Spiders in Alabama: How to Identify

In the list of spiders in Alabama, there are a few venomous spiders, but the rest serve as free, safe, and efficient pest control.

Avoid the first two spiders on this list, and give the remainder as much breathing room as possible.

Black widow spiders in Alabama
Front close-up of a Brown Recluse spider. Photo credit:Shutterstock.com/Sari O’Neal.

Black widow spiders in Alabama.

Black widow spiders in Alabama are the easiest spider to identify. But, unfortunately, black widow spiders are also the most horrifying spider to identify up close and personal. The fear of the hourglass-shaped spider’s bite is world-renowned throughout the temperate regains of the entire world.

In many articles on black widow spiders in Alabama, the author suggests that the reports of their venom and the inherent dangers of encountering black widow spiders are deemed “over-rated.”

That’s not true. Indeed, the black widow spider is nasty and potentially fatal to young and elderly humans. Therefore, any helpful article will recommend they be avoided, and those who live where black widow spiders reside can identify and avoid them.

The black widow spider in North America can also be red (Latrodectus bishopi ) or brown (Latrodectus geometricus). Despite their color, female black widows have dark-colored and easily identified reddish hourglass markings on the central underside. Only the female has a bite hazardous to humans.

Black widow spiders in Alabama: Fascinating facts.

A study conducted in the 1950s found that 80% of black widow spider bites happened to men, most of whom were bit on the penis. Ouch! Why? 

As reported in IFLScience.com, “Most of the black widow bites that were reported happened in outhouses. 

“So black widow spiders enjoy dark, low-to-the-ground sort of places. They especially love to make their cobwebs between two objects,” she explained, adding that bugs and flies love the stink of outhouses and made their home in the privvy bowls.

“So putting your web there is excellent. So imagine this. It’s the 1950s. You’re a dude. You need to go number two. You make your way out to the outhouse. You sit down, and your junk hangs there.”

“And as it does, it hits the cobweb. And the usually non-aggressive black widow instinctually runs over and bites down on the new creature that has landed on its web.”

Since bathrooms began moving indoors, the problem (disproportionate targeting of men and penises) seems to have gone away. Their bites today are rarely fatal, with the majority resolving without treatment and others being treatable in hospitals. “

Need any more reasons to fear black widow spiders?

Related: How long do ants live?

Related: What do ants eat?

Brown recluse spiders in Alabama
Front close-up of a Brown Recluse spider. Photo credit:Shutterstock.com/Sari O’Neal.

Positively identifying brown recluse spiders in Alabama.

Identifying brown recluse spiders in Arkansas begins by considering where you have found the spider in question.

Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are commonly found in the Southern Central and Midwestern states. Sure, you could be looking at a traveler who has hitched a ride north, further east, or west. However, that spider is well outside its native territory. Indeed, it will never procreate enough to become an actual problem on the level of an infestation.

Traveling spiders (like the Hobo spider) sometimes enter and inhabit new regions. But the brown recluse spider won’t survive such migrations.

Brown recluse spiders: The eyes have it!

Adult brown recluse spiders in Alabama are about the size of an American quarter (nearly an inch). Surprisingly, they are brown or tannish in color. Their abdomens and legs have no bands, mottling, stripes, or visible spines.

Don’t forget that they neither play violins or fiddles nor possess images of such musical instruments in markings or tattoos.

What sets the brown recluse spider in Alabama apart from most other spiders you will encounter? First, they only have six eyes!

Retake a look at the close-up photo above. You’ll see that brown recluse spiders have a semi-circular eye arrangement (three sets of two), but most spiders have eight eyes. 

Okay, I’ll admit that counting the number of tiny eyes on an inch-long spider is difficult. And no one has a magnifying glass at home, which is readily available anymore. So grab that iPhone, snap a photo, and zoom in on the spider’s face.

The slanting legs of the brown recluse spider in Alabama.

Brown recluse spiders are rather plain with uniformly tan or brown abdomens, but their legs (which lack spines, as noted above) are covered in fine hairs. In addition, these legs are slanted (hence the scientific name Loxosceles, meaning slanted legs in Latin).

Brown recluse soldiers in Alabama do not walk funny; instead, the rest with their legs slanted.

Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittate) orb weaver spider in Alabama
Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittate) orb weaver spider isolated on a white background. Photo credit: Shuttrstock.com/Sean McVey

The Arrowshaped Micrathena spiders in Alabama: Identification.

The Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata) is an orb weaver from the Family Araneidae. They are best known for their “rock guitar” resemblance.

Females of this species in Alabama possess dazzling hues, such as red, black, and yellow. The top surface is typically a vibrant yellow, while the three pairs of tubercles are tipped with jet black at the base and blood red near their apex. Directly behind these tubercles lie two large protrusions that protrude outward just enough to create an arrow-shaped body – one could even imagine it resembles a classical “Flying V” electric guitar!

The females can grow to about ½ inch (excluding legs).

Basilica orb weaver spider in Alabama
Small Basilica Orbweaver Spider of the species Mecynogea lemniscata. Photo credit: Shutterstock .com/Vinicius R. Souza

Basilica Orb Weaver: Named for its treacherous web.

