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Spiders in New York

There are over 40 different types of spiders in New York. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the different species in the state and interesting facts about each one.

If you’re here because you’re trying to find out which species to steer clear off, you’re in luck. New York doesn’t have any native populations of dangerous spiders, none as harmful as black widows and brown recluses.

Most spiders in New York are relatively harmless. They feed primarily on arthropods, but you’ll find plenty of species that also consume non-arthropods. Though they have poisonous fangs, these spiders usually use their fangs to attack prey, not people.

Spiders are highly diverse, and you’ll find several web-building and non-web-building spider species in New York. These critters also differ vastly in physical appearance. While some species are downright creepy, others are colorful and stunning.

Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating arachnids.

Table of Contents

1. Spiders in New York
2. FAQ
3. Conclusion

Spiders in New York

1. Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) hanging from a leaf in Vestal, New York, USA
Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) hanging from a leaf in Vestal, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The banded garden spider is an orb-weaver with multicolored bands running across its abdomen. Though the color varies from individual to individual, most variants have yellow, white, orange, black, and brown bands.

You’ll typically come across this spider in vegetation-rich places like gardens, prairies, and forests. Some also build their webs around artificial structures and fences in urban and rural areas.

Like many orb-weavers, this species relies on its web for food. It sits upside-down in the hub, with its banded limbs outstretched as it waits for prey. It detects caught prey by vibratory signals and hurries over to immobilize its catch before eating.

This arachnid can be beneficial to have around the house because of its high-insect diet. It serves as a natural control in gardens, where it regulates the number of insect pests.

Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates this spider’s usefulness. Many homeowners get rid of banded garden spiders shortly after discovering their webs. That’s likely due to ignorance about the spider’s benefits or out of fear that they are dangerous.

But banded garden spiders aren’t dangerous. They rarely bite people unless threatened and left with no choice.

Thankfully, their venom isn’t medically significant. You might experience mild pain that quickly fades without treatment.

2. Foliate Spider

Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) on a web in Rockland County, New York, USA
Furrow Orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus) on a web in Rockland County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Larinioides cornutus
  • Other Names: Furrow Orb Spider, Furrow Spider, Foliate Orb Spider, Furrow Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.4 to 0.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The foliate spider is an orb-weaver with a reddish-brown carapace and dark markings on its brown belly.

Viewed in full, the broad dark pattern in the middle of its abdomen resembles a leaf with wavy edges. That’s why it’s called a foliate spider.

This arachnid is also widely called a furrow orb-weaver. It’s called so because the wavy edges of the leaf-like pattern on its back resemble the furrows formed on the ground after plowing it.

You’ll find foliate spiders in tallgrass prairies, woodlands, and forests. They also build webs in residential areas. In most cases, you’ll find their webs anchored to eaves and porches or parallel to fences.

Like other orb-weavers in New York, these arachnids spin orb-shaped webs to catch prey. They often sit on the web, concealed in a retreat made of dry leaves. They rush out to attack when the web’s vibration alerts them to the presence of prey.

Foliate spiders feed mostly on insects but eat all sorts of arthropods too. If you can stand their webs, they are beneficial to have around because of their diet. They keep pesky insects at bay.

These arachnids don’t bite people unless provoked, but even such bites are super rare. Even if one bites you, you’ll only experience minor to no reactions.

The venom foliate spiders produce is harmless to humans.

3. Eastern Parson Spider

Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) on a moldy wood wall in Bronx, New York, USA
Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) on a moldy wood wall in Bronx, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The eastern parson spider is a hairy black or gray arachnid with a white pattern running down its back, from carapace to abdomen. Its spinnerets also extend at the rear like two prominent pikes.

This spider’s name comes from the white pattern on its back. The marking resembles the neckband Catholic clergymen (also called parsons) wore in the 18th century.

Eastern parson spiders are swift arachnids that prefer hunting their prey instead of spinning webs to trap them. They ambush or chase down their victims and pounce on them before subduing them with venom.

These fast arachnids also typically run in a zigzag fashion that helps them evade predators. They run when threatened by humans, but they will fight back if backed into a corner or prevented from escaping. When this happens, they don’t hesitate to bite.

The venom these spiders inject during a bite isn’t medically significant. However, the pain from their bites can be severe. You might also experience mild swelling or redness, but these symptoms also clear up without treatment.

Eastern parson spiders may live indoors with you for a long time before you become aware of them. That’s because they are nocturnal, so they often return to their crevices before daybreak.

Though these spiders don’t spin conventional webs to trap prey, females spin silk cocoons. They use these cocoons to hold their eggs until the eggs hatch into young parson spiders.

4. Triangulate Cobweb Spider

Triangulate Combfoot (Steatoda triangulosa) on a white wall in Staten Island, New York, USA
Triangulate Combfoot (Steatoda triangulosa) on a white wall in Staten Island, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda triangulosa
  • Other Names: Triangulate Comb-foot, Triangulate Bug Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The triangulate cobweb spider is a brown arachnid with dark wavy lines on its back. The spaces between each pair of wavy lines are shaped like a triangle, which is where the “triangulate” in this spider’s name comes from.

Triangulate cobweb spiders belong to the same family as the infamous black widows. However, their venom is considerably less potent. You might experience pain and redness after a triangulate cobweb spider’s bite, but you won’t need medical care.

You’ll often usually encounter triangulate cobweb spiders indoors, where they are common in ceiling corners, garages, cellars, window sills, and undisturbed parts of the house or furniture.

Like their relatives, these arachnids build sticky cobwebs to catch prey. These webs are tangled and effective at trapping insects and other arthropods that wander into them. Triangulate cobweb spiders pick up on the vibrations of struggling prey and hurry over to immobilize their victims.

Sometimes, many triangulate cobweb spiders spin their webs in the same location. These webs are often only a few inches apart, so many webs might look like one large, continuous nest from a distance.

5. Yellow Garden Spider

Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) on its web in Queens, New York, USA
Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) on its web in Queens, New York, 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 closely related to the banded garden spider, but its colors are more vibrant. This species has a black and yellow abdomen with a dark carapace covered in whitish hair.

Though the pattern varies, the back of most variants is a broad dark stripe with pairs of yellow or whitish dots in the middle. The rest of the abdomen is yellow with black spherical markings.

Yellow garden spider sightings are common in gardens and other vegetation-rich places, such as forests and prairies. This arachnid spins large webs with radial threads running toward the center, where the spider sits upside-down, waiting for prey.

This species, like many orb-weavers, has poor eyesight. As a result, it depends on the vibration of its web strands to know when prey enters its web. It then rushes over to its victim and delivers a powerful bite before eating or wrapping it up for later.

Yellow garden spiders are harmless creatures that play an important role in maintaining ecosystem balance. In gardens, they help control the populations of insects that might pose threats to plants, fruits, etc.

These spiders don’t bite people unless threatened and restricted from escaping. Even in such cases, the venom they produce is too weak to harm humans.

Any symptoms you develop will disappear quickly with no lasting impact.

6. Cross Orbweaver

Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) on its web in Buffalo, New York, USA
Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) on its web in Buffalo, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus
  • Other Names: Crowned Orb-weaver, Diadem Spider, Cross Spider, Orangie, European Garden Spider, House Spider, Pumpkin Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.22 to 0.79 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The European garden spider is an orb-weaver with colors that vary from individual to individual.

However, you can identify it by the broad wavy-edged pattern on its back. The middle of this broad pattern bears small white markings that form a cross, which is why this species is also called a cross orb-weaver.

European garden spiders are common among vegetation. In residential areas, they often inhabit gardens. But they are more common in tallgrass prairies, woodlands, and forests outside residential places.

