A warm climate provides the perfect habitat for Georgia spiders. Many of the common yard and garden spiders can be found almost year round.
Unlike butterfly or dragonfly patterns, there is generally no regional divide for spiders in the state. The spiders of Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Savannah and Athens tend to be the same as the spiders of rural residential Georgia.
Woodland spiders or mountain spiders add to species diversity, however, common house and yard spiders tend to be similar.
Unfortunately that holds true for Georgia’s few poisonous spider species, especially the widow spiders.
The names for the widow spiders can be a bit misleading. Northern Widow Spiders, for example have a range that extends from north to south in the Eastern and Midwestern United States.
Except for New England and the Upper Midwest states, Southern Black Widows also have an extended range.
Only the females get classified as spiders of medical importance. Both males and females tend to have black bodies, although males and juveniles of both species tend to have white markings on the abdomen. Additionally, females are twice as large as males with a body length usually about one-half inch.
The shape of the red hourglass marking on the bottom of the abdomen represents the classic field identification clue. Northern Black Widow hourglass markings are broken in the middle. Southern Black Widow hourglass markings are complete.
Of course, most people don’t take the time to check out the shape of the hourglass.
Brown Widows can be found, coast to coast, along the southern half of the United States. Body color can change and the orange or yellow hourglass pattern serves as the key identification guide.
The large majority of bites happen when humans intrude on their web, often hidden in corners of sheds or around the lower areas of shrubs. They can be painful. Fortunately, very few cause death.
Awareness and using gloves around the yard are the best preventative measures.
The following small gallery of spiders covers a representative sample of the more beneficial, common house spiders and lawn and garden spiders in state. Without them, Georgia would truly have a bigger pest insect problem.
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)
Grass Spider Eye Arrangement
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Cobweb Spider (Theridion)
Common House Spider
Triangulate House Spider
Striped Lynx Spider
Ground Spider (Sergiolus capulaus)
Six-spotted Fishing Spider
Nursery Web Spider
Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
Crab Spider (Mecaphesa)
Yellow Spiny-backed Orbweaver
Red Spiny-backed Orbweaver
Six Spotted Orbweaver
Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona domiciliorum)
Hentz Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Arabesque Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Banded Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Arrowshaped micrathena Spider
Golden Silk Orbweaver (Banana Spider)
A couple of additional Stedota species go by the name False Widow spiders and they often wander indoors.
Wall spiders, ground spiders, funnel weavers, and cellar spiders are also commonly found in homes.
Another group of common lawn and garden spiders such as the crab spiders and lynx spider don’t often show up in the house. Think, for example, how often one might see the very common and large Green Lynx spider in the house. Green Lynx are also complimented in the garden with their smaller Striped Lynx relative.
The spiders listed under the orb weaver category, with the exception of the Golden Silk Orb Weaver, are fairly common throughout the Eastern United States. The multiple pictures of Arabesque Orbweavers and Spinybacked Orbwevers demonstrates that sometimes the color of the body does not represent the best field identification guide.
Arabesque Orbweavers, for example, are identified by the presence of the short dark slashes along the center of the abdomen.
Golden Silk Orbweavers are best known as the species that build the largest orb webs in the United States. A walk through the woods can lead to a face full of spider web for anyone not paying attention.
In addition to the Golden Silk Orb Weaver, Georgia hosts a handful of species with a regional, Southeast flair, such as the humongous Huntsman spider and the Southern House Spider, a crevice weaver that is often found on the outside of buildings.