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Spiders in Texas

While spiders have a reputation for being creepy crawlies, they’re considered a sign of a healthy environment. They are beneficial to have in a home and garden, often eating pests that can harm crops and even your family.

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, there are around 900 species of spiders that reside in the Lone Star State, which is around 2% of the estimated total number of species of spiders in the whole world.

While spiders found in Texas aren’t necessarily bound to borders, these helpful arachnids can be found everywhere from the coastal plains to the highest hills of the Pecos. Some of these species are found in other areas of the Americas, often hitching rides on luggage, automobiles, or even migrating animals.

This article will include profiles of 50 different spider species found in Texas. Next time you find yourself on a nature hike in the Jumbo State, or even escorting a small visitor out of your home, this guide can help you identify and provide some information on the spiders you might have seen.

To give a fast answer to anyone who is looking to see if a found spider is venomous, this article will start off with the venomous species, and move on to the non-venomous.

Table of Contents

  1. Spiders in Texas
  2. FAQ
  3. Conclusion

Spiders in Texas

1. Southern Black Widow

A Southern black widow showing off the trademark red hourglass. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans
  • Other Names: Black Widow, Shoe-button Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.31 inches to 0.51 inches (8 mm to 13 mm); Males: 0.12 inches to 0.24 inches (3 mm to 6 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: 1 to 3 years; Males: 3 to 4 months
  • Average Price Range: $20

You might have heard the myth that black widows always eat their mates after breeding. While this has definitely been observed in the L. mactans species, it’s not something that happens every time.

Southern Black Widows like to set up their webs anywhere that is dark and weather-proof, like under logs or under long-standing furniture. They create a retreat (or area within the web to hide) and spend most of their time there. They’ve been observed being active throughout the year all throughout the state.

Southern black widows lay several egg sacs that vary from globular to pear-shaped, from tan to white to gray. Each sac contains as little as twenty-five to over four hundred eggs and the mother guards them carefully.

While notorious for being highly venomous, they’re quite non-confrontational and would rather run away than fight. While both males and females are venomous, a bite from a male calls for less alarm.

Symptoms from a southern black widow bite will start with swelling and two pin-prick-like marks in the area. Pain will set in within hours, affecting the abdomen and back.

Labored breathing, nausea, swollen eyelids, and sweating are among a few of the additional symptoms. Late stage symptoms include convulsions, weak pulse, unconsciousness, and even death.

2. Northern Black Widow

An adolescent Northern Black Widow. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus variolus
  • Other Names: Northern Widow, Black Widow
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.35 inches – 0.43 inches (9 mm – 11 mm); Male: 0.15 inches – 0.19 inches (4 mm – 5 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: Up to 3 years; Males: 1 – 2 months
  • Average Price Range: $16 – $20

When identifying a Northern Black Widow, the differentiating trait from its cousins is that for the females, the “hourglass” is usually split into a row of distinct red spots, with white lines occasionally appearing on the side. The males have a different look, with white striping across the dorsal of the abdomen. 

Their webs are sticky and normally built in undisturbed, dark places. There isn’t a general web structure that many spiders are known for, but their homes are usually multilayered, almost pit-like. 

If working in a place where widows are known to frequent, it’s important to wear gloves and thick fabrics. Northern Black Widows only bite when feeling forced to do so, usually pressed up against exposed skin.

Like their cousin, the Southern Black Widow, their venom is highly toxic to humans, however, they prefer to run rather than bite. As of writing in 2022, there is no antivenom for the L. variolus, whereas antivenom exists for most other widow species. 

3. Western Black Widow

A Western Black Widow, photographed in Starr County, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus hesperus
  • Other Names: Western Widow, Black Widow
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.55 inches to 0.63 inches (14mm to 16 mm); Male: 0.27 inches to 0.31 inches (7 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: 3 to 4 years; Males: 3 months
  • Average Price Range: $20

To identify the female Western Black Widow, as with all widows, it’s important to note the shape of the hourglass. For Western Widows, the hourglass is red but sometimes outlined with or entirely yellow, or even more rarely, white. 

Mice are a common predator of Western Black Widows as their webs are close to the ground. Females are known to cast a defensive web that isn’t necessarily toxic, but rather irritating. Males can not cast this web, needing to preserve energy for mating.

Males prefer to mate with well-fed females, and they can tell by the females’ state by their web. They are also able to mate many times in their relatively short lives.

Their mating ritual includes pheromone release and a rhythmic tapping on their potential mate’s webs. In the case of a male entering a female’s web for the mating ritual, the male will attempt to trap the female in her own web. On occasion, he will weave her a small silk veil when ready to procreate. 

Like their widow cousins, their bite secretes a neurotoxin. Bites from females are more potent from their larger fangs and general vitality. 

4. Brown Recluse

A Brown Recluse showing off its dyadic eye structure. – Source 
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Sicariidae
  • Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa
  • Other Names: Fiddleback Spider, Brown Fiddler, Violin Spider, Texas Recluse
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.24 inches to 0.79 inches (6 mm to 20 mm)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $25 to $30

The brown recluse, for its reputation, is a very interesting spider in its own right. Physically it stands out as they only have three pairs of eyes totaling six.

Conversely, most other spiders are known to have eight eyes. While each individual can vary in coloration, they are sometimes called Violin Spiders (or a variation of such) due to the striping on their dorsals.

It’s native to central Texas and is sometimes found in surrounding states. Their lack of dispersal in part is because Brown Recluses do not balloon – or travel by wind via silk. They like to live in places that are less densely populated but seem to prefer man-made hide-outs to natural ones. 

Brown recluses are resilient and can survive extreme drought and starvation. The females produce several egg sacs in just a few months. 

Bites can cause nausea and muscle pain but are generally only deadly in the case of a severe allergic reaction, which will then cause necrosis. The pain is comparable to a bee sting.

Because their fangs are so small, they can not bite through most clothing.

5. Brown Widow

A female Brown Widow, with both the hourglass and brown striping visible. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Latrodectus geometricus
  • Other Names: Grey Widow, Button Spider, House Button Spider, Geometric Button Spider, Gas Station Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.47 inches to 0.63 inches (12 mm to 16 mm); Males: 0.24 inches to 0.31 inches (6 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Female: Up to 3 years; Male: 6 months to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

The Brown Widow seems to have a lot of names!

Button Widow, and variations of such, are more often used in South America. Colloquially they are referred to as Gas Station spiders, due to seemingly always being found at gas stations.

Brown Widows are considered invasive to Texas and prefer tropical climates. With an estimated 5000 offspring laid in a season, as well as only needing four months to reach maturation, there seems to be little Texas Game & Wildlife can do to curb the population.

What sets the Brown Widow apart from her Black Widow relatives, is having a distinct striping pattern on the body, that ranges from gray to brown. The trademark hourglass is a more orange tone than red.

Their webs are like tunnels that allow them to retreat from predators, and most widows have a seemingly disorganized and messy web. They build close to the ground and near long-standing man-made structures like fences and barns.

