White Spiders: How to Identify and a Few to Avoid.

Spiders come in a vast array of colors, yet white spiders remain an abnormal sight. Few species boast these ghostly bodies; some are barely the size of pinheads while others loom as menacing cream-colored giants. Every time you see one scurrying across your floor, it can be a frightening experience – even if you think it’s just another kind of bug or insect!

White spiders
Bird-dung Crab Spider Phrynarachne lancea on green leaf. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Allen Thien

The truth about white spiders.

Identifying a species of white spider may be an intimidating task, yet you can easily spot the most common kind – crab spiders. These arachnids sport bulbous creamy-white abdomens and translucent pale-white segmented legs, typically found in gardens, woodlands or grasslands.

However if you notice a long-legged whitish spider inside your house, it is likely to be a yellow sac spider with its distinguishable amber cephalothorax and egg-shaped body complemented by its long white legs with black tips.

Tips for identifying white spiders.

When it comes to identifying white spiders, there are a few features you need to pay attention to: eight legs with a creamy-white colored abdomen and cephalothorax (head), six or eight eyes, as well as distinctive mouthparts.

Additionally, many of these white spiders boast bulbous bodies that appear pure white in coloration. However, some white spiders may present variously hued markings on the body or black spots; their legs might also be spiny to boot!

Differentiating white spiders from insects is simple – arachnids have eight legs and two body segments while bugs have just six limbs and three parts to their bodies.

Additionally, white spiders can easily be identified by the webs they construct as well as other characteristics such as having rudimentary eyes, no antennae, and never possessing wings.

In essence, all spider species share these similar traits which make them distinct from other creatures in the animal kingdom.

A few white spider species are known to spin chaotic webs, like the tangle web spiders. In contrast, white orb spiders craft dazzling circular webs to capture prey. Additionally, certain white spider varieties weave funnel-shaped webs for defense or egg-laying purposes.

Are white spiders always dangerous to humans and pets?

All spiders possess chelicerae, which are fangs or pincers that can bite when provoked. White spiders, despite their harmless appearance, have the same potential to sting and cause pain similar to a bee sting – beginning as an intense ache before creating a burning sensation.

Most white spider species like yellow sacs hide under leaves and stones in gardens; thus bites from these arachnids usually occur during summertime gardening activities. In certain cases even more severe than those caused by brown recluse spiders!

Types of White Spiders: Photo Identification Guide

Delving deeper into the exceptional markers of white spiders that you may find in or around your home, let us review them further.

White spiders
”Hibana gracilis”, the garden ghost spider, is a species of ghost spider in the family Anyphaenidae. It is found in the United States and Canada. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Soflo Shots

White spiders: Garden Ghost spiders.

Garden Ghost Spiders boast an unmistakable appearance, boasting an oblong and pointed abdomen and a creamy-white body further accented by a pale brownish triangular abdominal stripe. Moreover, when viewed up close, the spiders reveal black spines on their eight long legs and two extended pedipalps resembling black boxing gloves – all of which render Garden Ghosts incredibly identifiable.

The small yellowish-white or pale brown-white spiders typically measure 0.15″ – 0.3″ long. Another identifiable feature of Garden ghost spiders in the family Anyphaenidaeis that the two central eyes on the bottom row are the smallest.

Easily identifiable, the whitish Garden ghost spider has a distinctly pointed abdomen and pale tan legs with black spines. Additionally, this arachnid species features two rows of four eyes for maximum visibility.

White spider
A macro image of a Common Candy-striped Spider – Enoplognatha ovata (redimita form). This female is hiding within a leaf while guarding her egg sac. The color of these is variable. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Muddy Knees

White Spiders: The Common Candy-Striped Spider.

The Candy-striped spider can be found in virtually any grassy environment: open fields, forest floors, and roadside ditches alike. However, it is found mainly on the underside of leaves, in brambles, small shrubs, and low-hanging tree branches. When clustered together, these groups are referred to as colonies.

Female Candy-striped spiders measure from 3/16-to-1/4 inch in length and boast a leg span of 1/4 -to-half an inch. Conversely, males are much smaller, with lengths ranging from 1/8 -to-3/16 inches.