These arachnids are harmless spiders, and they don’t bite people unprovoked. It’s difficult to get these spiders to bite you. Venom is costly to produce, so they reserve their venom for prey they can subdue.

You’ll usually find this species sitting on its web, waiting for prey to come by. When insects and other small arthropods enter this spider’s nest, they trigger vibrations that alert the spider to its exact location. The spider then hurries over to immobilize them.

When threatened, the European garden spider vibrates its web rigorously to dissuade potential predators from coming too close. If this tactic fails, the spider drops down from its web and seeks shelter somewhere safe. It’ll only return when the threat has passed.

7. Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) in flash photography on its web in Hudson Falls, New York, USA
Giant Lichen Orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius) in flash photography on its web in Hudson Falls, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus bicentenarius
  • Other Names: Lichen-marked Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.39 to 1.2 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The giant lichen orb-weaver is a relative of the European garden spider, but both species are easy to tell apart. That’s because giant lichen orb-weavers have a greenish pattern on their backs that resembles the lichens you’ll find growing on a rock.

These orb-weavers are among the heaviest spiders in New York, and you’ll find them in residential areas and vegetation-rich places. They anchor their webs to eaves and porches around homes or branches and plant parts in gardens and forests.

Giant lichen orb-weavers spin massive orb-shaped webs that can be up to eight feet in diameter. They sit in a retreat on the web’s periphery, monitoring the hub for food. When insects get stuck, a vibratory signal travels to the spiders and alerts them to the insects’ presence.

Giant lichen orb-weavers are harmless spiders, so there’s no reason to fear them. They rarely, if ever, bite people. Even if one bites you, you’ll only experience mild pain or itching and redness. Allergic reactions are rare.

8. Red-spotted Ant-mimic Spider

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

The red-spotted ant mimic spider belongs to a family of spiders that prey primarily on ants, though they eat other arthropods too. Like other members of its family, this species has developed adaptations to help it get closer to its favorite prey.

It’s easy to mistake the red-spotted ant mimic spider for a true ant because of its black body and its long, slightly bulbous abdomen. The abdomen has reddish spots, and the body is shaped like a true ant.

This species also has behavioral adaptations, one of which is its tendency to walk on only six of its eight legs. It lifts its first leg pair while walking to mimic a six-legged ant’s antennae.

Red-spotted ant mimic spiders are successful in their mimicry. They often get close to ants undetected before attacking their victims. Their resemblance to ants also likely helps them hide openly from predators that specifically target spiders.

Unlike most spiders in New York, the red-spotted ant mimic spider doesn’t spin webs to catch its victims. It ambushes them and seizes them with its strong limbs before immobilizing them.

Instead of typical webs, these spiders spin sac-shaped silk shelters for themselves. They rest in these sac-like shelters when inactive. As you’d expect, red-spotted ant mimic spiders often build their shelters close to ant colonies for easy access to food.

These spiders also spin silk cocoons to hold their eggs after hatching. Females anchor the egg sacs to rocks, concealed from potential predators.

9. Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Northern Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei) walking on a white wall in Tompkins County, New York, USA
Northern Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei) walking on a white wall in Tompkins County, New York, USA. – 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 0.40 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Northern yellow sac spiders live in silk sacs when inactive, which is why they are called sac spiders. These spiders vary in color, though most individuals are greenish-yellow or yellowish-green.

The face of these arachnids is usually darker than the rest of their body. But they don’t have any special identifying features besides a short dark stripe at the top of their abdomen. Their legs are also unbanded and slightly hairy.

You’ll find northern yellow sac spiders indoors and outdoors, though most sightings are indoors. These spiders favor undisturbed parts of the house, so they are likely to hide in crevices, closets, and other dark spaces.

Northern yellow sac spiders are nocturnal hunters, so you’ll rarely see them during the day. They step out at night to hunt insects and other small arthropods. And unlike most spiders in New York, they don’t use webs to trap their victims.

These spiders are harmless to humans. Many of their bites are symptomless or marked by only mild pain and redness. However, in some cases, you might develop sores around the bite area that take days to heal.

10. Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider

Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira longipalpa) on a leaf in the sun at Prospect Park, New York, USA
Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira longipalpa) on a leaf in the sun at Prospect Park, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Corinnidae
  • Scientific Name: Castianeira longipalpa
  • Other Names: Ant Mimic Spider, Manybanded 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 yellowish or whitish hair on its carapace and abdomen. The yellowish hairs on its carapace form short lines that run from side to side, which is why it’s also called a many-banded ant mimic spider.

Like other ant mimic spiders, the long-palped ant mimic sac spider is partial to ants when feeding. So it has developed some behavioral adaptations to help it get close to its victims undetected.

Although this species has eight legs like other spiders in New York, it only walks on six of them. It walks with the first pair raised up to mimic the antennae of six-legged ants. It also often taps its abdomen like true ants.

Once within close reach, the long-palped ant mimic sac spider seizes its ant prey and immobilizes it with venom. It then consumes it on the spot or stashes it away to consume later. Like true hunters, this species doesn’t use webs when hunting.

Long-palped ant mimic sac spiders don’t spin conventional webs. When inactive, adult long-palped ant mimic sac spiders spin a silk sac-shaped shelter to rest in. That’s why they’re called sac spiders.

You’ll often find the shelter of these spiders concealed among leaves or plants near anthills or ant colonies. This location makes it easy for them to monitor ants before hunting.

11. Black Laceweaver

Black Laceweaver (Amaurobius ferox) on wood in Syracuse, New York, USA
Black Laceweaver (Amaurobius ferox) on wood in Syracuse, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Amaurobiidae
  • Scientific Name: Amaurobius ferox
  • Other Names: Cribellate Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The black lace-weaver is a nocturnal spider with a dark, hairy body. The shade varies from spider to spider, but most individuals are anywhere from black to reddish-brown and tan. The belly often bears light markings that form a skull-like pattern.

This arachnid is nocturnal, and it often lives in dark, undisturbed places. Indoors, it typically hides in wall cracks and crevices, cellars, and basement corners. You might find it under rocks and rotting logs outdoors.

Like many spiders in New York, the black lace-weaver spins webs to catch prey. However, its web is different from most spiders’. The web is composed of sticky, mesh-like silk sheets resembling lace. That’s why the spider is called a lace-weaver.

You’ll usually find this web on a vertical structure, overlaying the entrance to the spiders’ crevice or retreat. It typically emerges at night to attack prey stuck on its web, but it sometimes does this during the day.

Females black lace-weavers lay their eggs in silk sacs, which they protect until the eggs hatch into young lace-weavers. In many cases, the young spiders consume their mothers shortly after molting.

Black lace-weavers are harmless spiders, so you don’t need to panic when you see one. You might experience uncomfortable skin reactions after a bite if you’re allergic to its toxin, but there’s no long-term effect.

12. Dark Fishing Spider

Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) on a leaf in Rensselaer County, New York, USA
Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) on a leaf in Rensselaer County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes tenebrosus
  • Other Names: Dock Spider, Wharf Spider,  Raft Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.27 to 1.02 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Dark fishing spiders are common near water sources, such as streams and rivers.

However, you’ll also find them in coastal forests and woodlands. The spiders sometimes wander into people’s homes in drier habitats.

These arachnids are called fishing spiders because they love to fish—and not just for aquatic insects. Dark fishing spiders also consume small fish, tadpoles, and slugs they catch while hunting in rivers and streams.

Dark fishing spiders can hunt on land and water because they are semi-aquatic. They can walk on surface film without sinking or dive into the water to sting and overpower prey, sometimes staying submerged for several minutes.