The Basilica orb weaver spider (Mecynogea lemniscata) is remarkable – its body length measures only half an inch. It sports a brown hue, except for the top of its abdomen, which boasts striking white wavy lines with thin red bands within them and black and yellow markings decorating the middle.

The Basilica orb weaver in Alabama gets its name because of its dome-shaped web part. The whole web maybe 20 inches across. Its spiderlings weave perfect orb webs. As they mature, spiderlings spin more specialized webs like adults. Like many orb-weaving spiders, it removes its web at the start of each day (It seems to me like a lot of effort to have to spin a new web each night!).

The basilica orb weaver spider in Alabama takes a unique approach to clean her web. She wraps the old one tightly around her egg mass every time she lays eggs, and it looks like strings of beads or tubes with “beads” consisting of egg masses.

Giant lichen orb weaver spiders in Alabama
Giant Lichen Orb Weaver. Large orb weaver spider, on spider web in tree. Isolated closeup. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Cathleen Wake Gorbatenko

Giant lichen orb weaver spider in Alabama: Identiofication.

The Giant Lichen Orb weaver (Araneus bicentenarius) is a species of orb weaver in the family Araneidae. Its bite is not medically significant. The giant lichen orb weaver occurs in the Eastern part of the United States and Southeastern Canada.

Giant lichen orb weaver spiders in Alabama are gray, black, orange, or white with legs. All femora have uniquely marked dark and light-colored bands with an orange base. The alternating black and white stripes on each leg make the insect’s body visually striking.

Adult female Giant lichen orb weavers can be up to 1 inch long.

Red-legged purseweb spiders in Alabama
Red-legged purseweb spider (Sphodros rufipes). Males such as this one wander around in search of mates while the females remain inside their purse-like webs, waiting for prey. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Gerry Bishop

Red-legged purseweb spiders in Alabama: Identification

Red-legged purseweb spiders (Sphodros rufipes) typically construct their webs on hardwood trees, yet they are also encountered in grassy vegetation and urban structures. These arachnids inhabit temperate forests and other heavily populated areas alike.

Red-legged purseweb spiders in Alabama are easily recognizable due to their robust body and short, strong legs that lay close to the ground. Characteristically, they have two segments: a black-colored cephalothorax at the front and an abdomen behind it.

The hind of the cephalothorax is flat while its anterior slopes upward towards its twelve appendages – one pair of chelicerae, one pair of pedipalps, and four pairs of legs – all connected to the arachnid’s cephalothorax.

The top section of the cephalothorax is known as the carapace, while its ventral side is dubbed the sternum. Attached to this section’s front is a pair of chelicerae consisting of a basal segment and an agile fang.

In this species, these structures are notably large (taking up approximately ½ length of the carapace) and serve multiple purposes – capture prey, protect against danger, and grip items for holding.

The red-legged purseweb spiders in Alabama are equipped with two sets of venomous glands in their cephalothorax which they use to bite and poison prey. Their coal-black eyes sit close together on the front end of their carapace, along with three pairs of abdominal spinnerets that help them create tubes for nesting purposes. This species is well-outfitted to thrive!

Ravine trapdoor spiders in Alabama
Ravine trapdoor spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Keung

Ravine trapdoor spiders.

Ravine trapdoor spiders (Cyclocosmia truncata) are a species of Cyclocosmia with truncated opisthosomas that end in a heavily sclerotized round plate or disc similar to a manhole cover.

This “manhole” allows the Ravine trapdoor spider to seal off the open end of their burrow when attacked.

The female ravine trapdoor spiders in Alabama measure 1.2 inches in length, while the males clock in at a mere 0.75 inches long, sporting brown bodies – similar to many other Cyclocosmia species.

Trapdoor spiders, such as tarantulas and their ilk, live in tunnels they burrow beneath the earth and cover with a trapdoor. Generally, these creatures do not leave their abode but rather wait behind closed doors at night for unsuspecting prey to pass by – then they leap out and seize them.

Trapdoor spiders in Alabama lead stationary lifestyles, making them especially susceptible to predators and parasites that can quickly locate their burrows. However, species of the Cyclocosma have developed a remarkable physiological adaptation due to this evolutionary pressure.

The spider’s abdomen appears to be cut off abruptly as if it were truncated. A heavily sclerotized disc covers this region and creates a false bottom when the spider is inactive in its burrow. This impenetrable surface fits perfectly with the tunnel walls, ensuring their safety even when not active.

Black lace-weaver spiders in Alabama
Close up macro on soft focus background of a female Black Lace Weaver Spider standing guard over her egg sack, spider silk covering the ground where she protects her precious hoard. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Wildsmith_Westwood.

Black Lace-weaver spiders in Alabama: Identification.

Amaurobius ferox, sometimes known as the black lace-weaver, is a common nocturnal spider belonging to the family Amaurobiidae and genus Amaurobius.

The fascinating thing about this spider?

After hatching, the Black lace-weaver in Alabama is a matriphagous species, meaning their offspring devour her in cannibalism.

This species of black lace-weaver is distinctive for its size, with females ranging from .4–.6 inches in body length and males slightly smaller at .3-.4 inches. Presenting a dark color palette including black, brown, dark red, and tan tones, the abdomen has light yellow markings that resemble an eerie skull mask or ghoulish pattern.

