Spiders in Florida

The warm climate and the abundance of green areas make Florida the ideal habitat for numerous native and non-native animals – also for spiders.

While the vast majority of all Florida spiders are harmless for humans or larger pets, a few species can cause significant harm with their strong venom. This page provides an overview of the most common spiders in Florida and introduce you to the ones you should be careful about.

Poisonous spiders in Florida

Even though almost all spiders use venom to subdue their prey, only very few species are considered medically significant, i.e. can deliver bites that frequently require medical attention.

Four species of widow spiders (Latrodectus) and the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles) are the only potentially dangerous spiders in Florida.

Widow spiders in Florida

Widow spiders (genus Latrodectus) are best identified by their large round shiny abdomen, long front and hind legs and a red or orange hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. Since they often hang upside down in their webs, it’s usually easy to identify this obvious warning sign.

In Florida, four species of widow spiders can be found:

  • Southern Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans)
  • Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)
  • Red Widow (Latrodectus bishopi)
  • Brown Widow Spider (Latrodectus geometricus)
Latrodectus mactans - Southern black widow

Latrodectus Mactans – Southern Black Widow

Latrodectus mactans, the Southern black widow is a close relative of the Northern black widow and the Western black widow ...
Northern black widow latrodectus variolus

Latrodectus Variolus – Northern Black Widow

Latrodectus, the black widow spider is one of the most famed and feared spider genera in the world. Hollywood tends ...

Latrodectus Geometricus – Brown Widow

Latrodectus geometricus, commonly called the brown widow spider, is one of the most common widow spiders that can be found ...

Latrodectus mactans, the southern black widow

The adult female is mostly dark black with a red hourglass shape on the underside. The two sides of the hourglass are fused. The male is much smaller with long black and brown legs and red and white patterns on its back. Only the adult female is potentially dangerous.

Latrodectus variolus, the northern black widow

Northern black widows look almost identical to southern black widows. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the hourglass shape: The northern black widow has two red triangles that look like an hourglass but don’t touch eachother.

Latrodectus bishopi, the red widow

The red widow is only found in southern and central Florida – nowhere else in the world. It almost exclusively appears in sand-pine scrub habitats. While the overall body shape is similar to other widows, the cephalothorax (head area) and legs are red, while the abdomen is black. This spider is also considered medically significant even though little is known about the potency and effects of its venom, as bites of this uncommon spider are rare.

Latrodectus geometricus, the brown widow

The brown widow is an introduced species, originally from South Africa. As their common name suggests, they are usually brown and also have an orange hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen. Since brown widows can only inject a smaller amount of venom than black widows, they are not considered medically significant.

Brown recluse spiders in Florida

The brown recluse spider, also known as the “violin” spider or “fiddleback spider,” is the one of the most feared spiders in North America. As they prefer dry climate, they are not very common in Florida and are only found in the northeastern parts of the Florida panhandle.

The body size of a brown recluse spiders is typically 3/4 in., always less than an inch. Its completely brown with a violin-shaped darker marking on its back. The long thin legs are not hairy and the abdomen is brown or cream-colored without any patterns or markings. Recluse sightings in Florida are quite rare as most alleged sightings are similar-looking large brown spiders (see section below).

Loxosceles reclusa - brown recluse spider full body picture

Loxosceles reclusa – Brown Recluse

The brown recluse, loxosceles reclusa, is one of the more dangerous spiders indigenous in the United States. While usually not life-threatening, a brown recluse bite might lead to severe skin damage. This page gives an overview of how to identify a brown recluse and in which states in the US it appears. The brown recluse compared to the size of a penny. Brown Recluse Description The brown recluse spider is ...

Big brown spiders in Florida

The bigger the spider, the scarier it looks to many people. But rest assured, none of the large brown spiders that you may come across in Florida are dangerous to humans or pets. The only potentially dangerous brown spider, the brown recluse, never reaches a body size of 1 inch or above – any spider larger than one inch you may see in Florida is not dangerous. We’ll quickly introduce you to some of the most common ones: wolf spiders, fishing spiders and huntsman spiders.

Wolf spiders

Wolf spiders of the family Lycosidae are some of the largest and most commonly encountered spiders in North America. The Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) can reach a body size of up to 2 inches. Wolf spiders are active hunters and do not spin webs to catch their prey. They are mostly seen running on the ground – in or around homes.

Lycosidae wolf spider

Lycosidae – Wolf Spider

The Lycosidae, commonly called wolf spiders are a family of hunter spiders found throughout the United States and the rest of the world. There are many species of the Wolf Spider in North America, many of which look very similar. Twice in the past I asked an entomologist (both times ...

