Minnesota Spiders

Order Araneae

Araneae (spiders) is the order of arachnids that is characterized by breathing air, having eight legs, and having chelicerae (mouth parts) with fangs that inject venom.

There are 43,678 known species in 3,705 genera in 109 families worldwide. There are about 3,400 species in North America and, as of July 15, 2015, 466 confirmed species in Minnesota.

banded argiope


Recent Additions

Marbled orbweaver
  marbled orbweaver

Orb weaver spiders (Aranidae) is the third largest family of spiders. There are about 3,100 species in 169 genera worldwide. They spin a large circular web that hangs vertically. This web is called an “orb”, which gives this family its common name.

Marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) is a medium-sized orb weaver spider. Females are about twice the size of males. They are highly variable in appearance, but all have a light colored abdomen with black, gray, and white markings, at least at the front edge, that give them a marbled appearance.

The marbled orbweaver orb is a closed hub, 20 to 30 in diameter, with 15 to 35 spokes (radii) that are not sticky. The radii extend to the center of the hub and are connected to each other by sticky threads that spiral outward from the center. The spider also makes a retreat out of silk near one edge of the orb. The retreat is connected by a signal thread to the center of the web, allowing the spider to feel vibrations of prey. The web is usually consumed and a new web constructed each evening.

  Photo by Christa Rittberg

Bold jumper
  bold jumper

Bold jumper (Phidippus audax) is an extremely common jumping spider in eastern United States. It is a medium-sized spider but a very large jumping spider. It can be found from spring to fall in old fields, prairies, open woodlands, backyards, gardens, and human houses.

The most distinctive feature of this spider is the iridescent green or blue mouthparts. Both sexes share this feature, but when courting, the male will wave its forelegs and sense organs (palps), showing off his colorful parts.

Bold jumpers hunt during the day, not at night. They sneak up on their prey and pounce, releasing silk while jumping as a drag line to prevent falling. They will bite if molested but are usually too quick and wary to be caught. They can jump 10 to 50 times their body length.

There are about 5,000 species of jumping spiders. Bold jumper is distinguished by its large size; conspicuous, iridescent green or blue mouthparts; massive, high, front body segment with rounded sides; four pairs of matte black spots on the abdomen; the arrangement of usually four pairs of white spots on the abdomen; and its occurrence in the northern United States.

  Photo by Terry Hayes

Ant-mimicking jumping spider
  ant-mimicking jumping spider

Ant-mimicking jumping spider (Synemosyna formica) is often overlooked and mistaken for an ant. It is found in bushes and tall grass from Vermont to Georgia west to Minnesota and Texas.

Most jumping spiders have furry round bodies. Ant-mimicking jumping spider is a Batesian mimic, evolved to imitate the appearance of ants which are avoided by ants, mantises, and larger jumping spiders. The ant-like modifications include a constricted abdomen and front legs that are curved, mimicking ant antennae.

There are more than 300 species of spiders that are ant mimics. Ant-mimicking jumping spider is distinguished by a sharp downward slope between the head portion and the thorax portion of the cephalothorax; narrow, parallel-sided rear portion of the cephalothorax; white or pale marks at the abdominal constriction; and in the palpal bulbs of the male the embolus is fixed to the tegulum.

  Photo by Terry Hayes

Dark fishing spider
  dark fishing spider

Dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) is a large, robust, nursery web spider (family Pisauridae). The common name is misleading, as this spider is most often found in deciduous forests, often far from water.

This is the largest fishing spider (genus Dolomedes). The adult female body can be up to 1 long with a legspan of over 3. The male is about half that size and one-fourteenth the weight. The body is light brown with dark markings and the legs have alternating light and dark bands.

The male never survives the mating process. This is not because it is killed by the female, as with black widow spiders. The male has evolved to die spontaneously after mating, providing the female with a meal to nourish her eggs.

Fishing spiders are similar to, and often mistaken for, wolf spiders. They are distinguished by the arrangement of their eyes and the mode of perching. Dark fishing spider is similar in appearance to striped fishing spider (Dolomedes scriptus) but is larger and has less white marking on the abdomen.

  Photo by Brian Johnson

Other Recent Additions
  barn spider

six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton)

barn spider (Araneus cavaticus)

Hentz’s orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera)

  Photo by Melissa Kneebone








Profile Photo Video      


a grass spider (Agelenopsis potteri)


ant-mimicking jumping spider

banded argiope

barn spider

black and yellow argiope

bold jumper

dark fishing spider

goldenrod crab spider

grass spider

Hentz's orbweaver

marbled orbweaver

nursery web spider

six-spotted fishing spider


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras juvenilis)


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras lamellosus)


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras montanus)


a jumping spider (Naphrys pulex)


antmimic (Castianeira longipalpa)

Profile Photo Photo

ant-mimicking jumping spider (Synemosyna formica)


Apache jumping spider (Phidippus apacheanus)


arabesque orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca)


arrowshaped micrathena (Micrathena sagittata)

  Photo Photo

banded argiope (Argiope trifasciata)


barn funnel weaver (Tegenaria domestica)

  Photo Photo

barn spider (Araneus cavaticus)

Profile Photo Photo

black and yellow argiope (Argiope aurantia)

Profile Photo Photo

bold jumper (Phidippus audax)


burrowing wolf spider (Geolycosa missouriensis)


Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis)


cat-faced spider (Araneus gemmoides)


common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)


cross orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)

Profile Photo Photo

dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)


dimorphic jumping spider (Maevia inclemens)


eastern parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)


false black widow (Steatoda grossa)


giant lichen orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius)

  Photo Photo

goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)


grass spider (Agelenopsis sp.)

  Photo Photo

Hentz’s orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera)


humpbacked orbweaver (Eustala anastera)


jumping spider (Habronattus texanus)


lattice orbweaver (Araneus thaddeus)


lined orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa)


longbodied cellar spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Profile Photo Photo

marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus)


medicine spider (Coras medicinalis)


northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus)


northern cobweb weaver (Steatoda borealis)


northern yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium mildei)

  Photo Photo

nursery web spider (Pisaurina mira)


orchard orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)

Profile Photo Photo

six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton)


six-spotted orbweaver (Araniella displicata)


slender crab spider (Tibellus oblongus)


spined micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)


starbellied orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata)


striped fishing spider (Dolomedes scriptus)


tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus)


tuftlegged orbweaver (Mangora placida)


twobanded antmimic (Castianeira cingulata)


white micrathena (Micrathena mitrata)


whitebanded crab spider (Misumenoides formosipes)


wolf spider (Hogna helluo)


woodlouse hunter (Dysdera crocata)


zebra jumper (Salticus scenicus)





No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for a spider in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that spider. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the spider in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that spider featuring your contribution.


Capitalization of Common Names

The 1997 version of Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms, published by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), contains only 9 spider species. Two of those are placed in the wrong family and four are unrecognized common names. The inadequate coverage of arachnids by the ICZN spurred the American Arachnological Society (AAS) to develop their own list, Common Names of Arachnids. While the ESA has no rule or guideline that addresses capitalization of common names, the AAS does. Capital letters should not be used unless 1) the name begins a sentence, then the first letter of the name should be capitalized; or 2) the common name begins with a proper name, and that proper name begins with a capital letter (place name or person’s last name). MinnesotaSeasons.com will adhere to the convention adopted by AAS.





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