While a bite can cause discomfort, the venom is not as potent as the black widows. Males and immature young don’t actually bite at all, and instead opt to fall to the ground in a ball, as if to play dead.

6. Dark Comb-Footed Spider

An example of the deep purple found in Dark Comb-Footed Spider. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda grossa
  • Other Names: Cupboard Spider, False Widow, Brown House Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.24 inches to 0.41 inches (6 mm to 10.5 mm)l Male: 0.15 inches to 0.39 inches (4 mm to 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: Female: Up to 6 years; Male: 1 to 1.5 years
  • Average Price Range: $9 to $15

To round off the widow series, the Dark Comb-Footed Spider is a closely related, but a non-venomous relative of the previously mentioned widows, being considered a False Widow. The coloration of the female varies from browns to deep reds, to deep purples.

They do not have the hourglass on their underside, but their shiny and bulbous rear is what makes them look so similar. The males on the other hand, almost look like a garden spiders, with light coloration, and a longer body.

While they do bite, the most it causes is cosmetic damage, except in the case of an allergic reaction. They prefer to run, and will usually only bite when they feel it is absolutely necessary.

Their webs tend to be a tangle of sticky silks, and have no apparent structure. They have notably poor eyesight and rely on feeling vibrations to know when an intruder or prey has entered their web.

Their food source is small insects, but they have been observed taking on and winning against black widows. They can go months without feeding, as long as the water is readily available.

The females obsessively watch their egg sacs, especially the closer they are to hatching. Mothers can lay as little as three egg sacs in a year, with each sac containing forty to one hundred young.

7.  Northern Yellow Sac Spider

A close-up of a Northern Yellow Sac Spider. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Cheiracanthiidae
  • Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium mildae 
  • Other Names: Black-Footed Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.27 inches – 0.39 inches (7 mm – 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: Under 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Northern Yellow Sac Spider has a wide distribution throughout of the United States.

They prefer the outdoors but will not shy from man-made structures, and will hide during the day either under a blanket web or within rolled leaves. They can sometimes be found on the corners of window sills.

Their webs are mostly used for daytime hides. They are hunters and therefore do not catch prey using webs. They have a particular affinity for moth larvae.

Their coloration ranges from pale yellows to pale greens. Sometimes after hearty meals, their color will change in the abdomen. They are noted for having black feet and dark faces compared to the rest of their bodies.

They are an aggressive species and are known to bite humans in defense. While there is the misconception their venom is the same as that of the Brown Recluse, this is a well-spread and false statement.

A bite from the Yellow Sac Spider can result in swelling and the development of sores, but is not generally fatal.

8. Shamrock Spider

A Shamrock Spider on a leaf. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus trifolium
  • Other Names: Shamrock Orb Weaver, Pumpkin Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 1.5 inches (38 mm)
  • Lifespan: Up to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Shamrock Spider is an orb weaver and comes in many colors such as red, orange, gray, green, and shades of brown. Their main identifier is the brown and white alternating rings, usually in a pattern of three, on each of their legs.

Every night, Shamrock Spiders rebuild their web to wait for prey. Their webs, like most orb weavers, can reach considerable distances, with Shamrock webs being observed with two-foot diameters (or almost 71 centimeters).

While “Pumpkin Spider” is listed as an alternate name, that’s because it frequently gets confused for its close relative, Araneus marmoreus, which tends to be a very striking shade of orange.

While these spiders can bite, their bite seems to only cause minor irritation in humans.

9. Eastern Parson Spider

A rescued Eastern Parson Spider. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Gnaphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.31 inches to 0.51 inches (8 mm to 13 mm); Males: 0.19 inches to 0.27 inches (5 mm to 7 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Eastern Parson Spider, when found in Texas, is usually around the Western border. Their highest concentration is found east of the Rocky Mountains, but they are found in every state.

Their name comes from the white color splash on their dorsal sides, which is said to look similar to a cravat or the neckband of a clergy member. Their entire body is covered in short bristles, making them almost look fuzzy. They have two short spikes on the end of the abdomen and are sometimes found to have red or brown legs.

They are hunting spiders and mainly hide during the day. As outdoor spiders, Eastern Parson Spiders are commonly found under stones or discarded wood. During the winter and colder days, they are more frequently seen inside, taking shelter.

When hand-rearing, they are hardy and not known to be picky when it comes to terrarium decor. They prefer a slightly moist, but not necessarily humid climate.

When biting in defense, the pain is comparable to a mild bee sting, but is not considered dangerous.

10. Daring Jumping Spider

A colorful male Daring Jumping Spider. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Phidippus audax
  • Other Names: Bold Jumping Spider, Bold Jumper
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.15 inches to 0.71 inches (4 mm to 18 mm); Males: 0.15 inches to 0.59 inches (4 mm to 15 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $9 to $55

The Daring Jumping Spider (commonly also called Bold) is an impressive specimen that can jump up to 50 times its body size.

To lay that out in plain terms, a full-sized, healthy, female Daring Jumper at 0.71 inches (18 mm) can jump a little under three feet (one meter). That’s a far distance when you’re that tiny!

While commonly black with white stripes on the legs, juveniles will sometimes have orange or yellow replacing the white. This coloration is also found in adult specimens from Florida. Their chelicerae, the scientific term for their mouthparts, are found to be metallic blues and green.

As with most hunting spiders, they don’t use webs to capture prey, preferring to stalk and pounce. They are known to use tether silk when feeling predators and also when hunting.

Their web-making is relegated to creating shelter and nurseries for eggs. Per clutch, females will lay between thirty and one hundred and seventy eggs.

Daring Jumpers have notably good eyesight and forward-facing eyes. This is common for hunting spiders, who have stereoscopic vision.

The colloquial term for this would be “seeing in 3D”, or being able to parse depth from visual information, just like humans. Their preferred hunting grounds are fields and flat surfaces such as fences, for a good view of potential prey.

Having a Bold Jumper as a pet is quickly rising in popularity due to their generally fascinating qualities, and they are a bit bigger, making observation easy. They are very outgoing compared to other spiders and will sit on owners’ hands to explore.

11. Star-bellied Orb Weaver

A female star-bellied orb weaver in a web above some foliage. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Acanthepeira stellata
  • Other Names: Starbellied spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.27 inches to 0.59 inches (7 mm to 15 mm); Males: 0.19 to 0.31 inches (5 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $30

Named for the spiked points on the abdomen, star-bellied orb weavers are a common orb weaver found from Mexico to Canada.

They are most active from late spring to early fall, and will only bite if agitated. While found in most places, they usually create webs off the ground and are not picky about natural versus man-made structures.

Their bite is generally harmless to humans. They are so non-confrontational in fact, they will play dead if they feel like they are in danger.

Their main diet is sourced from their web, commonly catching and feasting on small, flighty insects like flies or moths. They sit in the middle of their web, and if they feel the web is disturbed, they quickly approach their prey and bite to kill.