Unlike most spiders in New york, dark fishing spiders don’t employ webs when catching prey. Instead, they rely on their wit and speed, whether hunting on land or water. They also use surface vibrations to pinpoint prey when hunting in water.

Dark fishing spiders can seem intimidating because of their large, hairy bodies. But they are harmless spiders.

While their bites can hurt, the spiders rarely bite people unprovoked. Any symptoms you develop following a bite will fade quickly without treatment.

You can identify dark fishing spiders by their dark brown and black bodies. Their legs have broken bands, and the lower half of their belly bears several W-shaped markings.

These W-shaped dark markings alternate with brown ones.

13. Bold Jumping Spider

Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) on a long leaf at Cornell University, New York, USA
Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) on a long leaf at Cornell University, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Not many spiders in New York can jump as high as the bold jumping spider. This species can leap several times its own height, with some bold jumpers reportedly leaping up to 50 times their height.

The species is called a bold or daring jumping spider because of its tendency to make daring leaps. These leaps are more impressive when you consider that this spider’s legs are relatively short. Yet, it’s these short legs that help it make impressive jumps.

Bold jumpers have strong back legs, which they forcefully extend when propelling themselves into the air. Since their legs lack extensor muscles, the spiders leap by modifying the blood pressure in their legs.

The agility of these spiders also makes them effective hunters. The spiders also have excellent vision, so they don’t need webs to catch prey. Instead, these spiders often scout prey and ambush them, pouncing on their victims and subduing them with venom.

Although bold jumpers don’t spin webs to trap their victims, they use silk for other purposes. They spin silk nests for shelter, and females spin silk sacs around their eggs for protection.

You can identify bold jumping spiders by the three red or whitish spots on the lower half of their hairy abdomen. The spiders are black with whitish bands on the legs, and the fangs have a distinct metallic green color.

Bold jumping spiders seldom bite, so you can handle them safely without fear. They only get aggressive when threatened or mishandled. Even if one bites you, you’ll only experience minor symptoms that don’t need treatment.

14. Woodlouse Spider

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

The woodlouse spider is a red to reddish-brown spider with long fangs and eyes arranged in a circular pattern. Unlike most spiders in New York, this species has only six eyes instead of eight.

Despite its name, this spider doesn’t bear any physical resemblance to woodlice. Instead, the “woodlouse” in this arachnid’s name comes from its tendency to prey on woodlice.

Though it eats various arthropods, woodlice are this arachnid’s favorite prey. That’s why you’ll typically find it in forests and woodlands, hiding under rotting logs and debris near woodlice populations.

Woodlouse spiders don’t use webs to trap prey. Instead, they chase down or ambush their victims and subdue them. These spiders have long, sharp fangs that they sink into their victims before releasing their venom.

You shouldn’t fear these spiders just because they have long, sharp fangs. Woodlouse spiders rarely bite people, except when threatened and given no room to escape.

Fortunately, the venom they release during bites isn’t medically significant in humans.

Although woodlouse spiders don’t build typical webs, females lay their eggs in silk cocoons. They are protective of their eggs, defending them for as long as they can until the eggs hatch into spiderlings.

15. Six-spotted Orbweaver

Six-spotted Orbweaver (Araniella displicata) walking on a blade of grass in Cayuga County, New York, USA
Six-spotted Orbweaver (Araniella displicata) walking on a blade of grass in Cayuga County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araniella displicata
  • Other Names: Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.16 to 0.31 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The six-spotted orb-weaver is a tiny spider, so it’s easy to mistake fully mature adults for the young of other species. These spiders are usually yellowish to orange or brown and bear whitish markings on their abdomen.

However, the most distinguishing feature of these arachnids is the presence of six dark spots on their abdomen. Like most orb-weavers, this abdomen is larger than the rest of the body and spherical or oval-shaped.

Six-spotted orb-weavers build much smaller webs than most orb-weavers. Their webs are usually only a few inches wide and oriented horizontally. In some cases, the spiders slant their webs vertically.

These arachnids typically anchor their webs to the surface of plant leaves. They sit on webs, waiting for insects skittering over leaves to get caught in the sticky strands. Once prey wanders in, the spiders sense it through vibratory signals and hurry over to bite.

Six-spotted orb-weavers are harmless spiders, so their venom is not medically significant to humans. The spiders rarely even attempt to bite people.

When threatened, these spiders abandon their webs and seek shelter elsewhere until the coast is clear.

16. Hacklemesh Weaver

Hacklemesh Weaver (Hacklemesh Weaver (Callobius bennetti) on a woody texture in Patterson, New York, USA
Hacklemesh Weaver (Hacklemesh Weaver (Callobius bennetti) on a woody texture in Patterson, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Amaurobiidae
  • Scientific Name: Callobius bennetti
  • Other Names: Night Spider, Hackled Mesh Weaver, Bennett’s Laceweaver
  • Adult Size: 0.20 to 0.55 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The hacklemesh weaver has a brown body with a dark, hairy face.

Its legs are covered in grayish hair, and the gray or black abdomen has a light brown pattern running down the middle. The lower half of this pattern is made up of triangular and chevron markings.

There are many types of hacklemesh weavers, so it’s essential you confirm the species’ name before making any conclusion. This species, like other hacklemesh weavers, is called so because of the type of webs it spins.

Hacklemesh weavers spin large, irregular mesh-like webs without the kind of definite pattern seen in orb-weaver nests. This mesh-like web has a poorly formed tube leading to the spiders’ retreat under logs and debris or in wall cracks and crevices.

While you may encounter these spiders indoors, most hacklemesh weavers live outdoors. Indoor sightings are most common in the fall when temperatures outside start to drop. The spiders sometimes hide in home basements and cellars.

These arachnids depend on their webs for food. They usually come out of their retreat to bite and pick off insects caught in their webs. Since the spiders are nocturnal, feeding usually happens at night.

Hacklmesh weavers don’t bite unprovoked. But when threatened, females can get pretty aggressive. They’ll bite if backed into a corner, and their bites can hurt quite a bit.

Fortunately, their venom isn’t medically significant.

17. Bowl and Doily Spider

Bowl-and-doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) hanging from its web in some leaves in Tompkins County, New York, USA
Bowl-and-doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) hanging from its web in some leaves in Tompkins County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Linyphiidae
  • Scientific Name: Frontinella pyramitela
  • Other Names: Sheet-weavers
  • Adult Size: 0.12 to 0.16 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The bowl and doily spider is a brown arachnid with white vertical markings running down its sides. These white markings resemble commas, and they turn yellowish as they curve under the spider’s belly.

This species is a sheet weaver, but its web differs from other sheet weavers’. The web has two parts: a bowl-shaped web on top and a flat sheet or doily-shaped web under. That’s why the species is called a bowl and doily spider.

Although these strands of this web are not sticky, the construction makes it effective. Bowl and doily spiders construct a tangled silk mass with nearly invisible threads above the bowl that knocks down flying insects into the bowl.

You’ll usually find bowl and doily spiders in forests and woodlands, where they anchor their webs to tree branches and trunks. The webs are often quite large, especially when you consider how small bowl and doily spiders are.

You may encounter male and female bowl and doily spiders in the same web outside mating seasons, which is unusual for most web-building spiders. These spiders often compete for insects that drop into the bowl, so the arrangement isn’t always cozy.

Bowl and doily spiders are harmless arachnids. They rarely, if ever, bite humans.

18. False Black Widow

False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) on some fiberous material in Ithaca, New York, USA
False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa) on some fibrous material in Ithaca, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda grossa
  • Other Names: Brown House Spider, False Widow,  Dark Comb-Footed Spider, Cupboard Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.25 to 0.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 6 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Many New Yorkers mistake false black widows for true black widows, with good reason. Both species have similar-shaped bodies, with shiny, bulbous bellies and legs that end in comb-like structures.

