Welcome to Connecticut spiders. According to a checklist published by the American Arachnological Society in 1981, there are approximately five hundred and fifty documented spiders in Connecticut. This introduction covers a few of the most common spider families found in residential areas and parks around the state.
Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and information. The entire spider guide covers over one hundred different spider species.
Interest in spider identification increased over the past forty plus years and no doubt the number of spiders in the state is larger than the estimate. However, it’s a good start. Consider the Orb Weaving family. A citizen science project, Inaturalist, have documented close to forty different species around the state. The checklist only has eight species listed. Orb weavers rank among the easiest of all the Connecticut spiders to identify because of their more definitive body colors and patterns. Plus, they stay stationary for most of the day, making them easy to photograph. Of course there is always a caveat.
There are over thirty genera of orbweavers documented across the United States and species from most of them are found in the state. The top video shows a member of the Cyclosa genus, best known as trashline orbweavers. They rank as the smallest of the orb weavers growing between one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch in length. The video was taken with a macro lens to highlight the spider’s conical body.
Their webs are build close to the ground in shrubby areas and within the web they build what is common called a trashline. It’s filled with all sorts of stuff such as caught prey and bark. The spider sits in wait among the trash. Scientists hypothesize that the line is used as comouflage. Keep an eye out near the ground for the trashline in order to spot the spider.
The Araneus genus provides Connecticut with its most diverse Orbweaver group. The Marbled Orbweaver pictured is one of approximately six very common species, including others with common names such as the Cross Orbweaver and Shamrock Orbweaver.
They are normally summer spiders that vanish by fall, leaving their egg sacs protected for overwintering.
Yellow and Black garden Spider: One of two common garden spiders in the genus argiope. Also known as writing spiders, the presence of a series of “Zs” on the web are a good identification clue.
Both the Yellow and Black and Banded Garden spiders are probably the largest orb weaving spiders found in back yards throughout the state.
The dark slash marks down the center of the abdomen are he best identification clues for the Arabesque Orbweaver. They belong to the Spotted Orbweaver genus, Neoscona.
All three of the native Larinoisdes species can be found in Connecticut. They are one of the few overwintering genus of orbweavers.
The following two pictures show their relatively dull color bodies. First up is the Gray Cross Spider.
Second, the Furrow Orbweaver in this next picture.
Generally, body looks kind of shiny. he pattern on the body can change but the darker edges are a good Identification clue.
Humpbacked Orbweavers, another smaller member of the family, usually grow to about one-third an inch in length. Identification can be tough because the body color and pattern can change.
Stripes down the abdomen of the Difoliate Orbweaver (Acacesia hamata) make this an easy to identify orb weaving spider species. Finding one might be a bit more difficult than identifying one. They are summer spiders that build webs at night. They rest during the day.
The Basilica Orbweaver (Mecynogea lemniscata) might easily be confused with the more common Orchard Orbweaver were it not for the web. The common name Basilica comes from the fact that it builds a dome shaped web that hangs horizontally rather than the traditional flat vertical web of most Orb Weavers.
By way of introduction, the jumping spiders rank as one of the two larges spider families in the United States, along with the sheetweavers. Both the Connecticut spiders checklist and Inaturalist project document around forty different species. Back yards in Connecticut will often host a nice diversity of jumping spiders. The five most common types of jumping spiders documented to date are:
- Bold Jumping Spider
- Tan Jumping Spider
- Zebra Jumping Spider
- Dimorphic Jumping Spider
- Bronze Jumping Spider
The second column covers some very common house spiders. It starts with a grass spider. They belong to the funnel weavers and morning dew highlights their funnel web in the yard. During late summer a wandering male or two often wander into the house.
While most residents are familiar with the black widow spiders, with bites from the female considered a medical issue, most residents typically do not cross paths with them. At most, they can take up lodging in backyard woodpiles or under outdoor furniture. A careful examination of the backyard environment is often sufficient to insure a safe place for the family.
Yellow sac spiders and false widows that also find their way indoors during the season. The bite of the Yellow sac spider can be a bit painful. From afar, false widows can be confused with black widows. However, they are not considered spiders of medical importance.
Bold Jumping Spider
Golden Jumping Spider
Sylvana Jumping Spider
Tan Jumping Spider
Thin-spined Jumping Spider
White-cheeked Jumping Spider
Peppered Jumping Spider
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Triangulate House Spider
Common House Spider
Yellow Sac Spider