Alabama’s warm climate makes for happy Alabama spiders. The presence of an almost year round insect population means that both outdoor and common house spiders are an almost year round phenomena.
The general rule of thumb does not apply to all the spider species in the state. Some of the spiders, such as the Giant Lichen Orbweaver, are seasonal. Much like in the Eastern United States, they tend to be a summer and early fall species.
Other common orb weaving spiders such as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider and Arabesque Orbweaver can be found in Alabama almost every month of the year.
The Green Lynx Spider pictured at the top of the page, is a common hunting spider that lives year round in gardens across the state. They move very quickly, explaining how the common name Lynx was given to the genus.
Alabama’s warm climate also means that the state hosts a few warm climate spider species. The Southern House Spider is one such species.
They tend to build their messy webs on the outside of buildings, including houses during spring, summer and fall. They can also move indoors and be a nuisance, although they are not spiders of medical concern.
Purseweb spiders, members of the same group as tarantulas are present in some areas of the state, although seldom seen because they live their lives underground.
Often home and garden spiders get discussed in two categories, hunters and web spiders, depending on how they obtain their food.
It’s interesting to note that many of the common house spiders such as cellar spiders and cobweb spiders fit into the web category. Add in common hunting spiders such as ground spiders and jumping spiders, and that translates into both web spiders and hunting spiders sharing space with humans on a day to day basis.
Cobweb spiders also fit into the common house spider category. The Triangulate House Spider and the Common House spider (Parasteatoda-tepidariorum) represent two cobweb spider species that rank as two of the most common house spiders from coast to coast.
The following small gallery of spiders covers a representative sample of common house spiders and lawn and garden spiders in Alabama. Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and information. The entire spider guide covers over one hundred different spider species.
Funnel Web Spider (Grass Spider)
Common House Spider
Picure of a Triangulate House Spider
Bold Jumping Spider
Golden Jumping Spider
Tan Jumping Spider
Thin-spined Jumping Spider
Twin-flagged Jumping Spider
Regal Jumping Spider
Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
Crab Spider (Mecaphesa)
Green Crab Spider
Six Spotted Orbweaver
Hentz Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Banded Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Arrowshaped micrathena Spider
Golden Silk Orbweaver
Yellow Spiny-backed Orbweaver
Red Spiny-backed Orbweaver
Spider diversity in the lawn and garden is fairly broad due to the presence of both orb weavers and jumping spiders. Because of their large size and relatively distinct colors and body patterns, orb weaving spiders are fairly easy to identify.
Jumping spiders are one of the two largest family of spiders in Alabama. Most of the species lack the distinct body patterns and colors of the orb weavers, making their identification more difficult. Additionally, they are smaller spiders, so getting pictures of them in order to highlight any patterns on the body, can also be difficult.
Having said that, the large amount of jumping spider species means that there are a sufficient number of distinct looking species that can be more easily identified.
Two types of jumping spiders, Phidippus and Habronattus1, account for about one-half of all species in the United States. The pattern probably holds true for Alabama.
Phidippus jumping spiders typically are medium sized, colorful, spider with iridescent chelicerae (jaws or he clawed pinchers). Those physical characteristics are a good first attempt at identification.
Male Habronattus jumping spiders can be colorful. Females can be a bit bland looking. The species often have chevron marks on the body. That’s the best starting point for identifying them.
The translucent green color of the Magnolia Jumping spider makes is easy to identify. Additionally, it’s the only species in the Translucent Green Jumpers genus (Lyssomanes).
Finally, it’s important to note that many common lawn and garden spiders do not show a regional bias. Whether one lives in cities such as Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile or Huntsville, or in rural areas, the types of lawn spiders such as grass spiders or funnel weavers, crab spiders, lynx spiders and others, are found in yards throughout the state.