Habitat and distribution of the Black Lace-weaver

In springtime, adult males of the black lace-weaver species are likely to be discovered indoors while searching for a mate. But, conversely, adult females can be found inside or outside year round! These creatures generally favor dark and humid places like underneath logs, in cellars, and in crevices tucked away beneath stones or worn-out walls.

long-legged sac spider in Alabama
Long-legged sac spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Swayam_Thakkar.

Long-Legged Sac Spider in Alabama: Description

The Long-legged Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei) hails from Cheiracanthiidae and is more famously known as the Northern Yellow Sac spider – a title it shares with many other spiders in its genus.

Characterized by its paler green or tan hue, the Long-legged Sac spider in Alabama has darker brown palpi and chelicerae, making it easily distinguishable from other spider species.

Generally measuring between 0.3-0.4 inches in length, the long-legged sac spider is equipped with double claws at the end of each leg, the front pair being notably more extended than the rest (up to two times as long).

White-banded fishing spiders in Alabama
A gray White-banded Fishing Spider (Dolomedes albineus) blends in with the texture of the knothole in a tree. These spiders are semi-aquatic and harmless to humans. This specimen only has seven legs. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Brett Hondow

White-Banded fishing spiders in Alabama: Description.

Uniquely patterned with a broad spectrum of colors ranging from gray to tan and yellowish green to rusty brown – the prominent white band quickly identifies them along the front edge of their face just above their chelicerae (fangs).

The White-banded fishing spider in Alabama may take on a greenish or olive hue often seen on its upper surface, while some individuals can have white carapaces (heads). In addition, the stiff hairs covering their legs are usually pale and stand at sharp angles to create an effect similar to bristles – making them look exceptionally spiky.

Length (not including legs): ⅞ inch (females); ⅝ inch (males).

White-Banded fishing spider: Habitat.

This species and the dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) are the two fishing spiders most likely to be found away from the water. The white-banded fishing spider is especially noted for its habit of resting on vertical surfaces such as walls and tree trunks. Look for it in stream bottom habitats and other moderately moist areas. Fishing spiders do not spin webs except to create and secure egg cases.

Insects (both aquatic and nonaquatic) and other small prey. Because the White-banded fishing spider typically ventures pretty far from water, it captures insects as it explores the surfaces of tree trunks, walks across the ground, and so on: flies, moths, beetles, mayflies, and other insects.

White-Banded fishing spiders in Alabama, as a group, are semiaquatic, typically resting and walking on the surface of the water and able to feel the vibrations of insects that have fallen accidentally into the water. Fishing spiders then usually rush across the water’s surface to nab prey. The white-banded fishing spider, however, reportedly is rarely seen hunting on the water this way.

Dark fishing spiders in Alabama
Fishing spider with egg sac.

Dark Fishing spiders in Alabama: Description.

The dark fishing spider in Alabama is typically brown with three visible black W-shaped marks, each of which ends in a lighter brown mark and strips on its legs. Females’ bodies are .6 to .9 inches long, and their leg span ranges from 2 to 3.5 inches.

Brown and black rings band on the third segment of the legs, and reddish-brown and black bands are on the fifth.

Unlike most spiders, dark fishing spiders hold their legs straight out. Dark fishing spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows of four each, but the wolf spiders they are often mistaken for their set in three rows, with the largest eyes in the middle row.

The Dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) can be told apart from the Striped fishing spider (Dolomites scriptus) by the Striped fishing spiders’ unbroken white borders around their W-shaped markings. 

The Dark Fishing spider in Alabama is in the Family Pisauridae (nursery and fishing spiders) and the order Araneae, but it isn’t always found near water.

The dark fishing spider’s larger leg span (sometimes as much as 3.5 inches) and coloration often make it mistaken for a tarantula or a world spider. However, the bite of a dark fishing spider is not medically significant to humans.

six-spotted fishing spider in Alabama
Six-spotted Fishing Spider (Dolomedes triton) in an Illinois wetland. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Jason Patrick Ross

Six-Spotted fishing spiders in Alabama: Description

The six-spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton) is an aquatic arachnid in the Pisauridae family. Living primarily throughout North America, these critters thrive in wetland habitats such as ponds and lakes. They are often called dock spiders because they can quickly scurry away into boat docks’ crevices when disturbed or threatened.

Easily distinguished by its noticeable features, the spider has impressive size and distinctive markings. With a grey-to-brown body, eight eyes for optimal vision, and a white-to-cream-colored stripe along each side of the cephalothorax – this species is unmistakable.

Furthermore, many small light spots embellish the abdomen alongside delicate lines that trail down either side. When viewed from below, six dark spots are visible on the bottom of said cephalothorax – hence its popular name. Like most arachnids today, this specific type exhibits sexual dimorphism characteristics as well.

The female Six-spotted fishing spider in Alabama is considerably more significant than the male, measuring around 2.5 inches in length, including legs; her body alone spans 0.6-0.8 inches, while the males only reach a maximum of 0.50 inches long when fully grown. Young spiders look similar to adults but are much smaller – they undergo several molts throughout their lifetime, which helps them grow and eventually become full-sized adults!

The Six-spotted fishing spider in Alabama is remarkable in its variety of distinct features and behavior – male specimens, for instance, can be identified by the rounded tibial apophysis, which extends past their tibia apex.

