Spiders in Ohio are a common sight, with many different species found throughout the state. Unfortunately, some of these spiders in Ohio are venomous and can potentially threaten humans, while others are completely harmless.
In this article, we will explore the ten most common spiders in Ohio and provide information on their appearance, behavior, and potential dangers they may pose.
House spider in Ohio.
In Ohio, the House Spider is an all-too-familiar sight – its small size and brown/grey color easily distinguish it. It can be discovered in dwellings such as homes, buildings, or other structures, earning it the name “House Spider” due to its preference for human habitation.
House spiders may not be venomous, but bites can still cause skin irritation and minor discomfort. To prevent this from happening in the first place, make sure to keep your home or building free of debris and sealed off with no cracks or openings for them to enter through. This simple action could save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Wolf spiders in Ohio.
The wolf spider is a frequent inhabitant of Ohio and is renowned for its considerable size as well as predatory hunting style. It can usually be spotted in gardens or grassy areas due to its namesake features—from its menacing look to the wolf-like behavior it displays.
Despite being venomous, these spiders are not particularly hazardous; their bites can be treated with regular over-the-counter painkillers. Symptoms of a wolf spider bite may include redness, swelling, pain at the bite site, nausea, and vomiting.
To avoid being bitten, it is crucial to be cautious when working or playing in areas where the spider may be found and to wear protective clothing if necessary.
Yellow sac spiders in Ohio.
Found in gardens, fields, and grassy areas around Ohio, the yellow sac spider is easily recognizable for its typically beige hue. Don’t let their small size fool you; these little arachnids are venomous.
Fortunately, a bite from one of these critters can generally be treated with ordinary over-the-counter pain medication and should not cause too much distress or panic. Keep an eye out while enjoying outdoor activities – they spin silken tubes that look like mini sack webs where they live.
The effects of a yellow sac spider bite can be severe, ranging from redness and swelling to nausea and vomiting. To prevent being bitten, it is vital to remain alert when in spaces where the arachnid may reside as well as wear protective clothing if needed.
Black widow spiders in Ohio.
Be wary of the black widow in Ohio, a venomous spider with an unmistakable appearance. It is shiny and jet-black, with a bright red hourglass shape on its abdomen. The female of this species is larger than the male counterpart and more venomous; she has even been known to consume him after mating.
Bites from these spiders can be particularly dangerous for young children or elderly individuals, causing muscle cramps, queasiness, and difficulty breathing. Although spider bites are uncommon, they commonly occur when spiders feel threatened or squeezed.
To prevent being bitten by a spider, thoroughly inspect clothes and shoes before wearing them and be mindful of any materials in which the arachnid may be hiding.
Brown recluse spider in Ohio.
The brown recluse may not be native to Ohio, but it can still be found in the area. This venomous arachnid is easily recognizable due to its characteristic dark brown color and telltale violin-shaped marking on its back.
Though they are typically nonaggressive, their bites can have serious consequences if left untreated, including necrosis (tissue death) at the bite site. Symptoms of a brown recluse bite may include fever, chills, rash, pain, and swelling at the bite site.
To avoid being bitten, it is vital to be cautious when handling materials or objects the spider may be hiding in and to shake out clothing and shoes before putting them on.
Orb weaver spiders in Ohio.
The orb weaver spider is a typical sight in Ohio, where it elicits its moniker for the impressive and intricate circles of webs it builds. This species can be found flourishing in gardens, fields, and grassy knolls alike.
Though the orb weaver spider isn’t venomous and its bites are not dangerous to us, some may experience minor symptoms like redness or itching at the bite site. For that reason, it is essential to be wary of possible places where they can lurk while working or playing outdoors; moreover, wearing protective clothing could also prove helpful in keeping you from getting bitten by one.
Sheet-web spider in Ohio.
Sheetweb weavers are mini, glossy, dark-colored spiders that create fascinating webs. These minuscule critters are less than 8 mm in size and feature two body segments – the cephalothorax (head/thorax) section at the front and an abdomen behind it.
Additionally, these creatures have eight legs which attach to their cephalothorax along with fangs, eyes, and small “mini-legs” called pedipalps used for catching prey or mating purposes; male spiders generally possess much larger pedipalps compared to female ones. Sheetweb spiders boast of a unique trait – they have eight eyes arranged in pairs of four on each row.
Ground spiders in Ohio.
Known as Ground Spiders to many, this vast family of spiders is scientifically identified by the name Gnaphosidae. Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) is one such species that is quite common in nature – a blackish spider with white abdominal markings and measuring about 13 mm.
Frequently under rocks, logs or another objects on the ground, you can find the abodes of ground spiders. These creatures are either reddish-brown or gray with stripes and may be altogether solid in color. Thankfully they lack medically threatening venom to humans so if spotted while out exploring no worries.
Jumping spider in Ohio.
The skittish jumping spider is a common sight in Ohio, renowned for its diminutive size and astounding athleticism. Abounding in gardens, fields, and verdant meadows throughout the state, it earns its namesake from fabled feats of agility that would be impressive even by human standards.
Although the jumping spider is non-venomous and its bite is harmless to humans, some may still experience slight discomforts such as itching or redness in the affected area. To reduce the chances of being bitten, be mindful when exploring areas inhabited by this species and consider wearing protective clothing if needed.
A few “extra” interesting spiders in Ohio.
Broad-faced sac spiders in Ohio.
The Broad-faced sac spider (Trachelas tranquillus) is a species of spider with an expansive range, from New England down to Georgia and Alabama in the south and westward to Kansas and Minnesota.
During the day, Broad-faced sac spiders may be found wandering on foliage outdoors or hidden away within silken retreats they construct under leaf litter, stones, boards, or even windowsills and siding of buildings.