12. Communal Spider

A communal spider photographed at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Boynton Beach, Florida. – Source
  • Experience Level: Expert
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Anelosimus studiosus
  • Other Names: Social cobweb spider, A. tungurahua
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.31 inches (8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

What makes the communal spider interesting is, unlike most spider species, they live together in groups of forty to one hundred individuals.

Most spider species have highly competitive females, but with the communal spider, each community member helps with child rearing and food sourcing. In most colony set-ups, workers tend to be sterile, but in contrast, communal spiders are all able to reproduce.

Even more interesting is that communal spiders have two distinct behavioral phenotypes, also known as morphs, with two distinct social traits. Below the 30˚ latitude, communal spiders will exhibit more antisocial behavioral traits, much like other spiders, where females are highly territorial.

However, the more north they’re found, the bigger the communities tend to be.

The downside to having a community such as this in the wild, is the social morphs are less competitive and more likely to fall to predation. What is endearing is that some colonies have been found with thirteen other species of social spiders, in addition to eleven species of other insects.

Because of the complex social dynamics of communal spiders, husbandry is not found at a public level.

13. Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Dorsal view of a female Giant Lichen Orb Weaver. – Source
  • Experience Level: Expert
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus bicentenarius
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.51 to 1.1 inches (13 mm to 28 mm); Male: 0.27 inches (7 mm)
  • Lifespan: Less than 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Giant Lichen Orb Weaver earns the name from the soft green coloration and the females growing to slightly over an inch! To support such a big spider, their webs are equally large to match – which makes rearing them a difficult undertaking.

Like most orb weavers, the Giant Lichen lays her last clutch of eggs and then dies with the first signs of winter. The egg sac can survive freezing temperatures and then be incubated by the rising temperatures of spring.

Their webs are notably sticky, and because of the span reaching up to eight feet (about two and a half meters), many people find themselves walking into them. The webs are created moderately high off the ground to attract flying insects such as moths.

While most orb weavers like to sit in the middle of their webs, Green Lichens spend their time on the perimeters.

14. Banded Garden Spider

The ventral view of a Banded Garden Spider, features their trademark silk decoration towards the top and bottom of the image. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata
  • Other Names: Banded Orb Weaving Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Female: 0.59 inches to 1 inch (15 mm to 25 mm); Male: 0.15 inches to 0.24 inches (4 mm to 6 mm)
  • Lifespan: Less than 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

Banded Garden Spiders are helpful environmental caretakers with worldwide distribution. They are particularly attracted to the open plains of Texas, building large spanning webs that have been found to reach diameters of six and a half feet (or two meters)!

They are most active in the late summer and early fall, but hatch in clutches of up to one thousand in the spring. Their egg sacs are cup-shaped, setting them apart from even their closest relatives.

A notable feature of the Banded Garden Spider is the silk decorations that adorn its web. This decor is scientifically called stabilimentum.

Usually, in a zig-zag pattern for this breed, thick and somewhat decorative stitches are woven into the web. While the reason is unclear, it’s possible it makes the spider appear larger to fend off predators. The downside, however, is because they are noticeable, they catch less prey.

Keeping a banded garden spider in captivity would be a difficult task if only because of their special needs of them to create their webs. They feast on regular garden pests, but when kept in a terrarium, they can not make their own webs.

15. Tailed Daddy Longlegs

A female Tailed Daddy Longlegs on the photographer’s hand. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pholcidae
  • Scientific Name: Crossopriza lyoni
  • Other Names: Tailed Cellar Spider, Box Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.07 inches to 0.27 inches (2 mm to 7 mm)
  • Lifespan: Up to 7 months
  • Average Price Range: $4 to $5

A common and widespread species, the Tailed Daddy Longlegs seem to prefer man-made structures, liking to set up in corners of ceilings and in dark pockets.

As their origin is unknown, they are considered pests and invasive in many parts of the world – if only because of the webs they leave. Because of how common they are there is a long history and body of research surrounding them.

Some people may find them beneficial as they catch and consume many smaller and more annoying insects. They do not so much hunt prey, preferring to wait for prey to come to them and simply wrap them in silks.

They don’t bite until they actually eat, which can sometimes be days after capture. Tailed Daddy Longlegs are known to try and tidy their webs by pushing out discarded bits of prey. If a web becomes unmanageable, they will simply build a new one elsewhere.

While their bodies are small, they curiously have long and delicate legs that can reach up to two inches (50.8 mm) in diameter. The “box” or “tail” from their namesake comes from the protruding spike on the underside of their abdomens.

They have six eyes, an uncommon number for spiders. They have two sound-producing organs, similar to that of a cricket.

When mating, a pair will seem to “snuggle” as their genitals are small compared to their legs. After the female lays her eggs, she will wrap them in a small silk package, and carry it in her mouth until they are ready to hatch.

Eggs that may fall out accidentally do not hatch. When she eats, she temporarily drops the sac entirely and they are known to eat some of their eggs (presumably the unfertilized ones.) After partially hatching, the offspring will stay in their mother’s mouth-carried sac for at least another day.

16. White-banded Fishing Spider

A White-banded Fishing Spider displaying the common white clypeus. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes albineus
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.71 inches to 0.91 inches (18 mm to 23 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $30 to $40

The White-Banded Fishing Spider is a larger specimen that commonly looks for prey in bodies of water.

The tiny hairs found all over the White-Banded Fishing Spider help it stay dry and also walk on water. When diving for prey, these hairs create an air pocket around its abdomen, giving them the appearance of dunking its heads.

When identifying, they commonly have a white stripe across their “face” or clypeus. This region is also usually slightly raised in comparison to the rest of its cephalothorax. Occasionally they can have a mossy tint to their body, which is unique to this type of fishing spider when found in North America.

While most other fishing spiders in the Dolomedes genus live close to water, D. albineus lives in trees.

17. Woodlouse Hunter

An adult male Woodlouse Hunter in some foliage. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Dysderidae
  • Scientific Name: Dysdera crocata
  • Other Names: Woodlouse Spider, Sowbug Hunter/Killer, Pillbug Hunter, Slater Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.43 inches to 0.59 inches (11 mm to 15 mm); Males: 0.35 inches to 0.39 inches (9 mm to 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: $8 to $10

As the name suggests, the Woodlouse Hunter primarily feeds on woodlice (also called sowbugs, pillbugs, or roly-polys.) They are the only member of the Dysderidae family found in North America.

Because their main food course is a crustacean, they have large chelicerae, or fangs, compared to other spiders of its size. They are such a formidable predator, they are also known to take on centipedes as well as other spiders.

Their diet consists of many other underground invertebrates, such as silverfish and earwigs. A bite from one may cause some discomfort simply from the impact on the skin, but they are not venomous to humans.

The species is originally from the Mediterranean and prefers warmer weather. Outside they can be found around a variety of foliage.

When identifying them, the males are bright red or orange. Females tend to be muted black, with a red or orange stripe down the dorsal of her abdomen.