Fishing spiders

Fishing spiders of the genus Dolomedes are often found near bodies of water and feed on insects as well as small fish or tadpoles. These spiders have perfected their life around water so much that some species even have the ability to walk on water.

fishing spider dolomedes vittatus

Dolomedes – Fishing Spider

As the name suggests, the fishing spider is a semi-aquatic genus of spiders that are found all over the world. Various species of Dolomedes can be found in every US state. Dolomedes are a genus of the Nursery Web Spider family. They are large hunter spiders that usually find their prey around water. They will place their legs on the water surface and feel any movement that is caused by ...

Huntsman spiders

The tropical huntsman spider (Heteropoda venatoria) is the largest spider in Florida in terms of leg span. Adult females can reach a leg span of up to 5 inches (12 cm). Their bodies are usually slightly smaller than those of large wolf spiders. Huntsman spiders are also hunting spiders who don’t spin webs.

Heteropoda venatoria huntsman spider in the united states

Heteropoda venatoria – Pantropical huntsman

Heteropoda venatoria, the pantropical huntsman spider, is a member of the running crab spider family Sparassidae. They are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions around. This particular species is native to North America and is mostly found in the warmer States along the Gulf Coast as well as in ...
Olios giganteus giant crab spider in California

Olios Giganteus – Giant Crab Spider

Olios Giganteus, the giant crab spider, belongs to the family of Sparassidae spiders, which are commonly called huntsman spiders. As other crab spiders, they have curved legs which gives them a crab-like appearance. However, the giant crab spider can reach a leg span of up to 6 inches (15 cm) ...

Banana spider

The golden orb-weaver (Trichonephila clavipes) also known as the “Banana spider” by Floridians is a colorful large spider that spins large, golden webs. The female can reach a total leg span of three inches, males are less colorful and considerably smaller with an average body size of 1/4 inch (6 mm).

In autumn, these spiders, along with other orb-weavers are some of the most commonly encountered arachnids in gardens or forests. They are rarely encountered inside. Over the last years, a relative of the banana spider, the joro spider (Trichonephila clavata) has been introduced to Georgia from Asia and has established sizeable populations that are also spreading into northern Florida. Neither the banana spider nor the joro spider can cause medically significant bites.

Trichonephila clavipes Banana Spider golden silk orb weaver

Trichonephila Clavipes – Banana Spider

Trichonephila clavipes, commonly called banana spider or golden-silk orb weaver is a unique orb weaver species due to its shape ...

Other common spiders in FL

Below is an overview of some of the most common FL spiders that we haven’t introduced in this article yet. Florida’s most common house spiders are cellar spiders (Pholcidae), false widows (Steatoda sp.), common house spiders (Parasteatoda sp.). In your backyard, you are more likely to find orb-weavers (Araneidae) who spin large webs, flower crab spiders (Misumena) or jumping spiders (Salticidae).

female acanthepeira stellata star bellied orb weaver

Acanthepeira Stellata – Starbellied Orb Weaver

Acanthepeira stellata, commonly called the starbellied orb weaver, is one of the most remarkable and memorable orb weaver spiders. Its ...
Agelenopsis American grass spider

Agelenopsis – American Grass Spider

Agelenopsis, American grass spiders, are a genus of spiders that can be found around the world and in every US ...
Araneus bicentenarius giant lichen orb weaver cover image

Araneus Bicentenarius – Giant Lichen Orb Weaver

While the giant lichen orb weaver may not be the largest orb weaver in terms of diameter, thanks to its ...
Araneus Trifolium - Shamrock Spider Picture

Araneus Trifolium – Shamrock Spider

Araneus trifolium, the shamrock spider, is a widely distributed orb weaver that can come in various colors, mostly beige or ...
Argiope argentata Silver Argiope information

Argiope Argentata – Silver Garden Spider

The silver garden spider, Argiope argentata, is a common orb weaver in the warm and humid regions in the Southern ...
Arigope Aurantia Spider

Argiope Aurantia – Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The Argiope Aurantia or black and yellow garden spider appears in every US state and in many other countries around ...
Arigope Trifasciata Spider

Argiope Trifasciata – Banded Garden Spider

The Argiope trifasciata or Banded Garden Spider is one of the most common species of the Argiope orb weaving spider ...
Red-Spotted ant mimic spider Castianeira descripta

Castianeira Descripta – Red-Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

Castianeira descripta, more commonly know as the red-spotted ant mimic spider gets its common name from the similar look and ...
Castianeira longipalpa long-palped ant mimicking spider information