They tend to make appearances indoors during colder autumn months, but their presence does not necessarily indicate them establishing colonies inside homes.
Female Broad-faced sac spiders in Ohio are typically .25 to .4 inches long, while their male counterparts usually never exceed .25 inches. The chelicerae and carapace have a reddish brown hue and feel hard to the touch; they also appear covered with tiny punctures.
Meanwhile, the abdomen displays an attractive pale yellow or light gray coloration, accented by the slightly darker dorsal stripe on its backside. Lastly, these arachnids possess eight legs: 4 of them (the front pair) being thicker and darker than the rest, who become increasingly thinner toward the last set that completes it all off.
Spined Micrathena spiders in Ohio.
The Spined micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) is a spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), commonly known as castle-back orb weaver. This eight-legged creature creates an immense and tightly coiled web that can span up to 8 inches in diameter.
Spined micrathena spiders in Ohio are generally tiny and measure .15 to.4 inches long. Fortunately, their venom is non-toxic for humans. The species’ defining features include a sizeable spiky abdomen and contrasting black and white bodies – certain members of this type may also display yellow markings on the sides of their bodies. These critters are most active during late summer/early fall, diurnal creatures that rarely appear at night.
Spined micrathena captivate with their bulbous abdomens and spines. Males of this species are notably different from females; they tend to be much smaller, lack the same number of spines, possess a flatter abdomen, and boast a softer hue. During courtship, males produce silk and engage in other mating rituals.
When constructing webs, the inner orbs of the Spined micrathena webs are changed every night; Nevertheless, the outer layer of their webbing can remain unchanged for days at a time.
The Arrowshaped Micrathena spider in Ohio: 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 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).
Dimorphic jumping spiders in Ohio.
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.
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 Ohio 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.
Additionally, males boast short hairs covering the body and pedipalps at the front of their face, assisting during reproductive mating rituals. With such striking differences between genders, it’s no wonder why this spider has earned its memorable name!
Boasting colors and abrupt movements, the Dimorphic Jumping spider in Ohio is more visible than other spiders that belong to the Salticidae family. Not only does this aid its hunting of insect prey, but it also aids in evading potential predators. In addition, this amazing arachnid can bound long distances with remarkable swiftness – it’s almost like a flash!
Furrow orb weaver spiders in Ohio.
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 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 in Ohio 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.
Bowl and Doily spiders in Ohio.
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 Ohio 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 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.
Bowl and Doily spiders: Web designs
These eight-legged wonders can construct vast and intricate webs – often spanning several inches in diameter – between twigs. Males rarely spin the webs, yet they stay alongside female spiders for extended periods.
The intricate web of the bowl and doily spider is composed of two parts: an upper bowl shape and a lower flat sheet or “doily.” The spider resides in the bottom layer while waiting for unsuspecting small insects to fly into its trap.
As soon as that happens, it quickly strikes from beneath to secure them with its powerful venomous bite. Due to this double-webbing system, the hunter can remain safe yet still hunt efficiently.
The Bowl and doily spiders in Ohio are no threat to humans.
Dark Fishing spiders in Ohio.
The Dark Fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) 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.
The dark fishing spider in Ohio is typically brown with three visible black W-shaped marks, each ending 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 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: 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 actively hunt at night and spend the day sheltering in dark cracks and corners, in stumps, or under logs.
When dark fishing spiders in Ohio 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.
Striped fishing spiders in Ohio.
Striped fishing spiders (Dolomedes scriptus) are often called “writing” signing spiders because of the marking on their backs.
The striped fishing spider in Ohio is among the eight species in the genus Dolomedes that inhabit North America, north of Mexico. This semiaquatic creature can be found on or near water and does not construct webs for itself like other spiders typically do. Its appearance can vary from brown to tan, grayish hues – sometimes with stripes, but often without them.
Those with a bold white or tanned stripe running down either side of the body are pretty noticeable, and it’s no different for striped fishing spiders. An intricate pattern can be seen on their abdomens, with dark W-shaped marks separated by white “Ws” between them. Atop the carapace (head) lies a clean line that runs all along its center – making these creatures awe-inspiring to behold!
Striped fishing spiders: Habitat.
The striped fishing spider in Ohio is commonly found near any water body, especially in fast-flowing streams. It typically rests on the stream’s edge with its feet spread across the surface. Its specially adapted hairy legs allow it to move swiftly over land and water – so much so that it can quickly traverse a creek bank or sprint among rocks at a gravel bar.
Striped fishing spiders are savvy predators, controlling many small aquatic animals and insects. Unfortunately for them, they are also easy prey to larger creatures such as fish, frogs, dragonfly nymphs, and birds – particularly their young ones. Thus these spiders must be ever-vigilant to survive!
Six-Spotted fishing spiders in Ohio.
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.
Six-spotted fishing spider in Ohio: Identification.
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 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 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.
The Six-spotted fishing spider: Distribution and habitat
Six-spotted fishing spiders are native to the North and South American continents, usually thriving in the Eastern parts of the US from Maine to Florida and south down through Texas. Additionally, they have been spotted up north into Ontario, Canada, and Alaska’s southern panhandle area. Despite this broad range, reports on them coming out of most southwestern states remain rare.
Semi-aquatic in nature, Six-spotted fishing spiders make their home among wetlands—ranging from lake shores and ponds to slow-moving streams. They can be found amongst emergent plants, rocks, or other structures near the body of water, such as docks or jetties.
Their domain extends further into the coastal zones of both lakes and ponds, along with pools at a more sluggish pace lying at the edge zone of rivers & creeks.
Further recommended reading about spiders.
Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.