18. Six-spotted Fishing Spider

A Six-spotted Fishing Spider with five visible spots. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Dolomedes triton
  • Other Names: Dock Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.59 inches to 0.79 inches (15 mm to 20 mm); Males: 0.35 inches to 0.51 inches (9 mm to 13 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

The Six-Spotted Fishing Spider is a formidable predator, being observed catching fish that are up to five times their body size. They are also known to hunt and eat tadpoles, frogs, and bugs that have fallen into the water.

They do use their eyesight, but also rest their two front legs on the water and feel for vibrations. They can hunt on top of the water but are also known to dive for their prey as deep as seven inches (or eighteen centimeters).

As a nursery spiders, they build webs to keep an egg clutch safe. When hunting, they don’t use silk for prey, but will use it as a tether, in case of over or undershooting for a kill.

They also use their silks in the mating process by sending sperm, pheromones, and mating gifts along the line. Their egg sacs have multiple layers, the outermost a waterproofing layer.

Intersex cannibalism is often found in this species. Virgin females are 20 to 30% more likely to attack and eat a male, with a 40% success rate.

Males are such a substantial part of the female Six-spotted Fishing Spider diet that when there are many females born in a season, the male population drops significantly.

19. Hump-backed Orbweaver

A Hump-backed Orb Weaver keeping their legs close. – Source 
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Eustala anastera
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.15 inches to 0.31 inches (4 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Hump-backed Orb Weaver is an elusive spider and not often studied. They are known to be native to the American south, but have wide distribution through North America.

Like all orb weavers, they are known for building large and elaborate webs, which is something to note if attempting to keep one in captivity. Like most spiders, they are opportunistic hunters and will make a meal of anything that gets trapped in their webs such as flies or crickets.

Hump-backed Orb Weavers are often misidentified as Giant Lichen Orb Weavers. When identified, they are known for the dark, wavy lines on the dorsal of their abdomen.

Sometimes the two wavy lines are filled in to create a dark spot. Their colors range from light and dark greens to shades of brown and black.

20. Spiny-backed Orbweaver

A female Spiny-backed Orb Weaver found in Rockwall County, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Gasteracantha cancriformis
  • Other Names: Crab Spider, Jewel Box Spider
  • Adult Size (length): Females: 0.19 inches to 0.35 inches (5 mm to 9 mm); Males: 0.07 inches to 0.12 inches (2 mm to 3 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Spiny-backed Orb Weaver is a notable species as they’re one of the few that is wider than it is long. Males tend to be thinner and longer, but females can have an abdominal width of 0.39 inches to 0.51 inches (or 10 mm to 13 mm).

Common colors of their abdomen are white, yellow, and red, with black, red, or yellow spots and six black or red spikes. The dotted pattern continued under their abdomen to their ventral side. Males tend to be muted in color, with only four or five spikes.

They live relatively short lives, and females will die after laying an egg sac. Males will die shortly after releasing sperm. Eggs are laid in the winter and hatch with the warmer spring weather.

Their webs are large, which is the hardest part when considering accommodations to keep one. When catching prey, Spiny-backed Orb Weavers will sit in the center of their webs.

Their webs are adorned with seemingly randomly placed silk tufts. The theory is that these are to make their webs more visible to birds, who would otherwise destroy them.

21. Hentz Jumping Spider

A male Hentz Jumper was photographed in Leander, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Hentzia palmarum
  • Other Names: Common Hentz Jumper, Hentz Jumping Spider, Hentz Long-jawed Jumper
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.15 inches to 0.27 inches (4 mm to 7 mm)
  • Lifespan: 6 months to 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

Hentz Jumpers are one of the few spider species where the male is more visually intriguing than the female. Males will be a rich brown, with a striking white band around the metaphorical perimeter of the body.

Their front legs are much larger than the rest. Females, on the other hand, are muted and tan, with darker triangles running up their backs. They do not have dramatic front legs.

They are native to and common in North America but seemed to have made their way to island countries such as Cuba, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and even Hawaii.

They are not considered a shy species, and possibly hitched a ride in luggage. They are found commonly on man-made structures.

22. Huntsman Spider

A male Huntsman on a leaf. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria
  • Other Names: Brown Huntsman, Cane Spider, Pantropical Huntsman
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.87 inches to 1.1 inches (22 mm to 28 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $12 to $80

The Huntsman Spider is one that is native to tropical climates. In Texas, it would be found closer to the Gulf of Mexico. They prefer warmer weather and can be found year-round.

The Latin name translates to “hunter with unequal legs” as the males have long, sprawling limbs that can reach up to three inches (7.62 centimeters) in diameter. Males are often found to have black patterns on their backs, which are not present in females.

Huntsman Spiders are considered useful in a home as they eat pest insects by catching them directly, as opposed to with a web. Larger members of the species have also been known to eat cockroaches, scorpions, and even bats.

As they are sensitive to colder climates, they often retreat to homes and barns on chilly days. Their bite is not considered dangerous, but can be painful if it occurs simply from being punctured.

23. Carolina Wolf Spider

A Carolina Wolf Spider found outdoors. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Lycosidae
  • Scientific Name: Hogna carolinensis
  • Other Names: Wolf Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.87 inches to 1.3 inches (22 mm to 35 mm); Males: 0.71 inches to 0.79 inches (18 mm to 20 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $45

The Carolina Wolf Spider is a large species and a common pet. They are burrowing spiders and will either dig their own or inhabit a pre-made one.

Another aspect that keeps them popular is they have an internal system for regulating temperature, which is useful for their native desert habitats. As mentioned, the burrows they inhabit are how they hunt.

They hunt at night and hardly wander away during the day. Males might wander if looking to mate.

Males will make the first move in the courting ritual and will match the movements and speed of the female. If no females are present, males courting males have been observed.

Females tend not to interact with each other, but interactions can range from simply ignoring each other to cannibalism. Once impregnated, females carry their egg sacs on their bodies.

At night they will “sun” their egg sac by standing slightly outside of the burrow with their head down and abdomen up. Their bite is venomous but it’s mainly used to hunt prey and is not defensive.

Their venom contains a paralytic agent, but also is antimicrobial so as to not get infected by anything their prey might be carrying.

24. Furrow Orbweaver

A Furrow Orb Weaver found on a car in Rowlett, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Larinioides cornutus
  • Other Names: Furrow Spider, Foliate Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.24 inches to 0.55 inches (6 mm to 14 mm); Males: 0.19 inches to 0.35 inches (5 mm to 8mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Furrow Orb Weavers are solitary predators, commonly eating insects, mosquitos, and other smaller spiders. They are diurnal and catch their meals in the daytime by entombing prey that has found its way into the web, staking them out through a hide they make under plant matter.

Their webs are usually found in damp, cool places close to the ground, preferring to stay out of the sun. In the evenings, they ingest damaged parts of their webs, recycling the nutrients to rebuild.

The size of their webs will depend on patterns in food abundance; for in times of scarcity, they create a larger web to catch more prey, in contrast to times of abundance, when they focus more on reproductive habits.