Meanwhile, females are distinguishable due to a specific pattern consisting of three pairs of dark sternal spots and several light spots on the abdominal dorsum; additionally, an anterior half within their epigynous area houses loose fertilization tubes alongside the seminal valve part of their copulatory apparatus.

woodlouse spider
Dysdera crocata
Woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata

Woodlouse spiders in Alabama: Description.

The Woodlouse spider in Alabama has a familiar and scientific name that tells you everything you need to know about it. The Woodlouse spider eat Woodlice. The scientific name (Dysdera crocata) suggests its color, saffron. 

Despite this, the Woodlouse spider has many other names like the slater spider, pillbug hunter, sow bug hunter, and sow bug killer. All these names relate directly to the prey it fancies most. So, let’s begin with a picture of the prey, and we will get to the spider later.

The Woodlouse spider has only six eyes arranged in an oval pattern. They have an orangish-dark brown cephalothorax and a yellowish-brown abdomen. The jaws of Woodlouse spiders are conspicuously large for a spider its size, slanted forward, and quite thick.

Female Woodlouse spiders in Alabama can reach body lengths of .6 inches, with males usually under .5 inches. 

All Woodlouse spiders have gleaming bodies.

The woodlouse spider is often mistaken for the brown recluse spider

Hump-backed orb weavers in Alabama
Humpbacked Orbweaver – Eustala anastera. Photo credit:Christina Butler. License Creative Commons.

Hump-backed Orb Weaver spider in Alabama.

Eustala anastera, more commonly known as the hump-backed orb weaver, is a captivating species of spider that can be discovered in various regions across North and Central America. This remarkable creature weaves intricate webs from its silk and efficiently catches prey with speed and skill.

Belonging to the Araneidae family, Hump-backed Orb weavers in Alabama are relatively tiny creatures with a body and carapace length of a little over 1/2 inch. As seen in all other orb-weaver species, males tend to be smaller than their female counterparts.

The Hump-backed orb weaver comprises two sections: The cephalothorax, where you can find eight eyes, legs, and mouthparts, and an abdomen – located at its posterior end.

The carapace of the hump-backed orb weaver often displays a dusky grey shade, with small patches of black distributed along the sides. The abdomen is notably plump and has an extensive range in its patterning and coloration; darker hues are most common, accompanied by drab yellow markings that create interesting blotches and geometric lines.

The underside of the Hump-backed orb weaver in Alabama is a glossy black, strewn with four distinct yellow spots. Its gangly legs are covered in tiny bristles and segmented joints, allowing it to move swiftly when hunting or web spinning.

bowl and doily spiders in Alabama
Macro underbelly of a Bowl and Doily Weaver Spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/JRosamond

Bowl and Doily spiders in Alabama: Description

A unique spider species, the Bowl and Doily spiders (Frontinella pyramitela), belong to the Linyphiidae family. These tiny critters are recognized for their intricate webs that have a bowl shape with an underlying sheet web or blanket (doily).

Like other web weavers, Bowl and Doily spiders in Alabama can survive up to one year in their natural forest habitat. Between July and August, you may find these creatures when summer is in full swing!

Bowl and doily spiders are petite creatures marked by a large round abdomen that shines in the light. Its top is typically dark brown or black; white markings on its sides form semi-familiar shapes—inverted commas, to be exact.

These lines often fade into a yellowish hue towards the lower half of their abdomens with varying shades based on each individual spider’s colorations–some more dark than others without any hint of yellow at all.

Bowl and doily spiders in Alabama are small creatures, like other members of the Linyphiidae family. Females stretch up to 0.15 inches (4 mm) in size, while males remain slightly smaller in comparison.

Spinybacked orb weaver in Alabama
spiny-orb-weaver On the finger. Spinybacked Orbweaver Spider (Gasteracantha cancriformis). Photo credit: Shutterstock.com Physics_Joe

Black Spinybacked orb weavers in Alabama: Identification.

Black Spinybacked orb weavers (Gasteracantha cancriformis) demonstrate distinct sexual dimorphism concerning the size. Females measure 5-9 mm in length and 10-13mm across, whereas males are 2-3 mm long and slightly narrower. All morphs have six abdominal spines; however, the coloration of these may vary from red to yellow or orange depending on location. Additionally, many occasionally boast white spots underneath their abdomens and colored legs.

The ebony coloring of the Black Spinybacked Orb Weaver in Alabama can be advantageous in nabbing their prey; however, they become more exposed to predation due to their unthreatening pigmentation or design that fails at repelling aggressors.

Black Spinybacked orb weavers in Alabama are just one coloration, most other members of this species have various other colors.

parson spiders in Alabama
Parson spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Kerry Hargrove

Parson spiders in Alabama: Identification.

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, or the “parson spider,” is an aptly named arachnid distinguished by its abundant black and gray hairs that cover its body. Its chestnut-brown exoskeleton is visible on its legs, while a small white spot lies just above the spinnerets – resembling the cravat worn in centuries past. These spiders are tiny; females measure 1/3 to 1/5 inches long, whereas males average 6 millimeters.

Parson spiders, unlike their web-building counterparts, orbweavers, are ground spiders that seek out prey and hunt on the prowl. Usually active at night and taking shelter in leaves or underneath stones during the day, seventeen different genera can be found across America.

