Indiana Spiders: Pictures and Identification

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picture of the eye formation for a nursery web spider, part of the Indiana spiders collection

Welcome to Indiana spiders. With about four hundred documented spider species in the state, the introduction to Indiana spider identification begins with the basic reminder that some types of spiders are easy to identify. Other types of spiders, well, not so easy to identify.

The first section deals with some not so easy to identify spiders, wolf spiders and nursery web spiders. Typically the way females carry the egg sac serves to distinguish the two types of spiders. Female wolf spiders carry the egg sac on the bottom of the abdomen. Female nursery web spiders carry the egg sac in the mouth.

What happens when there are no egg sacs to help with ID? Well, because their bodies often change appearance to blend in with the environment, the number of brown to gray colored spiders makes for very confusing identification.

With few exceptions, it would be easy to confuse a variety of wolf spiders and some of the nursery web spider species.

Eye pattern represents the first spider identification clue when deciding between families. The picture at the top of the page, for example, shows a spider with two rows of eyes. That’s the basic form for members of the nursery web spider category.

picture of the eye formation for a wolf spider, part of the Indiana spiders collection
The next picture shows an eye pattern of four eyes on the bottom row and two rows of two eyes each. That’s they typical eye pattern for wolf spiders.

Identifying wolf spiders by body pattern is almost a non-starter because most of the approximately two hundred and forty species look very similar. Their looks can also change over time.

Consider thin-legged wolf spiders, the most common group of wolf spiders. One might think that the presence of thin legs would be a good field identification clue.

Actually, another group of spiders, Acantholycosa, also has thin legs. The difference between the two is the number of tibial spines, or hair like protrusions from the tibia on the first leg.

Accurate identification of thin legged spiders requires the use of a macro lens to get a picture that shows the spines on the tibia.

picture of Hogna frondicola, one of the larger wolf spiders
Size might help with identification of some wolf spiders. Species in the Hogna and Tigrosa genera, expecially the females, have bodies between three-quarters of an inch and one and one-half inches.

They are the largest of the wolf spider species. The picture shows Hogna frondicola, an Indiana wolf spider species with no common name.

picture of a wolf spider with a brown body
The following three pictures show similar sized spiders with muted color bodies. The easiest identification is that a brown wolf spider is pictured above.

picture of a wolf spider with a gray body
Wolf spider with a gray body.

picture of a Banded Fishing Spider, dolomedes-vittatus
Banded Fishing Spider, member of the nursery web spider family.

Indiana spiders that fit into the common house spiders and common lawn and garden spiders category can be a bit easier to identify.

Most of the orb weaving spiders, crab spiders, lynx spiders and ground spiders that make their homes in the yard are fairly easy to identify.

Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and information covering them. The entire spider guide covers over one hundred different spider species.

The following set of spiders pictures covers a representative sample of jumping spiders in Indiana.

Jumping Spiders
picture of a Bold Jumping Spider
Bold Jumping Spider

picture of a Canopy Jumping Spider,
Canopy Jumping Spider

picture of a Cardinal Jumping Spider,
Cardinal Jumping Spider

picture of a Jumping Spider, Phidippus Clarus
Phidippus Clarus Jumping Spider

picture of a Jumping Spider, Phidippus princeps
Phidippus princeps Jumping Spider

picture of a Golden Jumping Spider, Paraphidippus aurantius
Golden Jumping Spider

Jumping Spiders
picture of a Jumping Spider, (Platycryptus undatus)
Tan Jumping Spider

picture of a Thin-spined Jumping Spider, (Tutelina elegans)
Thin-spined Jumping Spider

picture of a White-cheeked Jumping Spider, (Pelegrina proterva)
White-cheeked Jumping Spider (Pelegrina proterva)

picture of a Jumping Spider,
Peppered Jumping Spider (Pelegrina galathea)

picture of a Jumping Spider, (Hentzia mitrata)
White-jawed Jumping Spider (Hentzia mitrata)

picture of a Jumping Spider, Bronze Jumper
Bronze Jumping Spider

Like other states, jumping spiders are probably the largest group of spiders in Indiana apart from the sheetweb spiders. Truth be told, not too many people pay attention to sheetweb spiders. On the other hand, many people enjoy seeing the jumping spiders in the back yard and wan to get pictures.

Species in the Genus Habronattus are very plentiful in terms of species numbers. However, the number of females with dull colors on the body means that most people do not identify them.

Phidippus are probably the easiest jumping spider species to identify. They have iridescent jaws and colorful bodies. The Golden Jumping Spider (Paraphidippus aurantius) looks similar to the Phidippus species, except it lacks the iridescent jaws.

The remaining species in the gallery span a wide variety of genera. They are often very small and the use of a macro lens to take their pictures will bring out sufficient body patterns to help with identification.

Jumping spiders can be found on the ground, on the branches of the shrubs in the yard or in the tree canopies. Search all those areas to properly document the yard’s spider diversity.