When identifying a Furrow Orbweaver, they can range from various shades of red, black, and gray. Their abdomens are round and oval-shaped, with a lighter underside.

Under their abdomen, there will be an upwards pointing arrow, which sometimes is also found on their legs. An interesting aspect of the life cycle of the Furrow Orb Weaver is that they do not hibernate in the winter and can survive temperatures down to -68°F (-20°C).

When it comes time for reproduction, females build themselves a cocoon and release pheromones to attract males. During the mating period, the male will live with the female and then will die after copulation.

Females will produce somewhere between three to five egg sacs in the summer.

25. Mabel Orchard Orbweaver

A Mabel Orchard Orb Weaver on a web in Houston. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Tetragnathidae
  • Scientific Name: Leucauge argyrobapta
  • Other Names: Orchard Spiders
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.19 inches to 0.31 inches (5 mm to 8 mm); Males: 0.12 inches to 0.15 inches (3 mm to 4 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

As their name suggests, Mabel Orchard Orb Weavers are found mainly in orchards (and named after a specific one in Florida) as well as shrubbery and the outskirts of woodlands.

Their distribution in Texas is mainly in the Northern, Central, and Eastern areas of the state, with wider distribution on much of the east coast and a small population in Southern California. In identification, they have striking accents and bright colorations, lending to the roots of their Latin name, translated to “dipped in silver.”

When examined, the dark greens, reds, and yellows are from pigments in layers of the epidermis. The reflective silver is made possible by “thin platelet-like guanine crystals.” The sex dimorphism places the males slightly smaller than the females, with a less bulbous abdomen, but a significantly longer leg span.

The webs of Mabel Orchard Orb Weavers look like the classic spider web, an intricate central hub with support webs holding it to the surrounding surfaces. In times of plenty, multiple Mabel Orchard Orb Weavers will link their webs together.

26. Magnolia Green Jumping Spider

A Magnolia Green Jumper with prey. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Lyssomanes viridis
  • Other Names: Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.27 inches to 0.31 inches (7 mm to 8 mm); Males: 0.19 inches to 0.24 inches (5 mm to 6 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

A native to the United States, and notably common in Texas, the Magnolia Green Jumper likes to spend its time, as one might expect, in magnolia trees. They mainly enjoy humid climates, but will tolerate dry climates and are found on other types of trees and bushes.

Spring is the primary season for mating, and females leg eggs on the undersides of leaves. Mothers will guard them until they hatch and then die, usually around August.

The offspring fully develop by the following spring, ready to continue the life cycle. As a hunter and jumping spiders, they have comparatively shorter jumping distances in relation to the other members of their family.

Their food source is primarily made up of mites, aphids, ants, and sometimes other spiders that are found on trees. They ambush their prey, and their sheet-like webs will also catch prey for them.

Webs are an uncommon feature for this family. Their bodies are translucent and green, which is a defining trait of the genus Lyssomanes.

Magnolia Green Jumpers have red spots down their backs and around their face. The L. viridis is suspected to be the earliest evolutionary version of the jumping spider.

27. Dimorphic Jumping Spider

A male gray morph Dimorphic Jumper. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Maevia inclemens
  • Other Names: Dimorphic Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.24 inches to 0.31 inches (6 mm to 8 mm); Males: 0.15 inches to 0.27 inches (4 mm to 7 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Dimorphic Jumper is a rarity in the animal kingdom as this species has two very different morphs in males. They each occur in 1:1 ratios and each has equal success in mating, despite using different courting techniques.

The “tufted” morph has a black body and pedipalps (the first pair of appendages before the first set of legs), pale legs, and three tufts on its head. The “gray” morph has sparse red spots, alternating black and white zebra-esque stripes all over its body and legs, orange pedipalps, and no tufts.

Females look like a lighter-colored version of the gray morph. Because the two male morphs look and act so differently, they were at one time thought to be two different species.

When looking to mate, a male will spin a small and flat web, ejaculate onto it, then store the semen in their pedipalps. Overall, it seems the female will notice a gray morph faster than a tufted morph.

Upon sighting a female, gray morphs crouch down on the front two legs and touch the tips of their “feet” together, then quickly moves in a semi-circle pattern in front of the female. Tufted morphs stand on their back three pairs of legs and clap with the front pair of legs, moving their pedipalps up and down, while moving their abdomen side to side, generally at a farther distance from the female than the gray.

Females approach both morphs the same way, by getting close to the floor and extending or tapping their front pairs of legs. Both morphs will then clap their front pairs of legs and move in a zig-zag pattern.

Overall, Dimorphic Jumpers are found in the eastern and mid-western regions of the US. They are commonly found on leaves and their above-ground webs.

They will also make webs on outhouses and fences.

28. Hacklemesh Weaver

A female Hacklemesh Weaver protecting her eggs. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Desidae
  • Scientific Name: Metaltella simoni
  • Other Names: Cribellate Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.27 inches to 0.35 inches (7 mm to 9 mm)
  • Lifespan: Under 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $28

The Hacklemesh Weaver is a spider native to South America and was first identified in Louisiana in 1944. It is now commonly found in all Gulf states, as well as California and North Carolina.

In the wild, they are found under fallen logs. Little is known about this species’ life cycle habits in the US as they were introduced relatively recently.

When identifying, the male and female look relatively similar, with females being on the higher end of the size range, and males being on the lower, as per usual. Both males and females are brown with various darker gradients, such as in the facial region and the ends of the legs.

The abdomen is usually spotted, featuring grays, blacks, and a chevron pattern closer to the rear. Males will usually have an orange or yellow spot on the back of their “head” or carapace.

Their alternate name, Cribellate Spider, comes from the type of web silk they produce, also called cribellate.

29. Arrow-shaped Micrathena

The dorsal side of a female Arrow-shaped Micrathena. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Micrathena sagittata
  • Other Names: Arrowhead Orb Weaver, Arrow Spider
  • Average Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.19 inches to 0.35 inches (5 mm to 9 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The female Arrow-Shaped Micrathena has a distinctive and elaborate abdomen.

Colors vary from yellows, reds, and blacks but they generally have 3 pairs of “spikes”, with the backmost pair being the largest, and giving them their arrow shape. Males do not have spines and are rarely observed, but tend to be mostly white and black.

Like most orb weavers, they weave vertical circular cobwebs, generally a few feet above the ground. They adorn their webs with stabilimentum, or a decoration, generally towards the center. Arrow-Shaped Micrathenas tend to rebuild their webs every day.

In autumn, the female lays her fertilized eggs either at the edge of her web or on a closeby structure such as leaves or branches. She dies before the egg sac hatches in spring.

30. Arabesque Orbweaver

An Arabesque Orb Weaver displaying the trademark abdominal markings. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Neoscona arabesca
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.20 inches to 0.28 inches (5 mm to 7mm) 
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $28 to $30

Arabesque Orb Weavers are named after the swirling patterns on the dorsal of the abdomen. The patterns are more distinct after a fresh molt and will fade over time.

What sets them apart from their close relatives is a slightly fuzzy body. These orb weavers are considered the most common and widely distributed in the world.