However, parson spiders in Alabama are perhaps the most commonly encountered of all these species as they look for warm areas to hibernate come wintertime – often entering human dwellings!

huntsman spiders in alabama
Huntsman spider with hatching egg sac. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Samuel Lam

Huntsman spider in Alabama: Description.

You won’t have any trouble identifying a huntsman spider. Discovering a 6-inch wide spider hiding under your bed is also something you’ll never forget. But, just in case you are still confused, let’s find out everything we can about identifying a huntsman spider and maybe avoid encountering one.

The huntsman spider found in the United States (Heteropoda venatoria) is a large (up to 1 inch long and 6 inches wide), flat, brown-colored, nearly hairless, invasive spider. Females are larger than males. Huntsman spiders in Alabama are often mistaken for tarantulas.

The broad plate at the front of the huntsman spider’s eyes is cream to yellowish, and the cephalothorax’s hard upper ‘shell’ has a wide tan band on females and cream colored one on males.

Related: How to identify and get rid of black widow spiders.

southern house spiders in Alabama
Southern House Spider of the species Kukulcania hibernalis. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Vinicius R. Souza

Southern house spider in Alabama: Description.

Kukulcania hibernalis, the southern house spider, is a large arachnid species found in many regions across America. It was formerly known as Filistata hibernalis and exhibited striking sexual dimorphism.

This remarkable creature dwells from the southeastern USA to Central American countries and islands in the Caribbean, all the way down south to Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.

Male southern house spiders in Alabama may be confused with brown recluses due to their similar physical traits. But compared to the latter, these arachnids are typically larger and lack the telltale violin-shaped cephalothorax of a brown recluse. Plus, they possess unusually elongated pedipalps for added distinction.

Females can range from dark brown to black and are typically small. Males grow up to two inches across with longer legs, while their counterparts tend to have more pronounced bodies that appear velvety light gray due to fine-textured hair on the abdomen.

furrow orb weavers in Alabama
Larinioides cornutus, Furrow orb weaver spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/ASkoulis

Furrow orb weaver spiders in Alabama: Description.

There are three species of furrow orb weaver spider in the United States. Larinioides corntus (Furrow orb weaver), Larinioides patagiatus (Dusty orb weaver), and Larinioides sericatus (Gray cross spider).

Furrow orb weaver spiders in Alabama come with gray, red, olive, gray, or tan abdomens with inky, edged zigzag markings running down their lengths. These markings resemble a furrow or edges of a wavy leaf. The front two legs are longer than the rear legs, but all the legs are banded and have small spines on them.

Furrow web spiders can grow to have a body length about1/2 inch, not including the leg span.

Furrow orb weavers in Alabama have exoskeletons that are dark brown, gray, or reddish and overspread with extremely fine hairs. Unlike other orb weavers, their abdomens are not dull looking but smooth and polished. 

Unlike most other spiders, furrow orb weaver males are nearly the same size as females and have the same markings. As a result, furrow orb weavers can survive most winters and are often seen waiting in the middle of their webs.

brown widow spiders in Alabama
Female Adult Brown Widow of the species Latrodectus geometricus. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Vinicius R. Souza

Brown widow spiders in Alabama: Description.

The color of the brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) is a mix of brown and tan spots and smears with contrasting black marks. It also has a black-and-white geometric pattern on the dorsal side of its abdomen, three diagonal stripes on each side, and bands on its legs. A prominent black mark is on the top of the diagonal stripes.

Like its cousin, the black widow spider, the brown widow spider in Alabama has an hourglass on its abdomen. However, the color is muted orange and not the bright blood red found on the black widow.

brown widow spider in Alabama
Brown widow spider with egg sacs and spiderlings on a lamppost. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Grayson Schmidt.

The egg sacs of brown widow spiders.

For the layperson, telling a brown widow spider in Alabama apart from younger black widow spiders is difficult to impossible. Fortunately, unlike most spider egg sacs best described as tiny, smooth cotton balls, the brown widow eggs sac looks like a sea mine.

The silk spikes covering the egg sac’s surface make positively identifying them as brown widow spiders easy for enough for anyone.

During her lifetime, a female brown widow spider in Alabama can lay up to 150 eggs per sac, and produce about 20 eggs sacs.

Mabel's orchard orb weaver in Alabama
Leucauge Argyrobapta. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Karthik Nayak Virajpet

Mabel’s orchard orb weaver in Alabama: Description.

Mabel’s orchard orb weaver (Leucauge argyrobapta), a spider belonging to the Tetragnathidae family, is an abundant species found in the southern region of America, Mexico, and Brazil.

Adults: Male Mabel’s Orchard Orb Weavers in Alabama (body length 3.5 to 4.0 mm) are smaller than females and have longer legs, as well their palpi are notably bulbous compared to their female counterparts. The green or greenish-black leg joints showcase black bands for contrast, while the cephalothorax has a tan hue overall.

The abdomen of these creatures appears silvery-white with dark mid-dorsal, dorsolateral, and lateral lines diverging parallel down its body; in some specimens, however, the middle line connects across via transverse strokes of different thicknesses.

