Welcome to Connecticut spiders. There is no easily accessible checklist for the state that comes close to the thoroughness of checklists for birds and butterflies.
This presentation focuses on the most common house spiders and lawn and garden spiders in the state. It starts with the orb weavers. They 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 orbweavers 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 whaat 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.
The following group of spider pictures shows additional common house spiders and garden spiders in the state. Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and information. The entire spider guide covers over one hundred different spider species.
Bold Jumping Spider
Golden Jumping Spider
Sylvana Jumping Spider
Tan Jumping Spider
Thin-spined Jumping Spider
White-cheeked Jumping Spider
Peppered Jumping Spider
Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
Crab Spider (Mecaphesa)
Western Lynx Spider
Six-spotted Fishing Spider
Nursery Web Spider
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Triangulate House Spider
Common House Spider
Yellow Sac Spider
Striped Lynx Spider
By way of introduction, the jumping spiders rank as one of the two larges spider families in the United States, along with the sheetweavers.
Other than from experts, the sheetweavers don’t receive much attention. Jumping spiders, however, come across as having personality. Maybe it’s the binocular eyes and their constant movement.
In any event, back yards in Connecticut will often host a nice diversity of jumping spiders.
Two yellow sac spiders are fairly common and can be found both outdoors and indoors in residential neighborhoods. Beware, there are many accounts of a painful bite associated with the spider. Thankfully they have never been listed as a spider of medical importance.
Despite the name Western Lynx spider, it, along with the Striped lynx, can be found in Connecticut yards and gardens throughout most of the year.