During the day, both sexes hide in curled leaves and general foliage. At night, males hunt on the ground, while females perch in their webs.

Females can build vertical webs that range from half a foot to over a foot and a half, with 18 to 20 spokes. The center of the web remains relatively open and only has one or two threads.

The female rests there and keeps her abdomen pushed through the open space.

31. Filmy Dome Spider

A Filmy Dome Spider suspended in a web. – Source 
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Linyphiid
  • Scientific Name: Neriene radiata
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.12 inches to 0.27 inches (3 mm to 7 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

Filmy Dome Spiders are in the sheet-weaver family, and as such their webs are dome-shaped, with the spider hanging upside down within.

These spiders are usually set up in rocks and wood piles, near walls, or in low, dense brush. As they are small, and their webs are easily stolen by hummingbirds for nest material, they stay away from open areas. Males of this species can not create webs.

Their diet consists of prey even smaller than themselves. Once a small mosquito or gnat is caught in the web, the Filmy Dome Spider tears through its own web from beneath and plunges the prey down within it.

32. Giant Crab Spider

A Giant Crab Spider found in Barksdale, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Olios giganteus
  • Other Names: Golden Huntsman Spider, Barking Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.55 inches to 1.89 inches (14 mm to 48 mm); Males: 0.43 inches to 1.18 inches (11 mm to 30 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Giant Crab Spider is a large and impressive specimen, and females can reach a total leg span of three inches or more!

Their name comes from their legs, which are in a laterigrade position. This denotes that their legs are “twisted” at the base and are oriented in a horizontal position, rather than vertical, making them “crab-like.”

In regards to their names, newspapers in rural west Texas had a habit during the 70s of referring to them as “Barking Spiders” despite these spiders not making any noise. Females create a spherical retreat where she lives and guards their egg sacs and eventual spiderlings.

Females can be identified by their dark chelicerae (the appendages in front of the mouth) and a coloration that leads to a prominent heart mark on the dorsal side of their “heads.”

33. Green Lynx Spider

A Green Lynx Spider on a plastic bag in Seguin, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Oxyopidae
  • Scientific Name: Peucetia viridans
  • Other Names: Lynx Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.47 inches to 0.87 inches (12 mm to 22 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $40

In the scope of agriculture, the Green Lynx Spider is a controversial figure. They thrive in dense vegetation and shrubs, feasting on pest insects that would otherwise make meals from crops.

However, the Lynx Spider also has a taste for insects that are beneficial to agriculture, such as bees and wasps. When identifying, they are bright green with the occasional red speckles on their body and white hairs around their eyes.

Later in its lifespan, they fade to a pale yellow with light red streaks. A gravid (or pregnant) female will change color to blend with her surroundings.

The Green Lynx Spider is the largest of its family, Oxyopidae, in North America.

34. Cardinal Jumper

A male Cardinal Jumper. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Phidippus cardinalis
  • Other Names: Cardinal Jumping Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.19 inches to 0.39 inches (5 mm to 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

Cardinal Jumpers are fascinating creatures due to being one of the species of jumpers that are mimics.

It specifically mimics mutillid wasps, or “velvet ants”, of the Dasymutilla genus. This is a useful deterrent to potential predators as Velvet Ants dole out painful stings when threatened.

Like most jumping spiders, they are not webspinners, but do use silks as a means to capture prey. Female Cardinal Jumpers are willing to take on prey much bigger than themselves, going after grasshoppers and katydids.

When females are well fed they tend to be rather plump, and while they are bigger than males, their overall size range is quite small. Their striking red coloration makes them easy to spot, especially when perched on tall grasses, but they are also seen as having white spots on the sides of their abdomen.

35. Long-bodied Cellar Spider

A female Long-bodied Cellar Spider with her offspring. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pholcidae
  • Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides
  • Other Names: Daddy Longlegs, Granddaddy Longlegs, Vibrating Spider, Skull Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.24 inches to 0.39 inches (6 mm to 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $10

Another spider with the nickname of Daddy Long Legs is the Long-bodied Cellar Spider, despite not being part of the harvestman, or Opiliones, arachnid family. Their legs can be up to 5 or 6 times larger than their body, so the nickname is at least earned.

The Long-bodied Cellar Spider is an invasive species, taking refuge in man-made structures while eradicating native species that might be in its territory. However, they are known to also kill and eat other, more harmful spiders – such as Australian Black Widows in South Australia.

To add to their considered usefulness, the webs of P. phalangioides have been used in numerous medical and scientific applications. The silks are full of vitamin K and are used in wound care.

Because of the silk’s numerous compounds, including potassium nitrate, it’s a natural antimicrobial and is being used to research medication-resistant bacteria.

36. Pantropical Jumper

A male Pantropical Jumper in Channelview, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Plexippus paykulli
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.35 inches to 0.47 inches (9 mm to 12 mm)
  • Lifespan: Less than 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $15 to $20

The Pantropical Jumper is a spider native to southeast Asia which now enjoys a vast distribution, being spotted in North America, Paraguay, and Australia.

They are particularly drawn to man-made structures and have found luck hunting around light fixtures that some insects are attracted to. Their diet can be a range, but they also can thrive on singular sources (such as only cockroaches, as an example.)

Pantropical Jumpers are strong for their size and can take down prey twice their size before their venom takes hold. The strategy for taking down immobile prey, like a maggot, is different from mobile prey, like a moth.

On another note, their venom is currently being studied as a potential bio-insecticide.

37. Rabid Wolf Spider

A female Rabid Wolf spider on a leaf. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Lycosidae
  • Scientific Name: Rabidosa rabida
  • Other Names: Wandering Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.47 inches to 0.82 inches (12 mm to 20 mm) 
  • Lifespan: Up to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $40 to $56

The Rabid Wolf Spider, despite its name, is a passive and calm spider that would rather avoid biting someone if possible. They can be found in a multitude of habitats, such as cotton fields, garbage, or near ponds.

They do not create webs to catch prey, preferring to chase and ambush their food at night. Their silks are mostly used to protect their eggs.

When it comes to mating, the male will perform a dance for the female. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, the female will weave an egg sack to carry the eggs in.

After the eggs hatch and the spiderlings are born, they ride on the mother’s back until they are independent.

38. Triangulate Cobweb Spider

A female Triangulate Cobweb Spider in Corpus Christi, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda triangulosa
  • Other Names: Triangulate Bud Spider, Triangulate Combfoot
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.15 inches to 0.24 inches (4 mm to 6 mm); Males: 0.07 inches to 0.15 inches (2 mm to 4 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $10

Triangulate Cobweb Spiders are a brown and orange, slightly fuzzy species, with thin legs. Their abdomen is quite bulbous, with purple or red bubbling lines running down its dorsal.

Their dark coloration lends to their homes of choice, preferring dimly lit corners in man-made structures. As a cobweb spider, their web is a chaotic, sticky mess.