The cephalothorax, or front portion of the body, is flat and approximately longer than wide. Its carapace sports a pale yellowish-brown hue with few hairs and an eye-catching longitudinal stripe down the center, and a thin black line on its lateral margins; males feature a more pronounced depression in this area too. 

The underside shines bright with yellow to yellowish-brown hues highlighted by dark stripes along its midline while narrow black lines edge out its sides. A stark black tip finishes off the look at the rear end.

White spiders
Picture of yellow ghost spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/AP3x8

The sometimes white spider: The Yellow ghost spider.

The yellow ghost spider, Hibana velox, and the garden ghost spider, Hibana gracilis, are indigenous to North America north of Mexico and in the southeastern U.S., specifically Florida, where they are abundant. 

Yellow Ghost spiders typically hunt for prey such as insects or smaller spiders at night while resting in silken retreats during daylight hours, including under stones, behind bark, and within folded leaves outdoors as well as inside buildings’ protected corners or crevices. 

You can expect to encounter the yellow ghost spider all year round, but their numbers increase notably from spring through summertime throughout Florida and other southern states. In areas with colder climates, immature spiders or subadults (final immature stage) remain active throughout the winter.

White spider
White widow spider (Latrodectus pallidus) caught a bee on flower of Echinacea. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Kylbabka

White spiders: White widow spider.

Dark hues characterize most widow spiders; however, the white widow spider is quite the opposite. As its name implies, the white widow features light tones ranging from beige to white, with darker legs for contrast. 

In addition, it differs significantly in appearance compared to other related arachnids, such as black widows and redback spiders, due to its lack of bright red markings found on them – Lactrodectus tredecimguttatus being an exception here. Otherwise, it carries similar traits to other members of the genus Latrodectus family.

White spider
Spinybacked orb weaver spider (Gasteracantha cancriformis) macro – Pembroke Pines, Florida, USA. Shutterstock.com/Sunshower Shots

Spinybacked Orbweaver spiders.

Female Spinybacked Orbweavers can range between .20 and nearly .35 inches in length and are 1/2 inch wide with six-pointed abdominal projections often referred to as “spines.” The carapace, legs, and venter are predominantly black, marked with white spots on the underside of the abdomen. Additionally, typical specimens have a white dorsum covered by black spots and red spines.

Spinybacked orbweavers from various locales may vary in the hue of their abdominal dorsum, from yellow to white; spines which can range from black instead of red and even be nearly entirely black on both ventral and dorsal sides. In comparison to females, males are much smaller – at only 1/10th inch long with a slighter longer than wide frame – varying slightly in color as well with gray abdomens plus white spots replacing large spines and several small humps taking up residence posteriorly.

White spiders
Closeup of the dancing white lady or wheel spider Carparachne cf. alba (Araneae: Sparassidae), a huntsman spider from the Namib desert, photographed in threatening posture near Swakopmund, Namibia. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Tobias Hauke

African white spiders: Dancing white lady spider.

The Dancing white lady spider, native to the Namib Desert’s dunes in Namibia, can typically be found inhabiting burrows that span around 10 feet. Unsurprisingly, these nocturnal spiders remain tucked underground during the day to avoid the scorching desert temperatures while they hunt at night.

The dancing white lady spider shelters in their burrows during the day, and they venture beyond these areas at night. Burrowed deep into the sand, often measuring up to 15 inches long and 10 inches deep, and with a 30-degree angle lean, its particular construction creates cooler temperatures that are more favorable for them. 

In addition, silk further ensures stability around this space by helping keep loose sand in place. These burrows are usually occupied for two months before relocation occurs – sometimes hidden under a camouflaged covering.

White spiders
Macro of small orange colour arachnid, Spermophora senoculata the shortbodied cellar spider. Pholcidae. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Sarah 2

Short-Bodied cellar spiders.

Two of the most recognizable species are the long-bodied and short-bodied cellar spider. The female counterpart of the former can reach a length of 1/4 to 5/16 inches, with its legs extending another two inches in total. Meanwhile, females in the latter group measure only 1/16 inch, though their legs stretch an additional 5/16 inch from there.