Magnolia jumping spiders in Alabama
Lyssomanes viridis, commonly known as the magnolia green jumper, is a species of jumping spider of the genus Lyssomanes. This spider is a family of Salticidae.. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/fendercapture

Magnolia green jumper spiders in Alabama: Description.

The Magnolia Green Jumper, or Lyssomanes viridis, is a leaping arachnid found in much of the Southern United States and Texas. Not only have they been documented in parts of Mexico, but they are also known to inhabit Guatemala and Maryland!

This remarkable spider has earned its place as type species for its genus – so you can be sure that it’s one incredible creature.

The Magnolia Green Jumper in Alabama is one of the tiniest jumping spiders, with adult females scarcely measuring up to just 1/3 inch and males smaller than 1/4 inch. These little critters are mostly a pale, slightly translucent green hue – which gave them their common name – and have a rim of colorful scales around their eyes- in reds, oranges, yellows, or whites – forming like a crown atop the head.

Magnolia green jumpers have exceptionally long legs compared to the body, with a meager leap size of three to four times their body length.

However, like most salticids, they possess highly intricate eyes and superb vision that is amongst the sharpest of all arthropods; their anterior median eyes are equipped with a telephoto quality like other jumping spiders but also incorporate elements from species whose evolution predates those of salticids.

Salticidae, such as Magnolia green jumpers in Alabama, typically have impressive and vibrant chelicerae, which they use in combat. Additionally, their forelegs are similarly bright-hued and waved during visual confrontations for a stunning display.

Females tend to have less vibrant appendages and a far lower allometric slope than males. When two males engage, they will wave their forelegs to establish dominance over the other – if neither submits, physical combat ensues.

Fights between males consist of pushing their chelicerae and forelegs against each other until one can no longer keep up with the strain and retreats from battle.

dimorphic jumping spiders in Alabama
A close-up of a sub-adult Dimorphic Jumping Spider (Maevia inclemens). Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Justin Starr Photography

Dimorphic jumping spiders in Alabama: Description.

The Dimorphic jumping spider (Maevia inclemens)  is relatively common and colorful in North America.

Two distinct forms are identified in the rare zoological occurrence of Dimorphic jumping spiders in Alabama.

These variants employ contrasting courtship methods and appear differently – namely, the “tufted” form has a black body with three dark tufts across its head along with light-colored legs; conversely, the “gray” morph features an array of black and white stripes covering its entire body as well as orange palps in place of tufts.

Despite these considerable differences, each species makes up half of all adult males observed to be equally successful when mate-seeking. Furthermore, a female Maevia inclemens spider can measure anywhere from 0.25 to 0.30 inches long, while a male counterpart falls from 0.18 to 0.25 inches long.

The Dimorphic Jumping Spider in Alabama is a dimorphic species aptly named for its two distinct forms. Males can be black with yellow legs, or tan splashed with red marks on the abdomen, while females share similar coloring to that of their male counterparts but in paler tones.

spotted orb weaver in Alabama
Close-up photo of bristly and corpulent orange and attractive, Spotted Orb Weaver spider (Neoscona crucifera) plying its trade by sucking on its most recent victim in its web. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/HM Thompson

Spotted orb weaver in Alabama: Description.

The Spotted orb weaver (Neoscona crucifera) is a captivating arachnid in the Araneidae family, found from Maine to Florida on the East Coast and Minnesota in Midwest America, reaching down to Arizona and southern California.

This orb-weaver spider also has two common names: Hentz orb weaver or barn spider – although this latter name can sometimes be misused for another type of creature called Araneus cavaticus.

Typically active at night, female Spotted orb weaver spiders may switch to a daily schedule in the fall. Females range between 0.35–0.75 inches long, while males are smaller in size.

The top of their abdomens is brown and hairy with alternating light and dark brown stripes on their legs; meanwhile, the underside displays two white spots against a black background.

The Spotted orb weaver in Alabama boasts a wide array of colors and patterns but most typically displays rusty red or golden orange. Their webs are incredibly giant in circumference, often erected on artificial structures like buildings several feet above the ground level, particularly around outdoor lights.

filmy dome spiders in Alabama
Web of Filmy dome spider (Neriene radiata) aka Prolinyphia marginate, covered in tiny water droplets from the early morning dew. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Stephen Farhall

Filmy dome spiders in Alabama.

The filmy dome spider (Neriene radiata) is a unique species of sheet weaver that hails from the family Linyphiidae and can be found in many places across the world. It builds a stunningly intricate web of spider silk before suspending itself beneath it, ready to ambush any unsuspecting prey.

The filmy dome spider in Alabama is one of America’s most abundant woodland spiders. Despite being minuscule, the spider’s web – resembling an inverted silk bowl – is unmistakable all year round.

Its carapace (head) sports a broad, dark brown central stripe bordered by white stripes on either side.

The abdomen of this arachnid is wide and high at the back end, with eye-catching mottled brown markings adorning its yellows-white appearance.

Size: The length of Filmy dome spiders iun Alabama range from 1/8th to 1/4 inch (without counting legs).

common house spiders in Alabama
Common house spider.

The Common House spider is the stuff and movies and Halloween decorations. You’ll find their billowy webs in homes, sheds, and garages worldwide. Often considered a nuisance, the common house spider is also beneficial as a pest controller.

Common house spiders in Alabama: Description.