They rely on a vast network of silks to feed vibrational information back to the spider, who has bad eyesight. Their webs, when the spider is well fed and healthy, are strong and do not break easily when disturbed.

They feed on ranges of prey, such as stink bugs, fire ants, or pillbugs. They also have no problem taking on spiders that are considered harmful to humans, such as brown recluses.

Despite being able to hold their own, they are not considered harmful to humans unless the person is allergic to their venom.

39. Golden Silk Orbweaver

A Golden Silk Orb Weaver on its web. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Trichonephila clavipes
  • Other Names: Golden Orb Weaver, Calico Spider, Golden Silk Spider, Banana Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.95 inches to 1.58 inches (24 mm to 40 mm); Males: 0.24 inches to 0.39 inches (6 mm to 10 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $17 to $60

Golden Silk Orb Weavers are a well-studied species, and the first of the orb weavers to have their genome fully annotated. Their webs take on a golden sheen, and the silks themselves have experimental use in nervous system surgeries.

They are also one of the few members of their subfamily that do not partake in post-mating cannibalism. A very unique species, indeed!

They have a wide distribution in South America, but travel easily on cargo ships, plants, and luggage. Golden Silk Orb Weavers set up dense, but sparse colonies in their non-native areas and prefer wooded areas and forests.

In these habitats, Golden Silk Orb Weavers set up large orb-shaped webs that can reach up to almost ten feet, or three meters. The web size makes them easy targets for damage from birds or other bugs.

Their webs commonly have decaying organic matter strewn about to attract prey with the smell.

40. Silver Garden Spider

A Silver Garden Spider on their web in Laredo, Texas. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Argiope argentata
  • Other Names: Silver Argiope
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.47 inches to 0.95 inches (12 mm to 24 mm); Males: 0.15 inches to 0.31 inches (4 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $25

The Silver Garden Spider is an orb weaver that is characterized by UV. Their name comes from the silver coloration on their backs, which is UV reflective.

The silk they spin is UV reflective as well. The theory is that the reflections on both the webs and their bodies are used to attract potential prey.

Their webs are adorned with stabilimenta. While the reason isn’t known, the use of stabilimenta is thought to be to make the spider look bigger than it is.

While native to Southern California, the Silver Garden Spider is common in dry, humid areas – including Texas. They are commonly found on cacti, such as in the picture above.

The size of their population in any concentrated area is usually quite large, but due to their short lifespan, mass die-offs occur in the same time period. While the species is not listed as endangered, there is the possibility that the Silver Garden Spider could naturally go extinct.

41. Red House Spider

A Red House Spider. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Nesticodes rufipes
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.12 inches – 0.24 inches (3 mm – 6 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $5 – $10

Red House Spiders are a type of comb-footed spider (Theridiidae), and the sole species of its genus, Nesticodes.

They can be identified by their mostly red or red-brown bodies. Red House Spiders enjoy a pantropical distribution and seem to prefer the darkness of man-made structures to set up shop.

They hardly leave their disorganized webs, unless frightened off. However, they will usually create a safety web to tether themselves to the web if there is a chance of going back to it.

Despite dwelling in houses, their bite is inconsequential to humans unless there is an allergy. They do use their venom to catch and eat ants, flies, and mosquitoes.

42. Southern House Spider

A female Southern House spider in webbing. – Source 
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Filistatidae
  • Scientific Name: Kukulcania hibernalis
  • Other Names: Giant Crevice Weaver, Southern Crevice Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.51 inches to 0.75 inches (13 mm to 19 mm); Males: 0.35 inches to 0.39 inches (9 mm to 10 mm
  • Lifespan: Up to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $50

Southern House Spiders are comparatively large spiders and are characterized by their flat web and their visual similarities to the Brown Recluse. In the Southern House Spiders’ sexual dimorphism, females can almost double the size of an average male.

Females tend to be gray and brown, and are particularly bulbous after feeding or when pregnant. Males tend to be tan or dark red and have long thin legs.

They will sometimes have a strip of brown on the tops of their “head” area. As a member of the Filistatidae family their webs are notably sticky, and function this way to easily snag even the lightest brush from prey.

When fully mature, males do not make these webs.

43. Lined Orbweaver

A Lined Orb Weaver suspended in its characteristic web. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Mangora gibberosa
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.07 inches to 0.19 inches (3 mm to 5 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Lined Orb Weaver is small for its family, but makes up for size in its unique web. While many orb weavers will adorn their web with stabilimentum, M. gibberosa creates a dense tuft of silk in the center – possibly to make the spider look bigger, but also to add structural fortitude.

The center can be seen as both a ring and a filled-in circle. When identifying a Lined Orb Weaver, their colors tend to be shades of white, brown, and occasionally green.

The most obvious feature is the lines that run down the dorsal of their abdomen. They will occasionally have a line down their carapace, and more lines under their front legs.

Lined Orb Weavers seem to be found in more grassy environments, such as fields and the edges of forests.

44. Texas Brown Tarantula

A Texas Brown Tarantula in some dry Texan grass. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
  • Other Names: Oklahoma Brown Tarantula, Missouri Tarantula
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 2 inches to 2.25 inches (50 mm to 55 mm); Males: 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches (37 mm to 45 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: Approximately 40 years; Males: 8 to 12 years
  • Average Price Range: $15 to $105

A common species found in the wild, Texas Brown Tarantulas can easily reach four inches (ten centimeters) in leg span, making them hard to miss, to begin with.

When threatened, like most other tarantulas, they will stand on their hind legs and act threatening. They are covered in urticating hairs, which are bristles they will launch at attackers in defense.

Their venom, despite sensationalism, is not particularly harmful to humans except in the presence of an allergy. Their fangs are large enough, however, to damage the skin. These wounds should be properly cleaned and monitored to prevent an infection.

The Texas Brown Tarantula burrows in holes, abandoned dens, and under logs with a set of webs at the entrance to act as an early alarm system. When females lay eggs, which can be in the thousands in their lifetime, she keeps them in a hammock-like structure in the burrow.

Once the spiderlings hatch, they stay with the mother for a few days before setting off on their own.

45. Nursery Web Spider

A Nursery Web Spider on a leaf. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira
  • Other Names: American Nursery Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.35 inches to 0.59 inches (9 mm to 15 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $25

The Nursery Web Spider gets their name from the females’ nesting behavior. After laying a clutch of eggs, an egg sac is spun and carried by the mother in her chelicerae (or mouth parts) and tethered with a line connecting to her spinneret (the silk-weaving organ on the back end of the spider.)

When it comes close to the time the eggs will hatch, the female spins a nursery web, and hangs up the egg sack. They are large to accommodate the sheer amount of eggs hatched, as the spiderlings stay in the nursery until their first molt. The female remains close to defending the nursery.

However, before the eggs are even hatched comes the mating. P. mira is a species notable for its cannibalistic behavior during sexual encounters. Males do have some defenses, as they will use silk to immobilize the female.

If a male can escape the transaction without being eaten, he will go on to impregnate more females.

