The southern location coupled with abundant water makes Louisiana spiders a year round phenomena, in the home and in the yard or other outdoor locations.
Despite their usual habitat preferences, the common house spiders and outdoor spiders in Louisiana divide into both the web spider and hunting spider categories, depending on their prey hunting method.
Traditionally the web spiders such as cobweb spiders and cellar spiders get linked to the common house spider category. Two cobweb spiders, Triangulate house spiders and Common house spiders top the list of most common house spiders found in homes throughout the state. Cobweb spiders in the genus Stedota go by the name False Widow spiders. They occasionally wander indoors.
That leaves the widow spiders of the Genus Latrodectus to discuss. They are the most common of all the poisonous spiders in the state and are almost always found outdoors.
Most people are familiar with the Black Widow spiders. Females of the species are spiders of medical importance and can be identified by the all black shiny body with the red hour glass marking on the bottom of the abdomen.
Brown widow spiders also are a cause of concern in the state. Generally they have a brown body with an orange hour glass marking on the bottom of the abdomen as shown in the picture.
The city of New Orleans provides a public caution on the Brown Widow saying,
In New Orleans, these spiders and their egg sacs have been found under trashcan handles, sinks, traffic cones, as well as undisturbed machinery and furniture.
Learning more about how to identify the different types of cobweb spiders in the house can be as easy at attaching a small, inexpensive macro lens onto the smart phone and comparing pictures.
Rounding out the poisonous spiders category common in and around homes, LSU says of the brown recluse,
In Louisiana, brown recluses are common in the northern half of the state approximately north of a line drawn through Alexandria. The species is exceedingly uncommon in southern Louisiana.
Louisiana’s southern location also means that other regional spiders such as the Southern House spider live year round, mostly on the outdoor walls of homes and buildings.
They belong to a group of web spiders called Crevice Weavers. Males are brown and females are black. They are not known as spiders of medical importance. However, their above average size makes them nuisances.
Another Southern specialty spider, the large and scary looking Huntsman’s spider. They grow up to fine inches in length and can often be found around the home and garden. They rank as the largest of Louisiana spiders hands down. Fortunately they are not considered spiders of medical importance.
Visitors interested in additional common house spider information and pictures are invited to press the green spiders button at the top of the page.
A variety of web spiders, especially the orb weavers also inhabit yards around the state.
Species from three genera, Araneus, Writing Spiders and Spotted Orbweavers are the most common. The picture shows an Arabesque Orbweaver, the most wide-spread of the three very common spotted orbweaver species in the state. The dark slash marks down the center of the abdomen are the best identification clues.
Banana spiders, another Southern specialty species also can be common in many areas of the state. Their thin orange or yellow bodies, along with the giant sized webs, make them very easy to identify.
The video at the top of the page shows the very common Spinybacked Orbweaver. The bright white or yellow body with six spikes sticking out make it very easy to identify.
Tan Jumping Spider
Bold Jumping Spider
Canopy Jumping Spider
Cardinal Jumping Spider
Thin-spined Jumping Spider
Twin-flagged Jumping Spider
White-cheeked Jumping Spider
Peppered Jumping Spider
White-jawed Jumping Spider
Bronze Jumping Spider
Four Lined Jumping Spider
Magnolia Green Jumping Spider
Golden Jumping Spider
Apart from the sheetweaving spiders, Jumping Spiders are the most common back yard Louisiana spiders in terms of diversity. While they produce silk to help them jump up and down bushes and other common lawn fixtures, they belong to the hunting spider category.
The sixteen jumping spiders presented serve as a sample of representative species. Plus they are also some of the easily seen and identified species in both urban and rural residential areas.
In fact, apart from the Phidippus species that can grow up to one-half inch in length, many of Louisiana’s jumping spiders grow around a quarter inch and therefore go unnoticed. For example, note the ant mimic (Metacyrba taeniola) in the first picture. It’s an easy one to miss.
Color also helps with identification. The spiders in the first column with red bodies all belong to the genus Phidippus. Some do not have common names. A larger than average jumping spider with red coloration can easily be identified to genera.
The translucent green color of the Magnolia Jumping spider and the stark green body of the Golden jumper makes for easy identification.
Other hunting spiders with common names such as wolf spiders, fishing spiders and crab spiders also inhabit urban and rural areas throughout the state. Additionally a small population of tarantulas can be found in the western and northwestern areas of the state.
Along with the larger wolf spiders in the Hogna genus, they rank as the second largest spiders in the state.
Please press the green spiders button for additional pictures and identification tips covering these and other spiders.