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
Brilliant jumping spider

Brilliant jumping spider (Phidippus clarus) occurs across North America from coast to coast. It is very common in Minnesota. A study in 1997 surveyed jumping spiders in 30 locations around Minnesota. The author collected 572 jumping spiders representing 15 species. Brilliant jumping spider was by far the most common, with 299 specimens (52%) collected.

Brilliant jumping spider is found from July to September in moderately moist fields on grasses and perennial plants. It is a small to medium-sized spider (order Araneae) but a relatively large jumping spider (family Salticidae). Adults are mostly black with four pairs of white spots and two red stripes on the abdomen.

The female is a paragon of parental perseverance. In the fall she creates a large white egg sac at the top of a tall grass or herbaceous plant and drops eggs into the sac. She prevents the eggs from drying out by repeatedly adding silk to cover the egg mass. She stays with the egg sac until the young disperse in about a month. During this time she does not feed and usually dies from starvation a few days later.

  brilliant jumping spider
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
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.

  marbled orbweaver
  Photo by Christa Rittberg
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.

  bold jumper
  Photo by Terry Hayes
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.

  ant-mimicking jumping spider
  Photo by Terry Hayes
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.

  dark fishing spider
  Photo by Brian Johnson
Other Recent Additions

jumping spider (Family Salticidae)

common Hentz jumping spider (Hentzia palmarum)

common white-cheeked jumping spider (Pelegrina proterva)

Asian wall jumping spider (Sitticus fasciger)

zebra jumper (Salticus scenicus)

bronze jumping spider (Eris militaris)

  bronze jumping spider
  Photo by Alfredo Colon








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a grass spider (Agelenopsis potteri)


ant-mimicking jumping spider

Asian wall jumping spider

banded argiope

barn spider

black and yellow argiope

bold jumper

brilliant jumping spider

bronze jumping spider

cobweb weaver (Family Theridiidae)

common Hentz jumping spider

common white-cheeked jumping spider

crab spider (Mecaphesa sp.)

dark fishing spider

dimorphic jumper

goldenrod crab spider

grass spider

Hentz's orbweaver

jumping spider (Family Salticidae)

jumping spider (Tutelina sp.)

longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha sp.)

marbled orbweaver

nursery web spider

oblong running spider

red running crab spider

reticulated pirate spider

shamrock orbweaver

six-spotted fishing spider

splendid dwarf spider

spotted white-cheeked jumping spider

thick-spined jumping spider

thin-spined jumping spider

wide ribbon meshweaver

zebra jumper


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras juvenilis)


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras lamellosus)


a hackledmesh weaver (Coras montanus)


antmimic (Castianeira longipalpa)

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ant-mimicking jumping spider (Synemosyna formica)


Apache jumping spider (Phidippus apacheanus)


arabesque orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca)


arrowshaped micrathena (Micrathena sagittata)

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Asian wall jumping spider (Sitticus fasciger)

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banded argiope (Argiope trifasciata)


barn funnel weaver (Tegenaria domestica)

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barn spider (Araneus cavaticus)

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black and yellow argiope (Argiope aurantia)

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bold jumper (Phidippus audax)


bordered orbweaver (Larinioides patagiatus)


boreal tufted jumping spider (Phidippus boreali)

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brilliant jumping spider (Phidippus clarus)

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bronze jumping spider (Eris militaris)


burrowing wolf spider (Geolycosa missouriensis)


Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis)


cat-faced spider (Araneus gemmoides)


cobweb weaver (Family Theridiidae)


common candy-striped spider (Enoplognatha ovata)

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common Hentz jumping spider (Hentzia palmarum)


common house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)


common leaf-beetle jumping spider (Sassacus papenhoei)


common stretch spider (Tetragnatha extensa)

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common white-cheeked jumping spider (Pelegrina proterva)

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crab spider (Mecaphesa spp.)


cross orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)

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dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