The common house spider in Alabama comes in many muted shades, such as gray, tan, brown, or yellow. It also has darker skin patches or stripes running through its primary body color. The abdomen of the common house spider is higher than it is long and round in shape. Most common house spiders have darker-colored legs with bands or rings of color on them.

In the United States, females have yellow legs, and males have orange legs.

The larger female common house spiderin Alabama ranges from 0.12 to 0.18 inches. Due to their poor vision, these spiders usually do not flee from or even notice the approach of humans. Such poor vision is common among all web-weaving spiders.

There are over 200 species of common house spiders in the United States. The messy, billowy webs they construct easily identify them. These cobwebs function perfectly as entanglements for prey.

Common house spiders are part of the family Theridiidae (the widow family) and use their combed rear feet to pull silk from their spinnerets and toss it over entangled prey to immobilize them further.

cellar spiders in Alabama
Marble cellar Spider with younglings. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Raavanan.

Cellar spiders in Alabama: Identification.

Cellar spiders in Alabama range from less than a 1/10th of an inch to 2/5ths of an inch in length. They have peanut-shaped bodies and oversized leg lengths, with some cellar spiders having long spans of nearly two inches.

The length of their legs is one key identifier; most cellar spiders have legs four times as big as their bodies. The other identifier is the body width being three times as wide as long.

They have eight eyes (grouped as two laterals of three and two smaller eyes whose borders touch each other. Cellar spiders in Alabama have bodies that are colored gray, pale yellow, brown, and sometimes even appear as clear —with chevron marking.

Cellar spiders are found in every country and continent except Antarctica. 

Related:How to identify the Brazilian wandering spider.

Cellar spider webs.

Cellar spiders make unsophisticated and unusual webs for a spider. 

Like black widow spiders, they wait for their prey while hanging upside down. When prey is detected, cellar spiders vibrate their webs with their bodies, and this helps further entangle any insects caught in it. 

When cellar spider bite, they inject a toxic venom (though it cannot harm a human) that is legendarily thought to be the most potent venom in the spider kingdom. This legend has yet to be scientifically proven.

Cellar spiders in Alabama do not repair, clean, or remake their webs. Instead, they build additional layers on existing webs. This habit may save them time and energy, but in your home or barn, it quickly makes the web of a cellar spider conspicuous.

American nursery web spiders in Alabama
Female American nursery web spider standing in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Jean-Baptiste Toussaint

American Nursery Web spiders in Alabama: Identification.

American nursery web spider in Alabama, commonly known as the nursery web spider, is unique with its hard layer of carapace that provides outer protection for the cephalothorax (head and thorax combined). It also has a moderately long abdomen, typically less than twice the length compared to the carapace. What distinguishes it from other similar species, though, is its distinct straight anterior row of eyes.

American nursery web spiders in Alabama have eight eyes, organized in two neat rows – four look at the front that make a straight line and four towards the back to form a U-shape. This is an example of sexual dimorphism; male American nursery web spiders usually have longer legs and a more considerable leg length relative to their body size than female spiders.

The patterns on the abdomen can vary significantly between individuals – some may display very distinct dark median bands. In contrast, others will feature only indistinct median bands with lateral spots arranged in two rows.

The American nursery web spider species is highly prevalent in eastern North America, typically dwelling among tall weeds or short shrubs at the edges of different habitats. Its hunting strategy involves a “sit-and-wait ambush predator” mentality; it stays still and uses its chelicerae (clawlike pincers) to snatch unsuspecting prey.

tan jumping spiders in Alabama
Tan jumping spider. Photo credit: Shuitterstock.com/Gmgadani

Tan jumping Spiders in Alabama: Description.

Like other jumping spiders, the Tan Jumping spider (Platycryptus undatus) is covered in fur and has two forward-facing goggle-like eyes that give it remarkable vision. It moves in a peculiarly jerky gait while also being gifted with extraordinary jumping abilities.

It’s spinning of silk includes creating a single tether line for additional security when exploring or traversing long distances and making cocoons to protect itself and its eggs from harm.

Females measure up to ⅝ inch in length (not including legs), while male counterparts typically reach no more than ⅜ inch.

The tan jumping spider in Alabama is highly skilled at blending into its environment, featuring grays, tans, and browns that often contain flecks of black and white plus — in some cases — a reddish hue. Its look can range from zebra-like stripes to an even, gray pattern across its body; the abdomen also typically features undulating shapes for extra camouflage.

In addition, these spiders’ bodies are unusually flattened, which further aids in their concealment when necessitated.

The tan jumping spider’s pedipalps, those finger-shaped appendages close to the face, are usually encased in fuzz and pure white. Males have chelicerae (fangs that the pedipalps may conceal) that boast long, white hairs, while female chelicerae appear black and glistening with no hair present.

rabid wolf spiders in Alabama
Texas rabid wolf spider. Isolated closeup. Rabidosa Rabida. Harmless hunting garden spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Cathleen Wake Gorbatenko

Despite its scary name, the Rabid wolf spider (Rabidosa Rabida) is harmless to people and not rabid!

Rabid wolf spider in Alabama: Description.

The Rabid wolf spider is a common Alabama wolf spider. It typically hides in leaf litter and sometimes gets into houses.

