Hibana – Ghost Spider

Hibana are a genus of spiders commonly referred to as ghost spiders. They are common throughout South and Central America, including the Caribbean Islands. In North America, they are mostly found along the East Coast as well as in the Southern United States from coast to coast.

Ghost spiders are part of the sac spider family Anyphaenidae. They are nocturnal hunter spiders and usually spend their daytime hidden and protected within a layer of silk – a sac. Their common name ‘ghost spiders’ comes from the fact that they are often observed behind the semi transparent silk of their silken daytime retreats.

Quick Overview: Hibana – Ghost Spider
Medically significant: No
Body size: Up to 0.5 in. (13 mm)
Main colors: Yellow, Brown
Range: United States, Brazil, and West Indies
Web: No web, hides in silken retreat during the day

Hibana Spider Description

Ghost spiders can have a very similar appearance to other ghost spiders at first sight. They are small to medium sized spiders with a body size of no more than 0.5 inches (13 mm). Their cephalothorax (head area) and the front legs are usually reddish-brown. The abdomen and the hind legs are a lighter tan color, often with small hairs.

Hibana - Ghost Spider in United State
A ghost spider

Their best identification feature are the darker patterns on the abdomen. Often, they have two rows of darker brown or black spots along the sides of the abdomen.

Lighter-colored individuals are easily confused with yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium sp.). Darker colores species can look very similar to leaf-curling sac spiders of the genus Clubiona. The presence of dark spots on the abdomen is usually the best way to identify ghost spiders.

Range of Hibana- Ghost Spider in United States
Hibana – Ghost Spider in Carderock, Maryland. Notice the very small dark spots running down the center of the abdomen. Photo by: Judy Gallagher

Size

Ghost spiders rarely reach a body length of 0.5 inches (13 mm).

Web

Hibana spiders are active hunters and do not spin webs to catch prey. They usually roam around the ground at night, searching for insects, bugs and other spiders as prey. During the daytime, they usually retreat into a quite corner, often in homes, and spin a small silken retreat where they are protected from predators while they rest.

Ghost spider Hibana gracilis found by Christine in Charleston, South Carolina
A ghost spider hiding behind a layer of silk during the day. Found by Christine in Charleston, South Carolina
Hibana found by Sonya in NE Florida
A ghost spider in its silken retreat found by Sonya in NE Florida

Hibana Spider bite

A bite of a ghost spider is generally not dangerous to humans or larger pets. Symptoms of a bite can be comparable to a bee sting.

Hibana Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Anyphaenidae
  • Genus: Hibana

In North America, there are seven species of Hibana ghost spiders. The most common species are Hibana incursa, found in the eastern United States and Hibana gracilis, found in California and the Southern United States.

Distribution of the Hibana spider in the USA

Various species of the Hibana spider can be found throughout eastern and southern United States – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Hibana photos

Here are some photos of ghost spiders uploaded by our readers:

Hibana – Ghost Spider

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