Most false black widows are brown and fairly easy to differentiate from true widows because they are brown, not black. But dark false black widows are harder to tell apart from black widows.

Fortunately, you can still differentiate dark false black widows from true black widows. The most obvious way to tell the difference is to examine the underbelly. True black widows have a reddish-orange hourglass marking, but false black widows don’t.

On close examination, you’ll also notice that dark false black widows aren’t black. Most variants are dark brown or purple, but the difference can be hard to spot from a distance.

False black widows belong to the same family as black widows, hence the close resemblance. However, despite being related, false black widows are relatively harmless compared to black widows. Their venom isn’t medically significant, but bites can hurt.

You’ll often find false widows indoors, in basements, wall corners, window sills, garages, and other undisturbed places. They spin sticky cobwebs to catch small insects and other arthropods, including true black widows.

19. Dimorphic Jumping Spider

Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Maevia inclemens) on a light leaf in Montebello, New York, USA
Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Maevia inclemens) on a light leaf in Montebello, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Maevia inclemens
  • Other Names: Dimorphic Jumper, Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.3 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Dimorphic jumping spiders are peculiar arachnids because males are dimorphic.

You’ll typically find two visually distinct male forms in any given population. However, the reason for this dimorphism is still unknown.

It’s currently impossible to predict the kind of morph any juvenile male will assume as an adult. What’s clear is that most dimorphic jumping spider populations seem to have both morphs in roughly equal numbers.

The black or tufted morph is black with spiny white or yellowish legs and three black tufts on its head. The gray or striped morph is gray and tuftless. It also has orange pedipalps and black stripes running up and down its spiny legs.

Female dimorphic jumping spiders are tan with red or black lines running down the sides of the abdomen. Their face is whitish and short hairs cover their body. Unlike males, females aren’t dimorphic.

Dimorphic jumping spiders can leap great distances in seconds. They make these leaps by modifying the pressure in their legs and spinning silk safety lines to keep steady mid-air.

These spiders also have excellent vision, which enables them to spot prey from a distance and ambush it. They don’t spin webs to catch their victims. Instead, they jump on their victims when within reach and inject them with venom.

You’ll usually find dimorphic jumping spiders outdoors, but some individuals stray indoors. They are active arachnids that enjoy hopping from place to place and are common on the ground and vertical structures like walls and tree barks.

These critters are safe to handle because they don’t bite people unprovoked. They make good pets and are fun to observe in action.

20. Striped Fishing Spider

Striped Fishing Spider (Dolomedes scriptus) on its web in leaves at The Adirondack Park, New York, USA
Striped Fishing Spider (Dolomedes scriptus) on its web in leaves at The Adirondack Park, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes scriptus
  • Other Names: Dock Spider, Wharf Spider, Raft Spider
  • Adult Size: Up to 1 inch
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The striped fishing spider is a semi-aquatic arachnid that’s comfortable on land and in water.

It’s common in coastal forests and on the banks of rivers and streams. It’s called a dock or wharf spider because it often clings to docks and wharves in waterbodies.

Like all fishing spiders, this species can walk on water. It hunts by listening to surface vibrations to detect prey in the water before diving in to bite and subdue its victim. It can stay submerged for several minutes before resurfacing.

Striped fishing spiders prey on both terrestrial and aquatic arthropods, especially insects. They also eat other spiders and are known for hunting non-arthropod prey like tiny fish and slugs.

These arachnids don’t use webs when hunting. Instead, they rely on their speed, wit, and strength. They pounce on their victims and quickly immobilize them before eating or stashing them aside for later.

Although striped fishing spiders don’t use webs to trap prey, females spin silk sacs around their eggs for protection. They don’t bite people unprovoked, but they can get aggressive while protecting their eggs. Bites are painful, but their venom is harmless.

You can identify striped fishing spiders by their large bodies and long legs, which often stretch out in all directions. Their body is mottled brown, and a whitish stripe runs along each side, from carapace to abdomen, hence the spiders’ name.

21. Deadly Ground Crab Spider

Deadly Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus funestus) on a silver object at High Falls, New York, USA
Deadly Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus funestus) on a silver object at High Falls, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Thomisidae
  • Scientific Name: Xysticus funestus
  • Other Names: Ground Crab Spider, GBark Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.18 to 0.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Despite its name, the deadly ground crab spider isn’t deadly, at least not to humans. This spider is mottled brown with an oval abdomen that’s wider at the rear than at the waist.

Like all true crab spiders, this species’ first two leg pairs are larger and longer than the rest. The legs are curved, and the spider typically holds them outstretched when it walks.

You’re likely to encounter the deadly ground crab spider in forests and woodlands. The spider’s mottled body helps it blend into the background when it walks on soil, tree barks, or leaf litter. This camouflage conceals it from prey and potential predators.

Like other crab spiders, this species is a skilled hunter. It only becomes truly deadly when hunting prey and subduing its victims. It doesn’t use webs, preferring to chase down its victims before sinking its toxin-filled fangs into them.

Deadly ground crab spiders rarely bite people unless threatened. Forced skin contact, for example, can scare these spiders into getting aggressive. Bites can hurt, but the venom they produce is harmless.

22. Long-bodied Cellar Spider

Long-bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) on bathroom tile at Long Island, New York, USA
Long-bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) on bathroom tile at Long Island, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Long-bodied cellar spiders are common in cellars, hence their name. However, you’ll find long-bodied cellar spiders anywhere from basement corners, ceiling corners, wall corners, and furniture to window sills.

Most encounters with cellar spiders happen indoors, but many individuals also live outdoors. You can identify these spiders by their small, brown bodies and incredibly long legs. These are sometimes up to six times their body length.

It’s easy to mistake cellar spiders for harvestmen (a group of spider-like arachnids) because of their long legs. In fact, “daddy longlegs,” the other name for cellar spiders, came from this mistake.

Harvestmen are the original daddy longlegs. But since people often mistook cellar spiders for daddy long legs, the name stuck with cellar spiders too.

Like most spiders in New York, long-bodied cellar spiders spin webs to trap prey. They have poor eyesight, so they rely on vibratory signals to detect prey in their webs. These vibratory signals also alert them when predators touch their webs.

When threatened, long-bodied cellar spiders rapidly vibrate their webs until they become too blurry for predators to see. If this action fails to discourage the threat, the spiders abandon their webs and run away.

It’s common to hear stories that claim cellar spiders are among the most venomous spiders in the world, only that their fangs can’t penetrate human skin. However, these stories are false.

The venom these arachnids produce is too weak to harm humans.

23. Spined Micrathena

Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) hanging from its web in nature in Old Bethpage, New York, USA
Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) hanging from its web in nature in Old Bethpage, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Micrathena gracilis
  • Other Names: Castleback Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The spined micrathena is a white and dark brown or white and black orb-weaver with pointed protrusions on its abdomen. These protrusions line the top edges of its abdomen and have dark crowns.

The rest of this spider’s abdomen is white with dark blotches, while the legs and cephalothorax are black or dark brown. In some variants, the dark body parts are peppered with tiny white dots.

Spined micrathenas build large orb-like webs to trap insects and other small arthropods. Like most orb-weavers in New York, these spiders have poor eyesight and rely on vibratory signals to detect prey on their webs. The spiders then swoop in for the kill.

These critters are different from most orb-weavers because of their peculiar abdomen, so it’s easy to identify them. Their appearance can make them seem dangerous, but they aren’t.

Spined micrathenas don’t bite people unless threatened, and even such bites are uncommon. Even if one were to bite you, the venom this species produces is too weak to cause any serious symptoms in humans.