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dimorphic jumper (Maevia inclemens)


eastern parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)


false black widow (Steatoda grossa)


flea jumping spider (Naphrys pulex)


flower jumping spider (Calositticus floricola)


four-lined slender jumping spider (Marpissa lineata)


giant lichen orbweaver (Araneus bicentenarius)

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goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)


grass spider (Agelenopsis sp.)


grassland white-cheeked jumping spider (Pelegrina arizonensis)


grayish jumping spider (Phidippus princeps)


green longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha viridis)


ground crab spider (Xysticus alboniger)


hackled-banded dictynid spider (Emblyna annulipes)


Hart’s jumping spider (Tutelina harti)

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Hentz’s orbweaver (Neoscona crucifera)


Hoy’s jumping spider (Evarcha hoyi)


humpbacked orbweaver (Eustala anastera)


jumping spider (Calositticus palustris)

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jumping spider (Family Salticidae)


jumping spider (Sitticus concolor)

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jumping spider (Tutelina spp.)


lattice orbweaver (Araneus thaddeus)


lined orbweaver (Mangora gibberosa)


longbodied cellar spider (Pholcus phalangioides)


longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha caudata)


longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha guatemalensis)


longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha pallescens)

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longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha spp.)


marbled cobweb spider (Enoplognatha marmorata)

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marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus)


marbled purple jumping spider (Phidippus purpuratus)


medicine spider (Coras medicinalis)


minute jumping spider (Talavera minuta)


Nell’s tiny jumping spider (Neon nelli)


nervous hammer-jawed jumping spider (Zygoballus nervosus)


northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus)


northern cobweb weaver (Steatoda borealis)


northern crab spider (Mecaphesa asperata)


northern yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium mildei)

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nursery web spider (Pisaurina mira)

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oblong running spider (Tibellus oblongus)


orchard orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)


Pike slender jumping spider (Marpissa pikei)


rabid wolf spider (Rabidosa rabida)

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red running crab spider (Philodromus rufus vibrans)

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reticulated pirate spider (Mimetus notius)

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shamrock orbweaver (Araneus trifolium)


short-bellied slender jumping spider (Marpissa formosa)


silver longjawed orbweaver (Tetragnatha laboriosa)

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six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton)


six-spotted orbweaver (Araniella displicata)


slender ant-mimic jumping spider (Synemosyna formica)


spined antmimic jumping spider (Synageles noxiosus)


spined micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)

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splendid dwarf spider (Hypselistes florens)


spotted cobweaver (Thymoites unimaculatus)

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spotted white-cheeked jumping spider (Pelegrina insignis)


starbellied orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata)


striped fishing spider (Dolomedes scriptus)


swift crab spider (Mecaphesa celer)


tan jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus)


Texas ornamented jumping spider (Habronattus texanus)

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thick-spined jumping spider (Tutelina similis)

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thin-spined jumping spider (Tutelina elegans)


three-lined ground jumping dpider (Ghelna canadensis)


toothed slender jumping spider (Marpissa grata)


triangulate comb-foot (Steatoda triangulosa)


tripod antmimic jumping spider (Synageles occidentalis)


truncated thread meshweaver (Dictyna volucripes)


tuftlegged orbweaver (Mangora placida)


two-spotted cobweb spider (Asagena americana)


twobanded antmimic (Castianeira cingulata)


Wheeler's thick-legged jumping spider (Admestina wheeleri)


white micrathena (Micrathena mitrata)


white-jawed jumping spider (Hentzia mitrata)


white-lipped ornamented jumping spider (Habronattus cognatus)


white-striped jumping spider (Tutelina formicaria)


whitebanded crab spider (Misumenoides formosipes)


Whitman’s jumping spider (Phidippus whitmani)

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wide ribbon meshweaver (Emblyna sublata)


wolf spider (Hogna helluo)


woodlouse hunter (Dysdera crocata)


yellowleg jumping spider (Pelegrina flavipes)

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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.

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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.


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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