Pisaurina Mira – American Nursery Web Spider

Piraurina Mira, commonly called nursery web spider, is a brown spider species with long legs. They are endemic to the Eastern USA.

American nursery web spiders are often confused with wolf spiders or fishing spiders.

Picture of Pisaurina Mira
The Pisaurina mira spider. Photo by: Eileen Straiton – Connecticut

The best way to identify Nursery Web Spiders from their lookalikes is by examining their eye patterns. If you are looking at a spider specimen at home, it is best to take a full resolution picture of the spider and zoom in to the eyes.

The Pisaurina mira spider has a lower row of four eyes on a nearly straight line. The two outer eyes of the upper row are higher and the two center eyes are a bit closer to the lower row. Wolf spiders and fishing spiders do not have their lower eyes on one row.

Pisaurina Mira Description

The Pisaurina mira tend to have two different looks to them (As shown in the above photos). One is to have a lighter tan body with a wide deeper brown stripe down the middle with medium length legs, and the other is to have less of a stripe showing up and more of a widespread pattern with long legs.

Nursery Web Spider
A nursery web spider with long legs. Photo by: Christina Swansey – Grand Blanc, Michigan

Size

The body of an adult Nursery Web Spider grows to around 3/4 inches (19 mm). They sometimes have medium length legs and some have long legs. With the longer legs, it would not be surprising if they reached 2 ½” (64 mm) to 3” (76 mm) across.

Web

The only time the Nursery Web Spider spins webbing, is to place their eggs in a sac and carry it around underneath the cephalothorax. As the eggs grow closer to hatching, the mother will attach the eggs to a leave or branch or something, and then it will stand guard over the eggs until they hatch.

Nusery Web Spider Bite

The Nursery Web Spider is listed in the category of little to no risk of danger. When they are protecting young or eggs, they tend to become more aggressive. The bite is usually very mild. Localized pain and minor swelling may occur. There can also be localized tissue damage along the line of a large pimple on a rare occasion.

Scientific Classification of Pisaurina Mira

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Pisauridae
  • Genus: Pisaurina
  • Species: Pisaurina Mira

Common Names

Nursery web spider or American nursery web spider.

Nursery Web Spider USA
Photo by Jamie – Jennison Mi.
American nursery web spider size in glass Minnesota
An American nursery web spider found by Janet in Eastern Minnesota

Distribution of the Nursery Web Spider in the USA

Pisaurina Mira – American Nursery Web Spider range

The nursery web spider can be found throughout the Eastern States of the United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

More Nursery Web Spider Pictures

Nursery Web Spider Photo
Photo by Katlin – Plainwell Mi.
Pisaurina Mira Nursery Web Spider
Photography by: K. J. Ester – Madison Heights, Michigan
Pisaurina Mira – American Nursery Web Spider

39 thoughts on “Pisaurina Mira – American Nursery Web Spider

  1. What is this? Its leg span is around 1.5 inches. I think it was outdoors and climbed into our mailbox, but came in when I brought in the mail (really startling me when I laid out the mail). We live in Warren, RI.

  2. Hi. My son found this spider in the grass in Lynchburg VA. It didn’t match the basic VA spider photos. Any idea?

  3. I’m attaching a pic of yellow spider for ID.
    It was in the folds of a piece of landscaping cloth I didn’t see any web.
    It’s size including the legs was approximately 1” -1.25”.

    1. Hello Christine, thanks for getting in touch! This is an American nursery web spider (Pisaurina sp.). The strong yellow coloration is a bit odd. That might be due to something the spider ate or it could also appear more yellow on the photograph. The spider is not medically significant. You can read more about it here: https://usaspiders.com/pisaurina-mira-nursery-web-spider/

  4. This spider was found in a small potted fuchsia plant on my deck in Massachusetts. I’m assuming it’s a nursery spider?

    1. Hi Darcy, wow! What an incredible shot! Yes, this is definitely a Pisaurina nursery web spider! Thanks for uploading this!

  5. I appreciate you taking a look at this, as I have tried for a couple of hours to identify it but to no avail. It’s a pretty clear pic, so I think it would be helpful to others if you can identify it. I didn’t measure it, but it is quite large. I found it at the foundation of my house in Ohio. Thanks!

  6. Any ideas on this spider. It was highly aggressive while it was hunting for other insects. At one point caught a fly(about the same size as it’s head), killed it and dropped it’s body. This spider including legs is around 3 to 4 inches diameter.

  7. I just moved to Ohio from Arizona. I am not familiar with this spider…any ideas? My husband wants to kill it but I don’t mind spiders if they are non aggressive and if you get bit you won’t die.

    1. Hello Michelle, thanks for getting in touch! This is definitely a nursery web spider. It’s not medically significant and there is no need to kill it 🙂 thanks for convincing your husband 🙂

  8. Woke up with this in our bed and it bit my husband. We noticed the egg sack and put her outside. Please identify?

    1. Hello Pamela, thanks for getting in touch! This is an American nursery web spider (Pisaurina mira). It’s not medically significant.

  9. Any idea what kind of spider this is? It’s about 1.5 or so.. found in my laundry room in Arkansas.. 😩

  10. Found this one on my kids play set in Massachusetts. Didn’t seem to move a lot. Is this a grass spider?

  11. Found this guy crawling up the patio furniture. Kind leathery, the body was the size of a dime. What do you think? Near Cape Cod, MA. Coastal area.

  12. Is this a nursery web spider? Its been there for a few days, on an outdoor window frame of the house, in a somewhat shady spot, near Birmingham, Alabama. It’s body is almost an inch long and with legs, about 3″ long.

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