You’re more likely to find these spiders in forests and woodlands than around residential areas. Like most orb-weavers, male spined micrathenas are smaller than females and are harder to spot outside mating seasons.

24. Orchard Spider

Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) in between the branches of a small tree on Staten Island, New York, USA
Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) in between the branches of a small tree on Staten Island, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Tatragnathidae
  • Scientific Name: Leucauge venusta
  • Other Names: Long-jawed Orb-weaver, Venusta Orchard Spider, Orchard Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.14 to 0.3 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The orchard spider is a colorful orb-weaver with a slanting abdomen and a cream to light orange cephalothorax bearing dark lines.

The abdomen is multicolored. Though the exact composition varies, most individuals have green, yellow, white, and black bellies.

The top of the abdomen is mostly white and yellow with black veins, like a leaf. In addition, this spider’s legs are long and greenish.

You’ll often find orchard orb-weavers in orchards, which is where their name comes from. However, these spiders are also pretty common in other vegetation-rich places like forests and prairies.

Orchard orb-weavers build large orb-shaped webs to catch prey and sit on the hub, waiting for insects to fly in and get stuck. They have weak eyesight, so they rely on vibrations to locate their victims before attacking.

These arachnids don’t bite people unless threatened, and even such cases are scarce. They are easy to handle, and the venom they produce is only harmful to small prey.

In humans, it’ll produce only mild reactions that don’t require treatment.

25. Spotted Orbweaver

Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera) hanging from its web at Lido Beach, New York, USA
Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera) hanging from its web at Lido Beach, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Neoscona crucifera
  • Other Names: Barn Spider, Hentz Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: Up to 0.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Spotted orb-weavers are brown arachnids with large bellies covered in thick bristles. The back has a broad light stripe in the middle of two dark stripes, but the pattern is indistinct in adult spotted orb-weavers.

The carapace of this spider is covered in white bristly hairs, and the first half of its spiny legs are brownish-orange. The second half of each leg is more whitish and bristly than the first half.

You’ll come across spotted orb-weavers in vegetation-rich areas like prairies and forests or shrublands. These spiders may also anchor their webs to artificial structures in urban areas.

Spotted orb-weavers build massive webs with radial threads that lead to a central hub. The spiders sit upside-down on their webs, waiting for prey to come by. When the web catches prey, the spiders hurry over to deliver a lethal bite before consuming it.

Except during mating seasons, the web only hosts one spider, usually a female. Male spotted orb-weavers have shorter lifespans and are more difficult to encounter. These critters are also smaller than their female counterparts.

Spotted orb-weavers are harmless spiders, even though their bristly bodies can make them seem threatening. They almost never bite people, and the venom they produce isn’t medically significant.

26. Marbled Orbweaver

Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) clinging onto its web in Harriman, New York, USA
Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) clinging onto its web in Harriman, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus marmoreus
  • Other Names: Pumpkin Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.7 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The marbled orb-weaver is a beautiful orange spider with a massive round belly.

The belly color ranges from yellow to orange with black, brown, white, and yellow streaks. These markings form a marble-like pattern on the spider’s back, hence its name.

You’re more likely to find marbled orb-weavers in forests and shrublands than around artificial structures in urban areas. These arachnids build large orb-shaped webs, which they use to catch prey.

Marbled orb-weavers orient their webs vertically to trap flying insects. But unlike most orb-weavers in New York, these arachnids don’t sit in the center. Marbled orb-weavers usually hide in a retreat made of silk and dried leaves at the edges of their webs.

The spiders maintain a connection to the web’s hub by a silk strand or “signal thread.” This thread vibrates to alert the spiders when an insect touches the web. Afterward, the spiders hurry over to bite their victim.

These arachnids are only aggressive towards small prey. When threatened, marbled orb-weavers run and seek shelter elsewhere.

They don’t bite people unprovoked. And even if they did, their venom is too weak to trigger any serious symptoms.

27. American Grass Spiders

American Grass Spider (Agelenopsis spp.) on its web in a concrete corner in Viola, New York, USA
American Grass Spider (Agelenopsis spp.) on its web in a concrete corner in Viola, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Agelenidae
  • Scientific Name: Agelenopsis spp.
  • Other Names: Funnel Weavers, Grass Spiders, Funnel-web Spiders, Sheet-web Spiders, Ground Spiders
  • Adult Size: 0.4 to 0.8 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The American grass spider is a funnel-weaving arachnid that’s often confused with other spiders like wolf spiders and hobo spiders. This spider is usually brown, with a thin light line in the middle of its carapace.

A broad dark stripe runs along both sides of the central light line. In turn, thin light stripes run along the dark lines on the outer edges of the carapace. The abdomen is covered in dark hair with light markings, while the legs are banded and spiny.

This spider’s spinnerets extend outward at the rear and resemble two pikes or tails. It uses its spinnerets to spin large, funnel-shaped webs that lead to its retreat. Like most web-building spiders, the American grass spider relies on its web for food.

The spider hides at the end of its funnel, waiting for insects to walk by or enter its web. As soon as insects make contact, the spider receives vibratory signals and rushes over to immobilize its victims with venom.

You’ll usually find American grass spiders in prairies and grassy fields, where they spin their funnel webs on grass. However, you may also find their webs on low-handing shrubs and around wall crevices.

These critters aren’t aggressive toward people and rarely ever bite. Even if one were to bite you, you’d only experience mild symptoms like pain and redness or itching.

These symptoms quickly disappear without treatment.

28. Broad-faced Sac Spider

Broad-faced Sac Spider (Trachelas tranquillus) on a white surface in Merrick, New York, USA
Broad-faced Sac Spider (Trachelas tranquillus) on a white surface in Merrick, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Many people mistake broad-faced sac spiders for woodlouse spiders because both species have similar red to reddish-brown bodies and yellowish-brown to tan bellies. But both species aren’t hard to tell apart if you know what to look for.

Unlike woodlouse spiders, broad-faced sac spiders have eight eyes instead of six. In addition, the eyes of broad-faced sac spiders are arranged in two widely spaced rows, not a circle.

The carapace and first leg pair of broad-faced sac spiders are dark red. However, the legs get progressively lighter as you count towards the last pair.

Like woodlouse spiders, broad-faced sac spiders are hunters that don’t use webs to catch prey. Instead, these critters chase down their victims and inject them with their poisonous fangs before eating.

In addition to consuming live prey, broad-faced sac spiders tend to scavenge dead and decaying animals. This varied diet helps them survive periods of food scarcity.

Although the venom broad-faced sac spiders inject isn’t medically significant in humans, the bite sites are prone to infection. This infection sometimes comes from germs left on the spiders’ mouths after consuming decaying arthropods.

Broad-faced sac spiders rarely bite people, so there’s no need to worry. They only bite when threatened, such as due to accidental skin contact. But bites are uncommon even in such scenarios.

While broad-faced sac spiders don’t spin webs to catch prey, they spin sac-like shelters out of silk for themselves. That’s why they are called sac spiders. In addition, females spin silk sacs to hold their eggs after laying them.

29. Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton) on its web tangled in long grass on Staten Island, New York, USA
Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton) on its web tangled in long grass on Staten Island, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes triton
  • Other Names: Wharf Spider, Dock Spider, Raft Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.5 to 0.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The six-spotted fishing spider is common in coastal forests and the banks of rivers and streams. Like other fishing spiders, it sometimes wanders out of its natural range into drier habitats and even houses.

This arachnid is semi-aquatic, and it often hunts on land and water. But unlike most spiders in New York, this species doesn’t build webs to catch its victims.

