Spider Families in North America

Spiny Orbweaver Gasteracantha cancriformis small round spider with spikes white black red

As of 2021, there are over 48,000 spider species in the world. Around 3,000 of the species can be found in the United States. Spiders are classified under the order Araneae in the class Arachnida. Other arachnids that are not spiders are for example harvestmen and ticks.

Araneae are divided into two suborders: Mesothelae and Opisthothelae. The suborder Mesothelae only comprises few genera and none of them can be found in the United States. All spiders found in the United States are part of the infraorders Mygalomorphae (trapdoor spiders and tarantulas) or Araneomorphae (orb weavers, jumping spiders, ground spiders, cobweb spiders and most other spider families).

Mygalomorphae – Trapdoor Spiders and Tarantulas

The Mygalomorphae infraorder comprises several families of trapdoor spiders and tarantulas. The infraorder is subdivided into two clades. 11 Mygalomorphae spider families are found in North America.

Clade Atypoidea:

  • Antrodiaetidae – Folding Trapdoor Spiders
  • Atypidae – Atypical Tarantulas or Purseweb Spiders
  • Hexurellidae
  • Mecicobothriidae – Dwarf Tarantulas or Sheet Funnel-Web Spiders 
  • Megahexuridae

Clade Avicularioidea

Ummidia trapdoor spider

Araneomorphae – All Other Spiders

The infraorder Araneomorphae comprises all other spiders. The vast majority of all North American spiders is part of the araneomorph spiders. This inforaorder contains for example jumping spiders, orb weavers, sac spiders, funnel weavers and many more common spiders in the United States. Families with a (!) before their name contain medically significant spiders in North America.

Photo of the size of an american grass spider
Agelenidae – Agelenopsis, a grass spider
Araneus bicentenarius giant lichen orb weaver cover image
Araneus bicentenarius, a giant lichen orb weaver
Clubiona - Leaf-Curling Sac Spider
Clubiona – Leaf-Curling Sac Spider
  • Corinnidae
  • Ctenidae – tropical wolf spiders / wandering spiders
  • Cybaeidae
  • Deinopidae – Net-Casting Spiders
    • Example: Ogre-faced spider or net-casting spider (Deinopis spinosa)
  • Desidae – intertidal spiders         
  • Dictynidae – Coneweb spiders
    • Example: Desert Bush Spider (Diguetia canities)
  • Dysderidae – woodlouse hunter spiders
Woodlouse Hunter
Dysdera crocata – Woodlouse Hunter
Kukulcania Hibernalis - Southern House Spider
Kukulcania Hibernalis – Southern House Spider
Wolf spider lycosidae
Lycosidae – Wolf Spider
  • Mimetidae – Pirate Spiders
  • Miturgidae
  • Mysmenidae
  • Nesticidae – Scaffold Web Spiders
  • Oecobiidae – Disc Web Spiders
  • Oonopidae – Goblin Spiders
  • Oxyopidae – Lynx Spiders
    • Example: Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridis)
  • Philodromidae – Running Crab Spiders
Philodromus - Running Crab Spider
Philodromus sp. – Running Crab Spider
Pholcidae Daddy Long-Legs Spider
Pholcidae Daddy Long-Legs Spider
Picture of Pisaurina Mira
Pisaurina mira – American nursery web spider
Jumping Spider Closeup
Salticidae – A Jumping Spider
Loxosceles reclusa - brown recluse spider full body picture
Loxosceles reclusa – the infamouse brown recluse
Leucauge venusta Colorful orchard spider
Leucauge venusta – orchard spider
A female black widow – Latrodectus sp.
Misumena vatia goldenrod crab spider on a sun flower
Misumena vatia – Goldenrod crab spider
Trachelas Tranquillus
Trachelas Tranquillus – Broad Faced Sac Spider
  • Trechaleidae
  • Example: Long-Legged Water Spider (Trechalea gertschi)
  • Trogloraptoridae
  • Uloboridae – Cribellate Orb Weabers, Hackled Orb Weavers
  • Zoropsidae – False Wolf Spiders
    • Example: Titiotus californicus
Spider Families in North America

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