Castianeira Longipalpa – Long-Palped Ant Mimic Sac Spider

Castianeira longipalpa, sometimeys referred to as the long-palped ant mimic sac spider is found along the Eastern United States as ...
Cheiracanthium Mildei - Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Cheiracanthium Mildei – Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Cheiracanthium mildei, the northern yellow sac spider is one of the most common spiders in Northeastern America. However, it can ...
Clubiona - Leaf-Curling Sac Spider picture

Clubiona – Leaf-Curling Sac Spider

Spiders of the genus Clubiona, commonly called leaf-curling sac spiders, can be found throughout the world and in every US ...
Dysdera Crocata - Woodlouse Spider

Dysdera Crocata – Woodlouse Spider

As the name suggests, the Dysdera crocata, or commonly called woodlouse spider, primarily preys on woodlice. The spider can be ...
bowl and doily spider Frontinella pyramitela information

Frontinella Pyramitela – Bowl and Doily Spider

The bowl and doily spiders, known as Frontinella pyramitela, are a small species of spiders that belong to the family ...
Spiny Orbweaver Gasteracantha cancriformis small round spider with spikes white black red

Gasteracantha Cancriformis – Spinybacked Orb Weaver

The spinybacked orbweaver is a small harmless spider with six characteristic spines along the back of its abdomen. It can ...
Gray House Spider - Badumna Longinqua information - Kopie

Gray House Spider – Badumna Longinqua

The gray house spider, Badmuna longinqua, is a medium sized black and gray spider originally native to Australia. It has ...
Herpyllus ecclesiasticus eastern parson spider hunting

Herpyllus Ecclesiasticus – Eastern Parson Spider

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, The Eastern parson spider is one of the most commonly encountered hunter spiders in the United States. The ...
Hibana Incursa

Hibana – Ghost Spider

Hibana are a genus of spiders commonly referred to as ghost spiders. They are common throughout South and Central America, ...
Kukulcania Hibernalis - Southern House Spider

Kukulcania Hibernalis – Southern House Spider

Kukulcania hibernalis, the Southern House Spider is a large brown spider that can be found throughout the Southern United States, ...
Larinioides Cornutus - furrow orb weaver

Larinioides Cornutus – Furrow Spider

Larinioides Cornutus, commonly known as the furrow spider, is an orb weaver species that can be found throughout the Northern ...
Leucauge venusta Colorful orchard spider

Leucauge venusta – Orchard Spider

Leucauge venusta, commonly called orchard spider is an orb weaver spider that can be found in the Eastern US states, ...
Lyssomanes Viridis - Mangolia Green Jumper cover image

Lyssomanes Viridis – Magnolia Green Jumper

Lyssomanes viridis, commonly called magnolia green jumper, is a small bright green jumping spider that can be found in the ...
Dark morph dimorphic jumper

Maevia Inclemens – Dimorphic Jumper

Maevia inclemens, commonly called dimorphic jumper is a species of jumping spiders mainly found in the Eastern U.S. States and ...
Mangora gibberosa - Lined Orbweaver information

Mangora gibberosa – Lined Orbweaver

Mangora gibberosa, the lined orbweaver, is a common spider found throughout the eastern part of North America. One of the ...
Menemerus Bivittatus - Grey Wall Jumper

Menemerus Bivittatus – Gray Wall Jumper

Menemerus bivittatus, commonly called the gray wall jumper or the gray jumping spider, is a jumping spider that can be ...
Metaltella simoni hacklemesh weaver information

Metaltella Simoni – Hacklemesh Weaver

Metaltella simoni is a spider species that is commonly often referred to as hacklemesh weaver. This may lead to confusion ...
White spider with black spines brown legs is a Micrathena gracilis – Spined Micrathena found in Georgia United States

Micrathena gracilis – Spined Micrathena

Micrathena gracilis, commonly known as spined micrathena, is one of the spiny orb weaver spiders. The spiny body serves to ...
Micrathena mitrata – White Micrathena information

Micrathena mitrata – White Micrathena

The spider species Micrathena mitrata, commonly called white micrathena, is an orb weaving spider. They have a large bulbous white ...
Micrathena Sagittata - Arrow-Shaped Orbweaver information

Micrathena Sagittata – Arrow-Shaped Orbweaver

The arrow-shaped orb weaver, Micrathena sagittata, is a strange-looking, arrow-shaped spider that is commonly found in gardens of the Eastern ...
Misumena Flower Crab Spider

Misumena – Flower Crab Spider

The misumena, commonly called flower crab spider, is a genus of spiders that hunt their prey in or around flowers ...
Neoscona arabesca Arabesque orbweaver in the United States

Neoscona Arabesca – Arabesque Orb Weaver

Neoscona arabesca, commonly known as the arabesque orbweaver, is one of the most common orbweaver species that can be found ...
Neoscona crucifera Spotted Orbweaver Information