On land, six-spotted fishing spiders stalk and pounce on prey before eating. They do the same thing in water, only that they usually listen for vibrations on the water surface before diving in.

Six-spotted fishing spiders can stay submerged for long periods before resurfacing. They typically prey on small aquatic insects, but they sometimes go for non-arthropods like tadpoles and tiny fish.

These arachnids aren’t dangerous to humans, although their size often makes them seem so. They don’t bite people unprovoked, and the venom they produce doesn’t cause any serious symptoms besides pain.

The name of these arachnids comes from the dark six spots present on the underside of their cephalothorax (sternum). These brown spiders also have several pairs of whitish spots on the back of their abdomen.

In most six-spotted fishing spiders, a white stripe runs the length of the carapace and abdomen on each side of the body. Without the spots, it’s easy to mistake these spiders for striped fishing spiders.

30. Gray Cross Spider

Grey Cross Spider (Larinioides sericatus) on its web against a white wall at Saranac Lake, New York, USA
Grey Cross Spider (Larinioides sericatus) on its web against a white wall at Saranac Lake, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Larinioides sericatus
  • Other Names: Bridge Orb-weaver, Bridge Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.31 to 0.55 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The gray cross spider is a gray to tan spider with a cross-shaped marking on its back, hence its name. It’s closely related to the furrow spider, but you can differentiate both species because of their colors and the absence of a cross marking on furrow spiders.

You’ll usually find gray cross spiders around brightly lit areas and artificial structures near water. These spiders are sometimes called bridge orb-weavers because their webs are common around well-lit bridges.

The affinity these spiders have for such habitats is probably because moist, well-lit places attract arthropods like insects. These arachnids feed primarily on insects and compete for good spots to hang their webs.

Like other orb-weavers, gray cross spiders spin large, wheel-shaped webs to catch prey. They sit on the web, waiting for insects to wander in. They detect prey caught in their webs via vibratory signals before going over to attack.

Adult gray cross spiders usually hide in a retreat on their webs’ edges during the day to avoid predators. They come out at night to fix the web and sit in the center. Unlike adults, juveniles often stay in the center during the day.

It’s common to find many gray cross spiders living in the same area. However, these arachnids aren’t really social. Competition is fierce among individuals, especially in areas with limited resources.

These arachnids don’t bite people unless threatened, and even such bites are rare. The venom they produce is also not medically significant, so there’s no reason to fear them.

31. Black-footed Yellow Sac Spider

Black-footed Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum) walking on a long leaf in Distrito Federal, Brazil
Black-footed Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum) walking on a long leaf in Distrito Federal, Brazil. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Eutichuridae
  • Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium inclusum
  • Other Names: Long-legged Sac Spider, Yellow Sac Spider, Agrarian Sac Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.16 to 0.40 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Of the two yellow sac spiders in New York, the black-footed yellow sac spider is the more venomous species. Its venom isn’t medically significant, but it can cause severe pain and leave behind small sores that can take days to heal.

Fortunately, most black-footed yellow sac spider bites don’t trigger symptoms. You’re also less likely to find this species indoors compared to its sibling. Black-footed yellow sac spiders are more common outdoors, hiding under leaves, logs, rocks, and debris.

These critters don’t build conventional webs, but they spin silk sacs to rest in when inactive. Since they are nocturnal, these spiders usually emerge from their shelters at night to hunt prey.

Black-footed yellow sac spiders don’t trap their prey in webs. Instead, these arachnids hunt down their victims and sink their poisonous fangs into them. Then, they either consume their catch on the spot or stash them for later.

It’s easy to mistake black-footed yellow sac spiders for northern yellow sac spiders. Like their sibling, these spiders are typically greenish-yellow with dark faces and a short dark line at the top of their abdomen.

Fortunately, you only need to look at the spiders’ feet to identify them. Unlike northern yellow sac spiders, black-footed yellow sac spiders have legs that end in a black tip.

That’s where their name comes from.

32. Spitting Spider

Common Spitting Spider (Scytodes thoracica) on a fluffy yellow item at Sunset Park, New York, USA
Common Spitting Spider (Scytodes thoracica) on a fluffy yellow item at Sunset Park, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Scytodidae
  • Scientific Name: Scytodes thoracica
  • Other Names: Spitting Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1.5 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Spitting spiders are peculiar arachnids for several reasons.

These spiders are light brown to yellow with solid brown blotches on their abdomen and cephalothorax. The brown markings form bands around the spiders’ legs.

These critters have a dome-shaped abdomen and cephalothorax, and the markings on their body appear symmetrical. Their legs are long, allowing them to easily tower over prey.

One of the most remarkable things about spitting spiders is how they catch prey. Although they use silk to catch prey, these arachnids don’t spin typical webs and sit in it waiting for prey to come by.

Spitting spiders are hunters, so they often chase down or ambush their victims. When within reach, the spiders force their victims into a suitable position and “spit” toxic silk webs at them.

The silk strands these spiders shoot trap their prey and contain enough venom to immobilize them. Most times, the spiders don’t stop shooting toxic silk until their prey stops moving.

Spitting spiders can “spit” venomous silk strands at prey because they have venomous silk glands on their heads. While the venom on this gland is toxic to small insects and arthropods, it is harmless to humans.

While you might encounter spitting spiders indoors, you’re more likely to find these critters outdoors in forests and woodlands, or bushes.

33. American Nursery Web Spider

American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) on a large leaf on Staten Island, New York, USA
American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) on a large leaf on Staten Island, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pisaurina
  • Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira
  • Other Names: Nursery Web Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.35 to 0.7 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

American nursery web spiders are close relatives of fishing spiders.

They all belong to the same family and are semi-aquatic. So, like fishing spiders, American nursery web spiders can hunt on both land and water.

These arachnids feed primarily on arthropods like insects, but they also sometimes consume non-arthropod prey. Instead of using silk webs, these spiders prefer stalking their victims before attacking.

These spiders don’t bite people unprovoked, so there’s no reason to fear them. Their bites can be painful, but you won’t develop any severe reactions to their venom. At most, you might experience pain and redness or swelling.

You’ll usually find American nursery web spiders in coastal areas, near riverbanks and streams, or in forests and tallgrass prairies. They don’t build conventional silk webs, except when spinning egg sacs and nests for their young.

Most American nursery web spiders are brown with a darker brown stripe running down their backs. This stripe is broad and runs the length of their carapace and abdomen.

In most individuals, a broken cream or whitish line borders the brown stripe on either side.

34. Green Lynx Spider

Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) clinging onto a long-leafed stem in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) clinging onto a long-leafed stem in Brooklyn, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Oxyopidae
  • Scientific Name: Peucetia viridans
  • Other Names: Lynx Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.47 to 0.63 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The green lynx spider is green, although the exact shade varies from spider to spider.

Its legs are spiny and long, and this arachnid is capable of impressive jumps. Sadly, its best jumps aren’t as impressive as some jumping spiders’.

Like jumping spiders, green lynx spiders spin silk draglines to help when jumping. The “lynx” in their name comes from their tendency to leap onto their victims like lynx cats when hunting. Since these critters aren’t hunters, they don’t trap prey in webs.

It’s common to find green lynx spiders in forests and farmlands. They spend a lot of time on leaves and plants, hopping about or chasing prey. Due to their high consumption of crop-damaging pests, scientists have pushed for their use as natural pest control.

The challenge with using these spiders as pest controls is that they are indiscriminate in their consumption of arthropods. Sometimes, they also eat helpful pollinator insects like bees.

Besides spitting spiders, green lynx spiders are the only other spider species capable of spitting toxic venom at prey. Fortunately, their venom is harmless to humans, and the spiders rarely bite people.

