Welcome to Nebraska spiders. Unlike the worlds of birds, butterflies and dragonflies, a comprehensive state listing of spider species remains on someone’s drawing board.
An introduction to spiders in the state begins with a review of common house spiders, starting with the domestic house spider, also called a barn funnel weaver, (Tegenaria domestica). The formal name suggests an indoor spider. The build their webs in basements and corners of the house that get less traffic. Nebraska being farm country, they also occupy many a barn in the state.
Two types of poisonous spiders, the black and brown widows plus the Brown Recluse spider also lead the list of common house spider questions in the state.
While many species of cobweb spiders, the same family as the widow spiders, are common household spiders, generally speaking the widow spiders tend be be outdoor species.
They build messy webs in woodpiles around the house, corners of barns, garden sheds and other areas or stationary objects that don’t get much human traffic. Keeping an eye out for the webs and black bodied females around the yard is the best preventative measure for keeping safe.
Brown recluse spiders can be found in the Southeast corner of the state. Fortunately they tend to avoid human contact unless forced to by humans who quickly put on shoes or clothes without checking for spiders.
Presssing the green Spider Pics button leads to a series of articles that starts with the most common house spiders.
Many of the common yard spiders have a wide range and they can be found in large urban and suburban centers such as Lincoln and Omaha as well as the more rural areas of the state.
Because of their typically orange bodies, Marbled Orbweavers sometimes go by the name pumpkin spiders. Less well known is the fact that some bodies have a yellow version.
They and other species with familiar names such as spotted orbweavers and black and yellow garden spiders, are common in yards around the state.
Both Western and striped Lynx spiders inhabit most yards and fields across Nebraska. Look for them on shrubs and low hanging leaves. The picture shows a Striped Lynx Spider.
Many people don’t think diversity when they thing crab spiders. Actually, there are around one hundred and thirty species documented in the United States.
Nebraska probably has its fair share of crab spider species. Typically the larger and more colorful species tend to get noticed while they sit on flowers in the garden and wait for prey to stop by.
In terms of identification tips, eye pattern rather than body color often is the best way to differentiate between species. Goldenrod Crab Spiders or Flower Crab Spiders (pictured) (Misumena), can come in shades of white and yellow bodies.
Jumping Spiders of Nebraska
While jumping spiders are the most diverse family of spiders in back yards across Nebraska, no definitive list of them exists.
Identifying jumping spiders to the family is easy. They are small spiders that jump among the bushes and ground. Four binocular eyes on the front of the face stare out at everyone and everything around them.
Species level identification moves to the somewhat easy category with a few caveats.
The United States hosts over three hundred jumping spider species. Some look like ants and without the aid of a magnifying glass or strong macro lens for the camera, they go unnoticed. Best starting advice for jumping spider identification is to note that with the exception of a handful of experts, there’s really no good way to identify all the species and all the genera.
Fortunately, some back yard jumping spiders are easier to identify than others.
When it comes to the Phidippus species, think medium sized, colorful, spider with iridescent chelicerae (jaws or clawed pinchers) and that’s a good first attempt at identification.
Paraphidippus, as the name implies, are related to Phidippus. Like Phidippus, most species are sufficiently sized to be visible to the eyes. Unlike Phidippus, they tend to be less colorful and they lack the green jaws.
The pictures shows ten common Nebraska jumping spiders. Colum 1 show the more colorful Phidippus and one Paraphidippus. Column 2 shows representative species from other genera.
Bold Jumping Spider
Phidippus whitmani forest leaf litter
Golden Jumping Spider (Paraphidippus)
Tan Jumping Spider
Thin-spined Jumping Spider
White-cheeked Jumping Spider
Peppered Jumping Spider
White-jawed Jumping Spider