Neoscona crucifera – Spotted Orb Weaver

Neoscona crucifera, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver, is an orb weaver species indigenous to the Eastern part of North ...
Neoscona domiciliorum red-femured spotted orbweaver found in Florida

Neoscona domiciliorum – Red-femured Spotted Orbweaver

Commonly known as Red-femured spotted orb weaver or spotted orb weaver, these spiders are in the family of Araneidae which ...
pachygnatha orb weaver Picture


The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a ...
Parasteatoda Tepidariorum the common house spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum – The Common House Spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or the common house spider can be found in every US state. The spider is also distributed throughout ...
Female Green Lynx Spider Peucetia viridans in the United States

Peucetia viridans – Green Lynx Spider

Peucetia viridans, commonly known as the green lynx spider, is a large bright green spider found on many kinds of ...
Daring Jumping Spider

Phidippus audax – Daring Jumping Spider

Phidippus audax, commonly known as the daring jumping spider is a jumping spider found throughout the USA. As their name ...
Phidippus Regius - Regal Jumping Spider female grey

Phidippus Regius – Regal Jumping Spider

Phidippus regius, the regal jumping spider, is one of the largest species of the jumping spiders of the Phidippus genera ...
Philodromus - Running Crab Spider

Philodromus – Running Crab Spider

Philodromus, commonly called running crab spider, is a genus of crab spiders. Various species can be found throughout the entire ...
Pholcidae or Cellar Spider Photo

Pholcidae – Daddy Long-Legs or Cellar Spider

As strange as it sounds, the Pholcidae, or Cellar Spider is one of the most misunderstood spiders in the world ...
Picture of Pisaurina Mira

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 ...
Platycryptus undatus Tan Jumping Spider Information

Platycryptus Undatus – Tan Jumping Spider

The tan jumping spider is a mostly black and gray jumping spider found in the Eastern United States. The can ...
Salticus Scenicus - Zebra Spider

Salticus Scenicus – Zebra Spider

Salticus scenicus, the zebra spider, is a jumping spider that can be found in the entire Northern Hemisphere. As its ...
Scytodes Thoracica - Spitting Spider

Scytodes Thoracica – Spitting Spider

The spitting spider, scientifically called Scytodaes thoracica, is a fascinating type of hunting spider that captures and paralyzes its prey ...
Rabbit hutch spider

Steatoda Bipunctata – Rabbit Hutch Spider

The Steatoda bipunctata, commonly called rabbit hutch spider is a black spider found throughout the United States. It comes from ...
Steatoda Grossa - Cupboard Spider or False black widow

Steatoda Grossa – False Black Widow Spider

The Steatoda grossa, commonly called the false black widow spider or cupboard spider can be found throughout the United States ...
Steatoda triangulosa triangulate cobweb spider picture

Steatoda Triangulosa – Triangulate Cobweb Spider

The Steatoda triangulosa, commonly called the triangulate cobweb spider is a brown-black spider found throughout the US. It has an ...
Trachelas Tranquillus Broad Faced Sac Spider

Trachelas Tranquillus – Broad-Faced Sac Spider

The Trachelas Transquillus, or broad-faced sac spider is a spider that is native to the Eastern part of the United ...
Eriophora Ravilla tropical orb weaver yellow orange with black spots in large web

Tropical Orb Weaver – Eriophora Ravilla

The tropical orb weaver, Eriophora ravilla, is a harmless orb weaver spider found throughout the tropical areas of the Americas ...
Ummidia trapdoor spider

Ummidia – Trap-Door Spider

Ummidia is a genus of spiders that can be found around the world. Among other genus, they are commonly called ...
Arrowhead orb weaver Verrucosa arenata information

Verrucosa Arenata – Arrowhead Spider

The arrow-head spider, Verrucosa arenata, is an orb-weaver spider found throughout the United States. Its common name arrowhead spider or ...
Xysticus - Ground Crab Spider

Xysticus – Ground Crab Spider

Spiders of the Xysticus genus, also called ground crab spiders are a rather indistinct species. As all crab spiders, they ...
Xysticus funestus deadly ground crab spider

Xysticus Funestus – Deadly Ground Crab Spider

Even though Xysticus funestus has a dangerously-sounding common name, the deadly ground crab spider, it is of absolutely no concern ...

Florida spider identification

If you have found a spider in Florida that is not on this article or that you cannot identify, head over to our spider identification page. We have built a spider identification tool where you can answer a couple of questions and the tool will show you a list of potential matches. If that still fails to identify your spider, you can take a photo of your Florida spider and upload it to that page. Our experts will give their best to identify the spider for you and get back to you as soon as possible.

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