Female green lynx spiders lay their eggs in silk sacs, which they guard fiercely. They are generally calm, but they can get aggressive when threatened.

Bites are painful even though their venom is harmless.

35. American House Spider

Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) against a white wall in its web somewhere in Tompkins County, New York, USA
Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) against a white wall in its web somewhere in Tompkins County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
  • Other Names: American House Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.15 to 0.24 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The American house spider is one of the most common spiders in New York. It often builds messy cobwebs in ceiling corners, on window sills, and in other dark or undisturbed places in the house.

This critter belongs to the same family as widows, and it has a similar venom. Fortunately, its venom is much less potent compared to widows. You won’t experience any symptoms following a bite except mild pain, swelling, or redness.

Like other cobweb spiders, this arachnid depends on its cobwebs for food. It swoops in to attack when insects and other arthropods wander into its cobweb. It then either consumes them on the spot or removes them from the cobweb to consume later.

The cobwebs American house spiders build are sometimes closely knit, with only a few inches separating individual nests. From a distance, it’s easy to mistake many individual cobwebs for one continuous nest.

Like most cobweb spiders, the American house spider has a large, bulbous abdomen and long legs that end in comb-like structures. The body is brown, and the abdomen is mottled with dark spots.

36. Garden Ghost Spider

Garden Ghost Spider (Hibana gracilis) on white flowers at Hopewell Junction, New York, USA
Garden Ghost Spider (Hibana gracilis) on white flowers at Hopewell Junction, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Anyphaenidae
  • Scientific Name: Hibana gracilis
  • Other Names: Ghost Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.16 to 0.31 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 Year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Garden ghost spiders are pale brown arachnids with dark faces, hairy abdomens with dark lines, and spiny legs. These spiders are nocturnal and often spend the day hiding in a silk sac.

You’ll generally encounter garden ghost spiders in vegetation-rich places like gardens, forests, and woodlands. They are also common in homes, where they often hide in corners and crevices.

These arachnids are hunters, so they don’t spin webs to catch prey. Instead, these hunters chase down their victims and pounce on them. They subdue their catch with venom before consuming them.

Although they don’t spin webs to catch prey, garden ghost spiders spin silk sacs around their eggs after hatching. Females are protective of their young and will defend themselves if the need arises.

These arachnids don’t bite people unless threatened. And even then, the venom they produce is too weak to cause any serious harm.

The most adverse reactions usually include pain and temporary swelling or microscopic sores.

37. Lined Orbweaver

Lined Orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa) on its web near Hudson River in New York, USA
Lined Orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa) on its web near Hudson River in New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Mangora gibberosa
  • Other Names: Orb-weaver
  • Adult Size: 0.2 to 0.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The lined orb-weaver’s web is easy to differentiate from that of most orb-weavers in New York. The center is reinforced with thickened silk that forms a circle on which the spider often sits waiting for prey.

Although the reason for the thickened silk circle is unclear, it’s likely to strengthen the web’s integrity or reflect light to attract prey. It’s also possible the reinforced silk is meant to dissuade birds from flying into the web.

Like most orb-weavers, this spider depends on its web for food. It has weak eyesight, so it relies on vibratory signals to detect insects caught in its web. When insects get caught, the spider rushes toward the vibration source to immobilize its victims.

If the vibration source is a threat, the spider avoids attacking and runs. It seeks shelter elsewhere and only returns when the danger is gone. Lined orb-weavers rarely bite humans. Also, their venom is too weak to cause any significant symptoms.

You can identify lined orb-weavers by their green body and whitish abdomen. A dark line travels down the middle of their carapace, while their abdomen has three or more brownish lines. In most variants, only the middle line runs the abdomen’s full length.

While you might come across these spiders around your home, most lined orb-weavers live in forests and other places lush with vegetation.

38. Goldenrod Crab Spider

Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) clinging onto a leaf on Staten Island, New York, USA
Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) clinging onto a leaf on Staten Island, New York, 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: 0.125 to 0.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The goldenrod crab spider is one of the most fascinating spiders in New York. Unlike other spiders, this species can change its color to blend in with its surroundings.

It can only switch between white and yellow. But given that it spends most of its life in flowerheads, this range is more than enough.

Like most crab spiders, this species is a hunter. It uses its large, crab-like forearms to seize its victims before injecting them with venom. Females rely on their cryptic coloration to conceal themselves from prey before pouncing.

Female goldenrod crab spiders spend virtually all their lives in flowerheads and rarely ever leave their homes. Males are more active and usually roam about in search of prey and mating partners.

Male goldenrod crab spiders are smaller than females and are less colorful. However, both have the same general qualities.

Their abdomens are oval and wider at the rear, while the first two leg pairs are larger than the rest. They can also move in any direction.

Goldenrod crab spiders are unaggressive arachnids, so there’s no reason to fear them. While their bites might hurt, they rarely bite people.

Their venom is also too mild to trigger serious symptoms in humans.

39. Wetland Giant Wolf Spider

Wetland Giant Wolf Spider (Tigrosa helluo) sitting on grassy water in Cattaraugus County, New York, USA
Wetland Giant Wolf Spider (Tigrosa helluo) sitting on grassy water in Cattaraugus County, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Lycosidae
  • Scientific Name: Tigrosa helluo
  • Other Names: Wolf Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.39 to 0.67 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The wetland giant wolf spider is a hairy brown or tan spider with a dark carapace. Its eyes are in two rows on its carapace, and a light brown to yellow line passes between the rows to divide the carapace.

Although it’s called a giant wolf spider, its body size is still considered pretty average compared to its close relatives. Like most spiders in New York, female wetland giant wolf spiders are larger than males.

Wetland giant wolf spiders are common in woodlands, marshes, and prairies. While they don’t spin typical webs, these spiders build silk-lined nests in the ground. You’ll usually find their silk nests under rocks and debris.

Like other wolf spiders, these arachnids are skilled hunters that stalk and ambush prey without using webs. But unlike real-life wolves, which are pack animals, wetland giant wolf spiders are solitary hunters.

These spiders live alone, except during mating seasons. Sometimes, females cannibalize males shortly after mating. This scenario is more likely between large females and small or old and weary males.

Wetland giant wolf spiders are not aggressive spiders, and you can handle them safely without incident. They don’t bite people unprovoked, and their venom is harmless to humans.

40. Missing Sector Orbweaver

Missing Sector Orbweaver (Zygiella x-notata) hanging on its web in a cave in Portugal
Missing Sector Orbweaver (Zygiella x-notata) hanging on its web in a cave in Portugal. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Zygiella x-notata
  • Other Names: Silver-sided Sector Spider, Missing Sector Spider, Silver-sided Orb Web Spider, Winter Spider, Missing Sector Orb Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.16 to 0.43 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Missing sector orb-weavers spin typical wheel-shaped webs but with one significant difference—one full sector is missing from their webs. This quality is why the spiders are called “missing sector” orb-weavers.

You can identify missing sector orb-weaver webs from a distance because of the missing part. These arachnids generally build their webs around man-made structures, and it’s common to find many missing sector orb-weavers in the same location.

While the spiders aren’t necessarily social, their congregation in the same place is usually to have access to food. These spiders feed primarily on arthropods like insects and rely on their webs to catch food for them.

These arachnids often hide in a retreat away from the center of their webs. However, they remain connected to the web’s hub through a line of silk or signal thread. This thread vibrates when an insect lands on the web, alerting the spiders to swoop in.

Missing sector orb-weavers are harmless critters, and they rarely bite people unprovoked. The venom they produce is not medically significant, so there’s no need to panic even if one bites you.

You can identify these arachnids by the dark, leaf-like pattern on their back and the silvery spots that pepper the top and sides of their abdomen. Their second name, “silver-sided sector spider,” comes from the silvery markings on their body.