The Rabid wolf spider can easily be identified by the small white, eyebrow-like marks located behind their eyes. Additionally, if you look closely at the broad brown stripe that outlines its abdomen from top to bottom, you will find tiny whitish spots near where it meets the tan lines on either side of it – meaning this stripe is excellent in hue.

Resembling their fellow wolf spider brethren, these agile arachnids don’t spin webs but pursue their quarry like a wild canine – making them the wolves of the spider world.

Female Rabid wolf spiders in Alabama are celebrated for their outstanding maternal care, which can be witnessed when they carry blue-grayish egg cases no bigger than a pea. If by chance, these mothers lose their bundles of joy, they will frantically look until it is located and then immediately rush away with them in tow. What’s more, after hatching, spiderlings stay close to mommy’s abdomen while being nurtured before venturing into the universe on their own.

Males of this species have the first pair of black or dark brown legs.

triangulate cobweb spiders in Alabama
Triangulate Cobweb Spider (Steatoda triangulosa) overwhelmed and paralyzed by solitary wasp species Trypoxylon figulus as prey for the larva. Shutterstock.com/Timelynx

The Triangulate cobweb spiders in Alabama: Identification.

At first glance, this tiny Triangulate cobweb spider in Alabama might be easily overlooked since it tends to build its cobwebs in dark corners of households and basements. Measuring only 1/8 – ¼ inch long, the cephalothorax is brownish-orange, while each of its yellow legs contains darker sections at their tips.

The abdomen has a finely pubescent texture with shades of brown and white, triangular spots along the mid-dorsal part, and irregular markings adorn the lateral area.

Triangulate cobweb spider: Habitat.

The Triangulate cobweb spider is found in abundance locally around houses in North America, spreading rapidly since its introduction. Although rare in South America, evidence of sightings has also been recorded there.

You’ll often find these brush-footed spiders (Theridiidae family) in urban environments, near human constructions, tucked away on walls’ dark corners, around windowsills, and beneath eaves. They weave irregular webs that they hang from as a trap for their victims, using the sharp bristles of their hind legs to ensnare them with sticky silk before finally biting down when the prey is stilled.

Golden silk spiders in Alabama
Golden silk spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/John Dorton

Golden silk spiders in Alabama: Identification.

Golden silk spiders (Trichonephila clavipes) in temperate North America only live for one year before the females produce an egg sac in late fall. The egg sac will wait out the winter and produce spiderlings as the temperature increases in the spring.

In North America, females of the Golden silk spider species are amongst the largest non-tarantula spiders and possibly even the biggest orb-weavers in our country. They were only rivaled in size by Argiope aurantia (Fabricius) or perhaps larger Araneus species such as Araneus bicentenarius.

Female Golden silk spiders in Alabama tend to be quite noticeable, boasting an impressive size of 1-1.5 inches in length and exhibiting characteristic traits such as a silvery carapace, yellow spots on their dull orange or tan cylindrical body, brown and orange banded legs and hair brushes (gaiters) located on tibial segments I, II, IV – all which make them easily recognizable.

As for the male Golden silk spider population, they fall short of this by being rather inconspicuous dark brown, slender creatures averaging .25 inches in length that could go completely unnoticed if not found within the webbing of females.

Further recommended reading about spiders.

Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.

Can house spiders hurt you? Are house spiders Venomous?

Do Spiders Sleep? Do They Dream like Humans?

Tiger wolf spider.

Cross orb-weaver spider.

Hump-backed orb weaver.

Triangulate cobweb spider.

Carolina wolf spiders.

Striped fishing spiders.

White-Jawed jumping spiders.

Black lace-weaver spiders.

Black Spiders: How to identify them.

Long-Palped ant-mimic sac spider.

Peppered jumping spiders.

Spotted ground swift spider.

Spinybacked orb weavers.

Parson spiders.

White spiders.

Striped spider in the U.S.

How long do spiders live?

Spider anatomy 101.

The most venomous spiders in the world.

Zebra spiders.

Furrow orb weaver spider.

Marbled orb weaver spiders.

Red house spider identification.

Purse web spider.

Crab spider: How to identify.

Orb weaver Spiders: How to identify and get rid of them.

Common house spiders: How to Identify and get rid of them.

Dark fishing spiders.

Six-Eyed Sand Spider: Is the White Sand Spider Dangerous?

10 biggest spiders in the world.

The Red widow spider

Giant Huntsman Spider: How to Identify the Largest Spider

Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula

Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula

Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula

Cerbalus Aravaensis: Middle East’s Largest Spider

Camel spiders: Myths and Facts.

Net-casting spiders: How to identify these spiders.

White-tailed spider: How to identify and manage.

Katipo Spider: How to identify New Zealand’s venomous spider

Brown widow spider: How to identify and avoid the false widow.

Redback spiders how to identify them and prevent bites

Funnel weaver spiders vs funnel-web

Cellar spiders how to identify and get rid of them

How to identify the wolf spider

How to identify the hobo spider

Brazilian wandering spider how to identify and avoid

Huntsman spider how to identify the eight legged freak

Jumping spiders how to identify these harmless hunters

Black widow spiders how to identify and avoid

Tarantulas appearance diet and mating

Do tarantulas bite?

Brown recluse spiders how to identify and avoid

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for ThePredatorHunter.com.

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