Spiders in Delaware: How to Identify them.

Spiders in Delaware come in fewer numbers species than in any other state. There are, however, two dangerous spiders to watch out for.

Here are a few of the more common ones you’ll likely encounter.

black widow spiders in Delaware
Black widow spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Jay Ondreicka

Black widow spiders in Delaware.

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

Positively identifying brown recluse spiders in Delaware.

Identifying brown recluse spiders in Delaware 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.

So, unless you have moved from western Delaware to, let’s say, New York, you should be okay. However, there’s no sense in taking chances. Perhaps be careful when unpacking those boxes and chairs—just to be sure. Heck, the E.R. doctor in New York might be untrained to recognize your bite symptoms.

Brown recluse spiders: The eyes have it!

Adult brown recluse spiders in Delaware 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 Delaware 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.

When you get to the hospital, you can use the picture to help diagnose why you are shrieking in agony and convulsing on their table. Just kidding, we’ll talk more about the bite of brown recluse spiders later.

The slanting legs of the brown recluse spider in Delaware.

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 Delaware do not walk funny; instead, the rest with their legs slanted.

Tigrosa helluo spiders in Delaware
Wolf Spider (Tigrosa helluo) at night. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Elliotte Rusty Harold

Tigrosa helluo spiders in Delaware: Identification.

Tigrosa body lengths can vary significantly between males and females, ranging from 0.4 to 1.20 inches for females and 0.4 to 0.95 inches for males, respectively; however, the average size of Tigrosa helluo is considerably smaller than its close relative T aspersa at just under one inch in length (or precisely 0.7 inches).

Often mistaken for Pisaurina mira, the nursery web spider, Tigrosa helluo can be distinguished by its dark brown carapace featuring a conspicuous yellow stripe extending from the front eyes to the cephalothorax.

A series of dimmer yellow stripes continues posteriorly from their median eyes. Furthermore, the bottom side of their abdomen is spotted with several black marks. The outlines found on the dorsal surface of both cephalothorax and abdomen resemble those seen in T. georgicola; however, Tigrosa helluo’s faint yellow lines do not reach as far back.

By observing the legs, you can easily distinguish between males and females of Tigrosa helluo. Males have yellow legs, free from banding or other markings; females’ legs are reddish-brown with no additional patterns visible. Another feature absent in T. georgicola that is present on this species’ abdomen is black spots – a trait not found in its sibling species!

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

Bowl and Doily spiders in Delaware: Description

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 spider’s colorations–some darker than others without any hint of yellow at all.

Bowl and doily spiders 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.

American nursery spider in Delaware
Top view of an American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira) stakes out on a yellow bloom. Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Samray

American Nursery Web spider: Identification.

The American nursery web spider, 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 Delaware 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.

Although they often look like wolf spiders (Lycosidae) at first glance, the American nursery web spiders can be identified by their distinct two-row eye arrangement. This species is a member of the Pisaurid family and has been fascinating to arachnologists for years with its unique traits.

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.

Furrow orb weaver spiders in Delaware
Larinioides cornutus, Furrow orb weaver spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/ASkoulis

Furrow orb weaver spider in Delaware: 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 Delaware 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 of about 1/2 inch, not including the leg span.

Furrow orb weavers 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.

The Furrow orb weaver in Delaware might be scary, even if you do not have arachnophobia. It does look mean and dangerous, but it is neither. As more and more mosquito-borne diseases spread into the human population, the Furrow orb weaver could become an important asset. Having a few around the exterior of your home may even be your last line of defense.

As a result of the importance of the Furrow orb spider and its harmlessness to humans and most pets, I urge you to leave them alone. Indeed, I certainly will not explain how to kill or remove them.

Spotted Orb weaver spider in Delaware
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: Shuitterstock.com/HM Thompson

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.

Spotted orb weaver spiders in Delaware: Description.

Typically active at night, female Spotted orb weaver spiders in Delaware 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 Delaware 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.

dark fishing spider in Delaware
Fishing spider with egg sac.

Dark Fishing spider in Delaware: Description.

The dark fishing spider in Delaware 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. In addition, 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. 

Dark Fishing spiders in Delaware: Habitat.

Dark fishing spiders occur from southern Florida to southern Canada and the Dakota east to Texas and Florida. Although they are in the Dolomedes family, this species does not spend much time around water. Instead, the dark fishing spider prefers to hunt and shelter in vegetation, shrubs, and rocks near the water.

Dark fishing spiders in Delaware actively hunt at night and spend the day sheltering in dark cracks and corners, stumps, or under logs.

When dark fishing spiders in Delaware are near the water, they can pursue prey by running on top of the surface of the water and even take temporary refuge from a threat by diving under it.

cupboard spiders in Delaware
Northern Cupboard Spider. Photo credit: Paul Harrison. License.

Northern Cupboard spider in Delaware: Description.

The Northern Cupboard spider (Steatoda borealis) is typically a dark-hued spider with an expansive, oval abdomen. It generally appears in shades of black to brown or reddish-brown. The northern cupboard spider is about 1/3 of an inch in body length.

Additionally, its front and back appendages are lengthier than the middle ones. Due to similar appearances among spiders from the family Steatoda, it can be tough to accurately identify them on a species level.

Northern Cupboard spiders (Steatoda borealis) can be identified by a distinct “T” shaped mark on their front end, along with an underside of the abdomen that is notably lighter than the top. It’s worth noting, however, that this particular marking could fade in aged specimens and also appears on Steatoda bipunctada, which inhabit similar environments.

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

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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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