46. Western Desert Tarantula

A beautiful male Western Desert Tarantula. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma chalcodes
  • Other Names: Arizona Blond Tarantula, Mexican Blond Tarantula
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 1.75 inches to 2.75 inches (49 mm to 68 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: Approximately 30 years; Males: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $25 to $180

The Western Desert Tarantula enjoys a largely southwestern distribution in the United States and is seen in Mexico. However, they have been observed in western Texas.

Their habitat is largely desert, and their burrows are considered deep, which allows them to shield themselves from harsh weather. Their optimal temperature ranges from 73˚F to 88˚F (23˚C to 31˚C), which is when they are most active above ground.

While not entirely nocturnal, their activity is mostly observable at night. They will break the silks used to cover the entrance to the burrow, then wait for prey. They eat a range of insects such as crickets, beetles, and cicadas, but have been observed eating lizards as well.

Their venom isn’t considered dangerous to humans – going as far as being one of the least dangerous of the Theraphosidae family. Venom is currently subject to scientific study, as it contains numerous neurotoxins.

47. Spitting Spider

A Spitting Spider on a white background. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Scytodidae
  • Scientific Name: Scytodes thoracica
  • Other Names: None
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.12 inches to 0.24 inches (3 mm to 6 mm)
  • Lifespan: Females: 2 to 4 years; Males 1 to 2 years
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

While there are many types of spitting spiders in the Scytodidae family, S. thoracica is the most common, with international distribution, but mainly in the northern hemisphere.

This spider prefers warmer weather and is commonly found inside man-made structures – especially houses in the winter. They are quoted as being “nature’s strangest hunters” – and with good reason.

This six-eyed spider has an abdominal silk gland as well as one in their cephalothorax, which is connected to their venom glands – thus creating venomous silk. S. thoracica hunts at night, slowly stalking its prey.

Once a target is spotted, the spider will approach slowly, measure the distance, then spit an immobilizing web over its prey, placed in a zig-zag pattern. Larger prey requires more silk.

48. Rabbit Hutch Spider

A glossy Rabbit Hutch Spider on a plant. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theridiidae
  • Scientific Name: Steatoda bipunctata
  • Other Names: False Widow
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.15 inches to 0.31 inches (4 mm to 8 mm)
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Rabbit Hutch Spider is part of the grouping of spiders referred to as False Widows. However, the danger from a Rabbit Hutch Spider bite is basically nonexistent.

Bites are seemingly unreported, as they prefer to run and hide rather than go up against a large human. It’s possible their fangs are generally too small to puncture human skin.

Despite their timid nature, they commonly reside indoors. Rabbit Hutch Spiders are black and glossy, with a bulbous abdomen.

The characteristic that sets them apart from the more dangerous Widows is a light brown stripe that runs latitudinally across the top of the abdomen which may or may not connect to a light brown stripe that runs longitudinally down the abdomen. They also lack the trademark hourglass.

49. Zebra Jumping Spider


An adult female Zebra Jumping Spider. – Source

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salticidae
  • Scientific Name: Salticus scenicus
  • Other Names: Zebra Spider, Zebra Jumper
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): 0.15 inches to 0.35 inches (4 mm to 9 mm)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $35

The Zebra Jumping Spider is named for the black and white stripes that adorn its body, but it’s Latin and Greek names note it as being showy and theatrical, possibly due to their athleticism.

Due to their method of hunting, these spiders are often found in more open spaces, from pebble beaches to urban gardens. Their eye structure plays a large part in catching prey.

The Zebra Jumping spider has notably large anterior median eyes, with medium-sized anterior and posterior lateral eyes, and very small posterior median eyes. When the lateral eyes spot prey, the body immediately orients to observe.

If the prey is of an appropriate size, the spider will attach a safety tether to its current surface in case it misses when jumping. When jumping, the spider uses its fourth set of legs to launch.

A simple explanation of this phenomenon is that the spider pools blood in its legs and extends. With no muscles, the force that propels the spider is purely hydraulic.

50. Cat-Faced Spider

A Cat-Faced Spider on a web. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Scientific Name: Araneus gemmoides
  • Other Names: Jewel Spider
  • Adult Size (excluding legs): Females: 0.51 inches to 1 inch (13 mm to 25 mm); Males: 0.19 inches to 0.31 inches (5 mm to 8 mm)
  • Lifespan: Approximately 1 year
  • Average Price Range: Unavailable

The Cat-Faced Spider is a commonly found orb weaver. While they come in a wide range of colors that can change from summer to winter, their main identifier is the two protruding points on their abdomen that resembles a cat’s face when looking head-on.

They are considered helpful, frequently preying on pest insects. They will set up webs both in natural settings – such as woodlands and other animal burrows – and on man-made structures – such as overhangs or near lights.

Specifically, when a web is built by light, it’s to catch the insects that are attracted to the light like moths. After a female lays her one egg sac, she dies.

The egg sacs overwinter with hundreds of eggs, but once hatched, spiderlings compete and cannibalize their siblings. Babies that survive have been observed ballooning or using silks to catch a ride on an air current, and relocating miles away.

FAQ

How many spiders are there in Texas?

According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, there are around 900 species of spiders that are found in the state. However, spiders from neighboring states aren’t necessarily bound to borders, so this number is a rough estimate.

How big do spiders get in Texas?

Spiders range in size due to factors like species, sex, and availability of resources. The largest spider observed in the wilds of Texas is the Texas Brown Tarantulas, whose leg span sets the tarantula at roughly four inches (a little over ten centimeters).

As a comparison, that’s about the size of a credit card, a roll of toilet paper, or the width of your palm. On the other end, spiders are only about .04 inches (or one millimeter) when hatched.

Some species of males only grow to 0.07 inches (or two millimeters), such as the Triangulate Cobweb Spider. That’s about the size of a grain of short rice, a ladybug, or the width of a key ring.

What poisonous spiders are in Texas?

There are four poisonous spiders that have been found in Texas, three of them widows.

The Southern Black Widow (L. mactans), Northern Black Widow (L. variolus), Western Black Widow (L. hesperus), and the Brown Recluse (L. reclusa) can all be found in the state. Most sites will report only two species of note – the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse – despite there being more than one species of Black Widow. 

Wrap Up

Texas is big, and the variety of wildlife within is of no small number either. Despite spiders having a reputation for being scary and creepy, they are a beneficial neighbor.

Not only do they eat smaller, more destructive insects, but they are also a staple for the next rung on the food chain such as birds and rodents. Their role in the ecosystem is important!

Some spiders listed here can make good pets – while some might just do best in their natural environments. Some spiders can be handled with ease and only need a modest enclosure.

On the other hand, some spiders like the orb weavers thrive in open environments, creating webs that can span multiple feet. Thorough research is required before owning any pet, and spiders are no different.

Texas overall is a treasure trove for any spider enthusiast. The distinct ecosystems, ranging from plains to woods to beaches, create a landscape rich in biodiversity.

Next time you’re out on your own Texan adventure, take some time to notice the little things – including spiders.

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