Welcome to the Oklahoma spiders section.
The types of common house spiders and garden spiders found throughout most of the United States fall into a few different families. Oklahoma shares its space with many spider species that have a much larger geographical range.
The top picture shows a Black and Yellow Garden Spider. It’s probably one of the largest and most recognized orb weaving spiders in the state. It is also common throughout the entire United States.
These spiders are also known as a writing spider and the presence of a line of what look like “Z” markings down the web is a good field clue for spider identification.
Another Argiope species, the Banded Argiope lives in Oklahoma. It looks similar, except it has the presence of thin bands across the body.
This introduction to the spiders covers some very common house spiders and garden spiders. Space limitations mean only a few spider pictures can be presented. Please press the spiders button for additional spider pictures and spider identification help.
Common Orb Weaver Spiders of Oklahoma
Like the Writing Spiders, many Oklahoma spiders can be labeled generalists. They live in residential areas of the larger metropolitan areas such as Oklahoma City and Tulsa along with the rural areas across most of the state.
Discussions of common orb weaver spiders in Oklahoma include two additional genera, the Spotted Orbweavers and the Araneus orbweavers. Sometimes species in the two genera can be confused because they are both about the same size and they have round bodies.
Looking under the abdomen is a good initial way to identify spotted orbweavers. One common Oklahoma spotted orbweaver, (Neoscona crucifera), has a back patch and spots on the bottom of the abdomen. See the spider in the picture for a good example.
Orchard spiders are the common species in the Long-jawed Orbweavers family.
It’s medium sized, about one-half inch in length. The green legs are often the best field identification clue. Look for it in forest and woodlands. The name orchard also suggests it shows up in areas where fruit trees grow.
Spiders Around the House
The types of spiders that live around the house and garden go by some very common names such as grass spiders (funnel web spiders), wolf spiders, crab spiders, jumping spiders and lynx spiders.
Visitors interested in these spiders can press the green spiders button for additional information. The lynx spiders are presented here as one example of the group.
Basically two types of lynx spiders are present in residential areas of Oklahoma.
Larger size lynx spiders with green bodies have the natural name, Green lynx spider. They are mostly a southern species and Oklahoma is at the northern most edge of their range.
The picture shows a Striped lynx spider, Oxyopes salticus. They are smaller than green lynx spiders, but much more common in back yards. They are often found on bushes because it’s their staging ground for hunting prey. The body color can change, but the stripes along the striped down the head and body are good identification clues.
Common House Spiders in Oklahoma
Sometimes called a common house spider, the Triangulate cobweb spider (Steatoda triangulosa) is probably the quintessential house spider for the state.
Got cobwebs along the edges of the ceilings and walls of the house or back yard shed? Take a look for the spider. They are fairly small, about one-quarter inch in length. The legs are a bit longs and there are two purplish marks on the abdomen over an otherwise light color body.
Southern Black Widow spiders also belong to the larger cobweb spider family. They are present in all parts of the state, and can at least technically be labeled as house spiders. While they are not known to common inhabit indoor locations, they can be found in yards.
They tend to build their webs close to the ground near trees, shrubs and wood piles.
When the conversation turns to poisonous spiders in Oklahoma, the Brown Recluse becomes the talk of the town. Their flexible habitat habits account for most of the conversation. Why are they a concern? Primarily because they can live indoors or outdoors.
The name recluse rightly implies the spider hides from the world. It’s fairly small and flat, making it easy for the spider to wedge itself in many places. Tree bark, under boards, between rocks and other crevices are perfect homes for the spider.
The picture shows a rather drab looking spider with thin legs. The violin marking on the abdomen is the best field identification clue.
In indoor structures, including homes, they squeeze under the flaps of boxes, between cushions on chairs, along baseboards, between cracks in the floor boards or walls.
Any person but the most fainthearted can usually pick up a magnifying glass to examine one up close to confirm an identification. Rather than being unduly afraid of the spider, keep in mind they are reclusive and not prone to jump around the house and run after humans.
The real problem, of course, is that people often use their hands to move items both indoors and outdoors, scaring the unseen spider into biting them.