Most of these images come from the original photographs used in our colleague John Jackman’s book, A Field Guide to the Spiders and Scorpions of Texas, 1997. John died suddenly a few years ago and he left for us his entire slide collection of excellent insect and spider photos. Many of the finer images on this website were taken by John and we are indebted to him.
What are common house spiders in Texas?
Common spiders in Texas include American house spiders, wolf spiders, brown recluse spiders, black widow spiders, and jumping spiders.
What spiders are most common in Texas?
The most common spiders in North Texas include black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders, jumping spiders, and wolf spiders. Here’s what you need to know about these spiders and how to control them. Black widow spider – The black widow has an hourglass-shaped marking on their abdomen.
What kind of spiders are in Texas?
The most common groups of spiders in Texas are orb weavers, jumping spiders, ground spiders, wolf spiders, tarantulas, cobweb spiders, huntsman spiders and crab spiders.
What is the most deadliest spider in Texas?
The only spider species that can be harmful to humans in Texas are the Black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the Brown recluse (Loxosceles recluse). Black widow spiders are known for the female’s shiny black body with the red hourglass design.
North America is home to over 3,400 species of spiders, ranking 7th in diversity of all organisms. Known as arachnids, spiders are air-breathing arthropods with 8 legs and use their fangs to inject venom into their prey. Texas alone has over 900 species of spiders, with many of them inhabiting Austin, Texas. Although not all venomous, it is key to be able to identify the species you may be in contact with.
The Yellow Garden ORB Weaver spider can be identified by the dorsal markings on the carapace and abdomen and the greatly elongated hind spinnerets. These spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open, sunny fields where they can stay concealed and protected from the wind.
Comparable to a bee sting, a bite from this spider results in slight redness and swelling and is not considered an issue for a healthy adult. Though they are not aggressive spiders, those with compromised immune systems, such as the very young or elderly, should exercise caution. These spiders are usually found in warm places under logs, rocks, bricks, leaf litter, or close to woodlice.
Their days are spent in a silken retreat in the crevices of partially decayed wood, and sometimes construct tent-like structures in indents of various large rocks. As surprisingly poor climbers, these spiders generally remain on the ground, hidden under natural shelters such as the edges of rocks or in their own burrows. Nest sites are often near holes produced by small animals, around construction openings and wood piles, or Low shrubs.
Indoors, black widow spiders tend to gravitate to dark, undisturbed sites such as behind furniture or under desks. Female widow spiders have unusually large venom glands and their bite can be particularly harmful to humans. However, despite their notoriety, bites from a black widow spider are rarely fatal or produce serious complications.
Since the web is not intended to catch prey, they tend to appear disorganized and are built most commonly near ground level. When dwelling in human residences, they seem to favor cardboard, possibly because it mimics the rotting tree bark of their natural habitat. The brown recluse bears a potentially deadly hemotoxic venom that may affect a human negatively, although most bites are minor with no necrosis.
However, a small number of brown recluse bites do produce severe dermonecrotic lesions (i.e. necrosis). The Gray Wall Jumper Spiders are dorso-ventrally flattened and are covered with short, dense, grayish-white hairs. These spiders are generally found in grassland and prairie environments, while they can also frequent yards and indoor spaces.
These spiders have two large, strong front legs that are used to grasp prey, and range in size from 4.063-7.62 mm in length (0.16 to 0.3 in). As this particular spider does not spin a web, they generally reside among leaves or bark, where they await prey and can sit in the open. These spiders are known for their long legs, hence why they are often called daddy-long-legs. Females have a body length of about 9 mm (~.3 in) and males are slightly smaller.
These spiders build loose, irregular, tangled webs in corners, and hang upside down on the underside of them. When disturbed on its web, the Cellar spider has the habit of rapidly shaking its body in a rotary movement to confuse and entangle its prey. According to University of California Riverside , There is no reference to any pholcid spider biting a human and causing any detrimental reaction.
There are almost 1,100 species of spiders in Texas. That number seems high and intimidating but on this page we are having a close look at the most common spiders found in Texas. The most common groups of spiders in Texas are orb weavers, jumping spiders, ground spiders, wolf spiders, tarantulas, cobweb spiders, huntsman spiders and crab spiders. On this page, you can find a full overview of all these common Texas spiders.
The range of the western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) extends from the West Coast as far as Odessa and Sanderson. While they occur throughout most of Texas, sightings and bites are actually quite rare as recluses prefer undisturbed, isolated habitats.
If you prefer not to get too close, the darker brown violin shape on the spiders back is another great identification marker. Bites of brown recluses can cause severe skin necrosis, and you should consult a medical profession if you are bitten. To learn more about brown recluses and what to do in case of a bite, check out the detailed article below.
The brown recluse, loxosceles reclusa, is one of the more dangerous spiders indigenous in the United States. This page gives an overview of how to identify a brown recluse and in which states in the US it appears. You can click on the individual images or links to see more pictures and find more information about the spider.
The largest spiders found in Texas are Carolina wolf spiders that can reach a leg span of up to 4 in (100 mm) and tarantulas that can reach a similar length with an even larger body mass. Some older sites report sightings of potentially dangerous hobo spiders in Texas. Both facts, about hobo spiders occurring in Texas and being dangerous are urban myths.
Aphonopelma hentzi, the Texas brown tarantula is one of the largest species of spiders native to the Southern United States … Read More Some spider species just feel more comfortable inside homes than outside in the garden or forests. Metaltella simoni is a spider species that is commonly often referred to as hacklemesh weaver.