41. Candy-striped Spider

Candy-striped Spider (Enoplognatha ovata) walking along a leaf stem at Long Lake, New York, USA
Candy-striped Spider (Enoplognatha ovata) walking along a leaf stem at Long Lake, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Enoplognatha ovata
  • Other Names: Candy-striped Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The candy-striped spider is a cobweb spider introduced to North America from Europe.

Unlike most cobweb spiders in New York, this species is more common outdoors than indoors. You’ll typically find it among plants and leaves or on building structures.

Candy-striped spiders are also more colorful than most cobweb spiders. Their body is usually white, cream, or yellow, and their abdomen is large and bulbous. They’re called candy-striped spiders because their abdomen looks like candy.

There are three main candy-striped spider morphs. The redimita morph has two reddish stripes on the belly, while the middle of both stripes is cream or yellow and peppered with dark spots. This morph is the most common in the United States.

The ovata morph doesn’t have any space between the red stripes, so there’s just one broad red stripe on the back. Unlike the other two, the lineata morph lacks red stripes. Its back only has black spots.

None of the three candy-striped spider morphs is dangerous. Although bites might cause mild pain and redness, the venom they produce doesn’t trigger any significant symptoms in humans.

Candy-striped spiders get prey by catching them in sticky, tangled cobwebs. When insects get trapped, the spiders swoop in to immobilize them with venom.

Cobwebs are more effective than orb-like webs, so it’s hard for insects to escape after getting caught.

42. Arrowhead Spider

Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) on a wooden surface at Forest Park in Queens, New York, USA
Arrowhead Orbweaver (Verrucosa arenata) on a wooden surface at Forest Park in Queens, New York, 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 inches
  • Lifespan: Up to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The arrowhead spider has a reddish-brown body with spiny legs, but its most peculiar feature is its triangular or arrowhead-shaped abdomen. That’s where the spider’s name comes from.

Also, the top of its arrowhead-shaped abdomen is covered in a yellow or whitish pattern that’s also shaped like a triangle or arrowhead. The triangular pattern has dark puncture-like spots and veiny brown markings.

Like most orb-weavers, you’ll generally find this spider in forests and woodlands or prairies. It spins large wheel-shaped webs to catch arthropods and sits on it, waiting for prey. Vibratory signals alert it when its webs catch prey, and it hurries over to attack.

Male arrowhead spiders are smaller than females and are harder to encounter. They also have shorter lifespans and don’t survive for long after mating, with their total lifespan scarcely more than a few months.

These critters are harmless creatures, and they don’t bite people unprovoked. Even if one were to bite you, you’re unlikely to develop any serious symptoms in response to its venom.

43. Tan Jumping Spider

Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus) on a rocky light surface in Akron, New York, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Platycryptus undatus
  • Other Names: Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size: 0.33 to 0.51 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The tan jumper is one of the most common jumping spiders in the United States. Its body ranges from tan to black, and it has a white or light gray pattern running from its carapace to its abdomen. This pattern resembles a narrow leaf.

Like other jumpers, this species has excellent vision and can leap several times its height. It makes incredible leaps by modifying the pressure in its legs before extending them. It also spins silk draglines to steady itself while in the air and prevent accidents.

Although tan jumpers spin silk to make draglines, these arachnids don’t build conventional silk webs. They spin silk nests for shelter, and females spin silk sacs to hold their eggs until they hatch.

Tan jumping spiders live in fields, forests, woodlands, and parks. Like many jumping spiders, they leap from place to place and enjoy resting on vertical surfaces like trees and fences. These spiders are more common outdoors than indoors.

Tan jumpers have excellent eyesight and are agile, so they don’t need webs to trap prey. Instead, these critters stalk their victims and pounce on them when close.

They immobilize their catch with venom before consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

What do spiders in New York eat?

Spiders in New York and virtually everywhere are carnivorous. Arthropods like insects are their primary food source, although many species eat non-insect arthropods and frequently cannibalize each other. 

Many spiders also eat non-arthropod invertebrates and vertebrate prey, such as tadpoles and slugs. Others yet consume small amounts of plant matter like pollen. Such mixed diets are more common among juvenile spiders.

Do spiders in New York have good eyesight?

Yes and no. As a rule of thumb, hunter spiders that don’t use webs to catch prey have good eyesight. Jumping spiders have the best vision quality among the spiders in New York.

Web-building spiders like cellar spiders and orb-weavers generally have poor eyesight. To compensate for this inadequacy, they rely on the vibration sensors in their legs to catch vibratory signals from their web strands when trying to locate prey.

Even in spiders with good eyesight, only a handful of eyes are responsible for their keen vision. The remaining eyes help in orienting the spider and detecting stimuli in their surroundings.

Where can I find spiders in New York?

Spiders are everywhere in New York. If you look carefully, you’ll find some inside or around your home. They typically hide in crevices and undisturbed corners indoors. Outdoors, you’ll find them anywhere, from your porches and gardens to forests.

If you love spiders and are in for an adventure, forests, prairies, and woodlands are the best places to find unusual species. There’s more diversity in the wild than in residential areas.

Are there any poisonous spiders in New York?

Yes. Virtually all spiders in New York are venomous. However, none inject enough venom to cause alarm. Most spider bites are asymptomatic or only trigger mild pain and dermal reactions that don’t need treatment.

Can a spider bite kill you?

Yes, but death from spider bites is extremely rare. Fortunately, none of the spiders in New York can inflict lethal bites.

What is the deadliest spider in New York?

New York doesn’t have any deadly spiders. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, yellow sac spiders are the only species that inflict considerably venomous bites. And their venom isn’t even medically significant.

Are there brown recluses in New York?

No. New York isn’t home to any native brown recluse populations. However, other species like yellow sac spiders are frequently mistaken for it. Any true brown recluses you find in the state are imports from other places.

Are there jumping spiders in New York?

Yes, there are jumping spiders in New York. The state plays host to various species, the majority of which you’re more likely to encounter outdoors than indoors.

Are there black widows in New York?

No, there are no black widows in New York. New York is out of the natural range of these spiders. Although you’ll find reports of black widows in the state, the Department of Environmental Conservation doesn’t acknowledge them.

Black widows haven’t established a notable population in New York, and most reported sightings are the result of misidentifying other cobweb spiders like false black widows.

Are there tarantulas in New York?

No. New York doesn’t have any native tarantula populations. Tarantulas you’ll find in the state are imports from other states.

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

It’s unclear. It’s illegal to keep black widows, tarantulas, and other venomous spiders as pets in New York. But since all spiders are venomous to varying degrees, it’s best to seek clarification on restrictions before adopting a pet spider.

How many species of spiders are there in New York?

There are over 40 known spiders in New York. The real number runs into the hundreds, considering that North America is home to over 3,000 spider species. Unfortunately, only a handful of those in New York have proper names and are frequently encountered.

What are the most common spiders in New York?

Cobweb spiders and orb-weavers are among the most common spiders in New York. Orb-weavers alone account for most spider species in the state and most parts of the country. Indoors, cobweb spiders are likely the most encountered spider species.

Wrapping up

New York is home to many different spider species. You’ll find dozens of common spiders in the state, along with a few unusual ones. But fortunately, none of them pose any serious threats to humans.

Spiders play a vital role in the ecosystem and can be beneficial around the house if you can stand them. They consume copious amounts of arthropods, helping reduce the number of pests and annoying insects you have to worry about.

It’s fine to remove spiders from your home if you’re at risk of an infestation or if they creep you out. Otherwise, these arachnids make perfectly good companions and can be left alone.

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