Maine has its own state endangered species act with various beetles, butterflies and dragonflies listed.
No spider is designated as the official state spider and no Maine spiders are listed as endangered or threatened. The best guess for the absence is probably the fact that spiders lack the large, enthusiastic audience that devotes time and energy into documenting the state’s other invertebrate species.
Lack of enthusiasm among the general bird and butterfly enthusiasts for compiling lists and pictures of spiders means spider documentation and identification in Maine is not overly comprehensive.
Most interest in Maine spiders comes from people seeking spider identification help based on species found in the home or garden. With few exceptions, all Maine spiders ought to be treated with more respect. They are beneficial insects that spend their limited number of days in the state ridding the population of excess insect pests.
Common orb weavers, for example, usually do not show up in back yard gardens until June or July. They could be gone by the beginning of September. Same pattern holds for smaller hunting spiders such as the colorful flower Crab Spiders. They can show up on flowers in the back yard during May. By September most are gone.
The top picture shows a Dimorphic Jumping Spider, one of the first spiders of spring.
Like most places in the east, writing spiders, spotted orbweavers and Araneus spiders tend to be the dominant ob weaving species in many suburban backyards as well as being easy to identify.
A handful of common orbweaving spiders with pointed bodies also get listed. Like Arabesque Orbweavers, Spinybacked Orbweavers can assume different colors. They still are one species.
Cold weather tends to drive spiders indoors in Maine. Common house spiders such as cellar spiders and cobweb spiders can be found year round. Other species such as grass spiders and jumping spiders may wander into the home during the late summer and early fall.
The following spider pictures covers some common house spiders and lawn and garden spiders in Maine.
Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and information. The larger spider field guide covers over one hundred different spider species.
Funnel Web Spider (Grass Spider)
Grass Spider Eye Arrangement
Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Common House Spider
Triangulate House Spider
Striped Lynx Spider
Picture of a Ground Spider (Sergiolus capulaus)
Six-spotted Fishing Spider
Nursery Web Spider
Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
Six Spotted Orbweaver
Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona domiciliorum)
Hentz Orbweaver (Neoscona)
Banded Garden Spider
Black and Yellow Garden Spider
Arrowshaped micrathena Spider
Maine: Common House Spiders
A handful of common house spiders belong to the cobweb spiders category. The Triangulate House Spider and the Common House spider (Parasteatoda-tepidariorum) represent two cobweb spider species that rank as two of the most common Maine house spiders.
A couple of additional Stedota species go by the name False Widow spiders and they often wander indoors. While their bodies have dark colors, they lack the hourglass pattern.
Maine represents close to the northern most range for the Northern Widow Spiders. 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.
Grass spiders also known as funnel weavers, often wander inside the house. Outside the house, early morning dew often brings out their funnel webs in the yard.
Over one hundred species have been documented, most with a limited, regional range. Most species also look very similar with thin, striped brown bodies. The long spinnerets at the end of the abdomen help differentiate them from the wolf spiders.
As mentionedd above, Maine’s Crab spiders usually tend to the flowers around the house rather than wandering indoors. Three genera of so called flower crab spiders come in a variety of colors. Body color is often white or yellow and stripes on the body are also common.
For identification purposes, sometimes body color and patterns are misleading. Eye patterns and body hair are the proper way to identify them.
Nursery Web Spiders and Fishing Spiders can also be found near residential areas, although with less frequency than other types of spiders.
Consider them hardy spiders that come out during the spring. Identification starts by recognizing general body pattern, bland color and medium sized. The spots on the abdomen of the Six-spotted fishing spider make it fairly easy to identify.
To the untrained eye, they can look like wolf spiders or grass spiders.