They have the ability to jump and are hunter spiders and dont spin any webs to catch their prey. Orb weaver spiders are often found in forests or our gardens where they build large impressive (and sometimes annoying) orb-shaped webs. The Araneus Gemmoides is an orb weaver species that occurs in the Western United States.
Araneus trifolium, the shamrock spider, is a widely distributed orb weaver that can come in various colors, mostly beige or … Read More The silver garden spider, Argiope argentata, is a common orb weaver in the warm and humid regions in the Southern … Read More The Argiope Aurantia or black and yellow garden spider appears in every US state and in many other countries around … Read More
The spinybacked orbweaver is a small harmless spider with six characteristic spines along the back of its abdomen. Larinioides Cornutus, commonly known as the furrow spider, is an orb weaver species that can be found throughout the Northern … Read More Mangora gibberosa, the lined orbweaver, is a common spider found throughout the eastern part of North America.
Neoscona crucifera, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver, is an orb weaver species indigenous to the Eastern part of North … Read More Castianeira longipalpa, sometimeys referred to as the long-palped ant mimic sac spider is found along the Eastern United States as … Read More Even though Xysticus funestus has a dangerously-sounding common name, the deadly ground crab spider, it is of absolutely no concern … Read More
Spiders found in Texas include 88 unique species from confirmed sightings by contributing members of Spider ID. It is important to remember that spiders seen in Texas are not bound by the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore their distribution is subject to change. Occasionally, spiders can be found well outside of their known range due to being intentionally or accidentally transported by humans in cars, luggage, and other belongings.
Poisonous Spiders in Texas
While almost all spiders are venomous (not poisonous), there are only two types of medically significant spiders in Texas: (black) widows and recluse spiders.
Black) Widows in Texas
Widow spiders are cobweb spiders of the genus Latrodectus. There are four species of Latrodectus in North America: the Northern, Southern and Western Black Widow and the Brown Widow. While the brown widow is considered less dangerous, the bite of a black widow can cause severe pain, muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea as well as local skin damage.To some extent, all four species occur in Texas. However, the range of the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) only extends from the Eastern U.S. until the border with Arkansas in eastern Texas. Therefore, sightings of northern black widows in Texas are extremely rare and only in the far Northeast.The range of the western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) extends from the West Coast as far as Odessa and Sanderson. The southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) appear throughout Texas. The least likely area to encounter a black widow is in Northern Texas, around Amarillo.
How to identify a widow spider?
Widow spiders reach a body size of around 1/2 in (10 mm) and can reach three times that length with extended legs. The larger female spiders have a large round and shiny abdomen. Their characteristic feature is a red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. Northern, southern and western black widows are usually black and younger individuals have additional red or white markings on their back, in addition to the red hourglass shape. Brown widows are predominantly brown with alternating lighter and darker brown bands around their legs. They also have the characteristic red hourglass shape on their underside. Black widows are confused with less venomous cobweb spiders, especially false black widows (Steatoda grossa).You can see the pictures of the four widow species found in Texas below. Just click on any of the links to learn more about them and to see more pictures:
Recluse Spiders in Texas
Brown recluses are some of the most feared spiders in the United States. While they occur throughout most of Texas, sightings and bites are actually quite rare as recluses prefer undisturbed, isolated habitats. Brown recluses are medium-sized spiders with a body length of no more than 3/4 in (19 mm). Their legs are long and slender. They can best be identified by their eye pattern with six eyes (most spiders have eight eyes). If you prefer not to get too close, the darker brown violin shape on the spider’s back is another great identification marker.Bites of brown recluses can cause severe skin necrosis, and you should consult a medical profession if you are bitten. To learn more about brown recluses and what to do in case of a bite, check out the detailed article below.
Other spiders in Texas that bite
Next to the medically significant widow and recluse spiders, here are some of the less-venomous spiders of Texas that are known to bite. You can click on the individual images or links to see more pictures and find more information about the spider.
Big Spiders in Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas! Even the spiders? Well, to some extent, that may be true. The largest spiders found in Texas are Carolina wolf spiders that can reach a leg span of up to 4 in (100 mm) and tarantulas that can reach a similar length with an even larger body mass. There are six species of tarantulas in Texas and the most commonly found species is the Texas brown tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi). Other large spiders found in Texas are grass spiders, huntsman spiders and fishing spiders.Some older sites report sightings of potentially dangerous hobo spiders in Texas. Both facts, about hobo spiders occurring in Texas and being dangerous are urban myths. In the U.S., hobo spiders are only found in the Pacific Northwest and they are not known to be more aggressive or more dangerous than other funnel-web spiders like grass spiders.
Texas House Spiders
Some spider species just feel more comfortable inside homes than outside in the garden or forests. The most commonly found spiders in Texas houses are the following:
Jumping Spiders in Texas
With almost 150 species, jumping spiders (Salticidae) are the largest spider family in Texas. Jumping spiders are small to medium sized spiders (max. body size 1 in) with relatively short legs. They have the ability to jump and are hunter spiders and don’t spin any webs to catch their prey. The commonly seen zebra jumping spider is one of the most common small black and white spiders found in Texas. Here is an overview of all common jumping spiders in Texas:
Orb weaver spiders in Texas
Orb weaver spiders are often found in forests or our gardens where they build large impressive (and sometimes annoying) orb-shaped webs. Orb weavers come in a variety of colors and shapes. The most commonly found orb weavers in Texas are banana spiders (Trichonephila clavipes), Argiope garden spiders and spotted orb weavers. Here is an overview of the most common orb weavers in Texas:
Other common spiders in Texas
Next to the large spiders, common house spiders, jumping spiders and orb weavers, Texas is home to a number of crab spiders and several other ground spiders. Here is an overview: