex in this species. They live longer than males and are larger than them. Although males share a web with females during mating seasons, you’ll likely only notice females because males are relatively minute.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

What do spiders in New Mexico eat?

Spiders in New Mexico eat arthropods, especially insects because of their relative abundance.

Many spiders also eat other spiders, including members of their species. Black widows are some of the most well-documented spiders that cannibalize their species members after mating.

Besides arthropods, some spiders prey on non-arthropod vertebrates and vertebrates on land and water. Trapdoor and fishing spiders are some of the most well-known of such spiders.

Do spiders in New Mexico have good eyesight?

Yes, some spiders in New Mexico have good eyesight. These spiders are typically hunters that use their sharp vision to navigate their surroundings and scout prey when hunting.

Many spiders in New Mexico also have poor eyesight. Most of these arachnids are web-builders that rely on their webs to navigate their environments and trap prey. They have sensitive hairs on their legs that pick up vibratory signals from their web strands. This helps them understand what’s happening in their surroundings.

Where can I find spiders in New Mexico?

You can find spiders almost anywhere in New Mexico, including your home. These critters live indoors and outdoors. Indoors, these critters favor undisturbed spaces like crevices and wall cracks or cellars and ceiling corners.

Outdoors, there are various places you can look for these critters. Some species enjoy humid or vegetation-rich habits like gardens, forests, bushes, prairies, and swamps. Others are more partial toward arid environments.

Since spiders have such diverse preferences, ensure to do enough research if you’re interested in finding a specific species in the state. Look up its natural ranges and check if you can find specific areas people have reported sighting it in the state.

Are there any poisonous spiders in New Mexico?

Yes, there are venomous spiders in New Mexico. Virtually all spiders, not just in New Mexico but around the globe, are venomous to some degree. What’s important is the degree of venomousness.

The majority of spiders in this state are harmless to humans despite being venomous. Most bites don’t trigger any symptoms, while a few might trigger mild symptoms like pain. Only about three species can inflict medically significant bites on humans.

Black widows and brown recluses are the only spiders in New Mexico with venom potent enough to harm humans. If any of these arachnids bite you, seek urgent medical attention.

Can a spider bite kill you?

Yes. But while some spider bites can kill you, it’s an extremely rare occurrence. The primary reason is that most spiders don’t produce enough venom to kill human beings. Their bites might hurt and you might develop mild reactions, but death is highly unlikely.

In New Mexico, black widows are the only arachnids that can inflict potentially lethal bites. Children and elderly people with immunocompromised systems are the most vulnerable to such an outcome without medical care.

Fortunately, most people survive black widow bites. That’s primarily because the spiders rarely inject people with enough venom to cause death. In addition, people who seek emergency medical care often receive antivenom to neutralize the spiders’ toxins.

What is the deadliest spider in New Mexico?

Black widows and brown recluses are the deadliest spiders in New Mexico. Black widows produce venom up to 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake’s, and their bites can cause death in extreme cases.

Brown recluses carry a different risk. Their bites cause large skin ulcers with tissue damage that take a long time to heal. And even after healing, the ulcers might leave behind nasty scars.

Are there brown recluses in New Mexico?

Yes, there are brown recluses in New Mexico. But these arachnids are shy and have small populations, so sightings are rare in the state.

Are there jumping spiders in New Mexico?

Yes, there are jumping spiders in New Mexico. The state is home to several species of these lively arachnids, and they are some of the easiest spiders to keep as pets if you want.

Are there black widows in New Mexico?

Yes, there are black widows in New Mexico. There are several species of these deadly spiders in the state, with the southern and western black widows being the most widely distributed.

Are there tarantulas in New Mexico?

Yes, there are tarantulas in New Mexico. You’ll find different species of these fascinating mygalomorphs in the state.

Is it legal to own a pet spider in New Mexico?

Yes, it’s legal to own a pet spider in New Mexico. Although the state doesn’t have an official list of animals you can keep as pets, spiders aren’t on the list of illegal or regulated pet animals.

How many species of spiders are there in New Mexico?

It’s unclear how many spider species there are in New Mexico, but there are probably hundreds of different species. Only a few of these spiders are common and well-researched. The other species in the state are rare and poorly documented.

What are the most common spiders in New Mexico?

Cobweb spiders and orb-weavers are among the most common spiders in New Mexico. Cobweb spiders are more common indoors, while orb-weavers are most common outdoors.

Wrapping up

You’ll find various species of spiders in New Mexico. Some of these critters are so common that their presence annoys people, while others are rare and only encountered once in a blue moon.

Spiders are highly diverse creatures, and this diversity manifests in their appearance, habitat choice, and behaviors. For example, many species build intricate webs to catch prey, while others don’t build webs at all. Some species are also friendlier than others.

Contrary to popular belief, most spiders aren’t dangerous. These arachnids don’t bite people unless they feel threatened and can’t escape, but even such incidents are rare.

If you encounter these arthropods in your home, don’t be in a hurry to kill them.

Nore spiders in nearby states

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