Females of long-bodied cellar spiders only produce three egg sacs throughout their lifespan, each containing 13 to 60 eggs. On the other hand, a short-bodied female spider can create 10–27 eggs per case. Unlike many species of spider, these two kinds don’t attach their egg sacs to webs but carry them in their mouthparts instead. 

After they hatch and become spiderlings, all eight eyes turn towards the mother’s body for shelter temporarily until it’s time to develop into adults – usually within one year period entirely; adult cellar spiders may live up to two additional years after that.

White spiders
white crab spider with a bee as prey on a pink flower. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Vladimir Woitscheck

Truly white spiders: The white crab spider.

Given the need to stand out from their surroundings for White crab spiders to efficiently catch their prey, they skillfully pick flowers that offer maximum contrast between themselves and their habitat. Additionally, these cunning creatures select flower positions that enhance this distinction and put them one step ahead of any potential victims.

Contrast is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to flowers, so the spiders cannot opt for habitats with only high numbers of their prey. Instead, they must think strategically by combining both flower types and prey to maximize their success rate. T. spectabilis are primarily drawn towards new blooms via olfactory cues. These predators can usually be found around tropical or subtropical areas; some even inhabit white clothing lines.

White spiders
Goldenrod Crab Spider

Some crab spiders, like the Goldenrod, are white spiders.

Crab spiders come in many colors, including pink, yellow, blue, black, white, and green. The easiest way to identify a crab spoiler is by noting the front four legs that are longer and thicker than the four rear legs. 

The crab spider has eight eyes mounted on a lump on the front of their cephalothorax. They have two forward-mounted claws, flat bodies, and crabwise legs.

The crab spider can change color slightly with each molt, allowing it to camouflage itself against its current background. Some researchers believe crab spiders can even assume the colorations of their prey.

Crab spiders do not make a web, instead using a single start of silk to support themselves. Females wait for prey while sitting patiently on a plant or flower. Male crab spiders hunt while wandering around.

White spider
Yellow sac spider. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/Rainer Fuhrmann

Kind of white spider? The Yellow sac spider.

Both species of Yellow sac spiders in the United States are about the same size (females reaching up to .4 inches in body length and males .3 inches).

Cheiracanthium inclusum is cream or light yellow, with a dark brown mouth and palps. Cheiracanthium mildei has a yellow head and thorax and green abdomen. In addition, both spiders have darker “heart marks” or dorsal stripes running lengthwise down their stomachs. These markings often cause the spider to be mistaken for a Brown recluse spider.

The yellow sac spider’s eight eyes are nearly equal to the same size and are arranged in two slightly curved lines. This spider species also has two front legs that are much longer and less muscular than their other six legs.

White spider
Six-eyed sand spider. Photo credit: Istockphoto.com/willem Van Zyl

White spiders: The six-eyed sand spider.

The six-eyed sand spider is one of the most perfectly camouflaged spiders in the world. If it hunted humans, it would be a terrible threat. Why? All along the top of the spider is stiff hair that captures any local sediment it throws on its back. 

With its body covered with the same colored materials as it is waiting or walking upon, the six-eyed spider is nearly invisible. 

Fortunately, the six-eyed sand spider is reclusive and shy. Therefore, nothing short of deliberate pursuit or accidental contact will cause it to bite a human. 

The six-eyed sand spider had a leg span of up to 2 inches and a body length of just over 1/2 inch. Its body is colored a brownish red to yellow and has no conspicuous markings or strips.

Extreme close up of a White-tailed Spider (Lampona murina). Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/chris moody

White-tailed spider.

White-tailed spiders have dark gray-colored, cigar-shaped bodies. Their legs are orange-brown with faint darker brown to black bands. The white tail name refers to the white spot at the tip of the abdomen just above the spinnerets. In addition, there are two barely noticeable white spots on both sides of the dorsal. 

Despite its apparent size in most photos, the white-tailed female (50% larger than the male) is just under 3/4 of an inch in length.

And we’ll pause right here. Sadly, not every white-tailed spider has a white tail. When coupled with the fact that several other species of spider get tagged as white-tails, identification can be tricky. You have been warned.

Further recommended reading about spiders.

Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these 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.

Recent Posts