Wisconsin Spiders: Pictures and Identification Help

Welcome to Wisconsin spiders. An article entitled The Spider Species of the Great Lakes States does an excellent jobs listing and comparing Wisconsin spiders with the spiders of its Great Lakes neighbors. At the time of the study some 900 species were documented with Wisconsin spiders total at 563 species. This introduction to Wisconsin spiders covers a few different types. Visitors interested in further identification help can press the green spider pics button. It leads to information covering many additional spiders.

Like all states Dwarf and Sheetweb spiders rank close to the top of the list in terms of number of species. Consider them the most common types of Wisconsin spiders that noone ever sees. Size explains most of their anonymity. Most are 1/16 of an inch or less, making them practically invisible to the human eye. The video at the top of thee pagee shows a Filmy Dome spider. They belong to the sheetweb subfamily, and following the name, they build large and messy webs in shrubs. It can grow to about one quarter of an inch, excluding legs, making it one of the easiest of the sheetweb spiders to spot.

Fortunately, not all of the them are considered common house spiders. However, any spider that wanders into the house can rightly hold that label.

picture of a Broad-faced Sac Spider, Wisconsin spiders

For example, a few different spider species go by the name Sac Spider and they are known to wander into the house. The top picture shows a Broad-faced Sac Spider. It fits into the family Trachelidae, also called Ground Sac Spiders. Most can initially be identified by the all brown body.

Trachelas tranquillus is the most far ranging, and common in Wisconsin. Look for them in the yard. During fall they tend to enjoy the dryness of the house and are known for the painful, but not toxic bite.

picture of a Steatoda americana spider
Cobweb spiders get associated with common house spiders that leave messy webs along the wall. While that’s true, the cobweb spider family is huge, and many species are purely outdoor spiders.

The darker color of the body explains why the common name false widow gets applied to some of the cobweb spiders in the genus Steatoda. These spiders often wander indoors. That’s good to know because the odds are very low any indoor cobweb spider is the black widow or brown widow.

The picture shows Steatoda amricana, the Two-spotted or American Steatoda.

For additional information on common house spiders and poisonous spiders, please press the green Spider Pics button.

picture of a Marbled Orbweaver
Obweavers are definitely outdoor spiders and they are very common in back yards across Wisconsin. The spider survey lists over three dozen diffeent species. Names such as spotted orbweavers and black and yellow garden spiders sound familiar to many people.

The genus Araneus also provides a handful of common back yard spiders, starting with the brightly colored Marbled Orbweaver.

picture of a Shamrock Orbweaver
Shamrock Orbweaver. With that name, one might expect a spider with a green body. In fact, this is one of the most colorful of the Araneus spiders. Female bodies come in a variety of colors including green, red, orange, brown, tan and gray.

The circles on the abdomen and the banded legs are good field identification guides.

picture of a Giant Lichen Orbweaver spider
Giant Lichen Orbweavers rightly get their name because female bodies can grow over an inch in length. The green patterned abdomen makes them easy to see and identify.

picture of a Wolf Spider in the Hogna genus
Wolf spiders in the Hogna genus rank as the largest Wolf Spiders and four different species are documented in Wisconsin.

They are often found in fields. The size of the spider along with the light marking on the side of the head suggests this is a Hogna species.

Wisconsin Spiders: Jumping Spiders


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

picture of a Jumping Spider, Pelegrina galathea
Peppered Jumping Spider

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

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

picture of a Bold Jumping Spider, Phidippus audux
Bold Jumping Spider

picture of a Jumping Spider
Phidippus clarus

picture of a Jumping Spider, Phidippus princeps
Phidippus princeps

picture of a Whitman's Jumping Spider,
Phidippus whitmani

Jumping spiders inhabit back yards, fields, forests and almost every other habitat in Wisconsin. Like most states, with the exception of Sheetweb spiders, jumping spiders accound for the highest number of spider species in the state.

The pictures shows ten common jumping spider species. Phidippus species tend to be the easiest to identify because of the bright colors and average size. Here are three additional species common in Wisconsin without pictures:

  • Phidippus apacheanus
  • Phidippus borealis
  • Phidippus purpuratus
Often photographers enjoy taking macro pictures of them highlighting green chelicerae or jaws.

Paraphidippus species, as the name suggests, are related to Phidippus. They tend to be average size. Unlike Phidippus, they do not have green jaws.