Indiana is an incredibly diverse state with a fascinating wildlife. In addition to numerous mammals and birds, the Hoosier state is home to almost 1,000 species of spiders.
This article will guide you through the most common spiders you might come across in Indiana – starting from the very few potentially dangerous ones. Even though one in three Americans suffers from arachnophobia, a fear of spiders, almost all spiders are harmless for humans or larger pets.
Let’s get started by taking a look at the potentially dangerous spiders:
Poisonous spiders in Indiana
While technically almost all spiders are venomous, in Indiana, only three species are capable of delivering bites that may require medical attention: The northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus), the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa). Despite their reputations, bite from either of these spiders are extremely rare and even if a bite occurs, over 90% of bites don’t require any medical attention. Keep in mind that around 10 times more people in the United States die each year from bee or wasp stings than from spider bites (40 vs. 4 fatalities per year on average).
Black widows in Indiana
Of the two black widow species you may find in Indiana, only the adult female is considered medically significant – that means that it is able to deliver bites that frequently require medical attention. While the bites of juvenile or male spiders can be uncomfortable, the symptoms usually wear off after a few hours without any medical intervention.
Adult black widows have a large, bulbous and shiny black abdomen (sometimes with red spots on it) and a clearly visible red or orange hourglass shape on its underside. Since the spider spends most of its lifetime hanging upside down in its tangle web, waiting for prey, the hourglass pattern is usually clearly visible.
The southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) is quite rare in Indiana and only found south of Indianapolis. The northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) is found throughout Indiana. These two species can look almost identical at first sight. The best way to differentiate them is by examining their hourglass pattern: Southern black widows have two separate triangles that don’t touch each other, while the hourglass of the northern black widow is fused into one shape.
To learn more about the black widows, click on the links below:
Latrodectus mactans, the Southern black widow is a close relative of the Northern black widow and the Western black widow ...Read More
Latrodectus, the black widow spider is one of the most famed and feared spider genera in the world. Hollywood tends ...Read More
Brown recluse spiders in Indiana
As their common name suggests, brown recluse spiders tend to spend most of their lifetime well hidden, out of sight. Even though actual brown recluse sightings are quite rare and their natural range is limited to southern Indiana, south of Indianapolis, these spiders are generally over-reported. Numerous brown spiders that may or may not look similar to the brown recluse are simply considered to be brown recluse sightings.
The “violin” pattern on the back of the spider is the most popular way to identify brown recluses – often leading to misidentifications with other brown spiders that have a violin pattern. Brown recluse spiders have six eyes that are placed in three pairs or dyads, their body is never longer than 3/4 inches, their legs are not hairy and their abdomen does not have any patterns.
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 ...Read More
Big spiders in Indiana
As mentioned, many of the big brown spiders found in Indiana are often misreported as recluse sightings. Below, you can see an overview of the most common big brown spiders you may come across in Indiana – none of these are medically significant. Symptoms of a bite are usually comparable to a bee sting.
The largest spider in Indiana is the wolf spider. Females can reach a body size of almost 2 inches and a leg span of close to 4 inches.
Ummidia is a genus of spiders that can be found around the world. Among other genus, they are commonly called ...Read More
Philodromus, commonly called running crab spider, is a genus of crab spiders. Various species can be found throughout the entire ...Read More
The Lycosidae, commonly called wolf spiders are a family of hunter spiders found throughout the United States and the rest ...Read More
Piraurina Mira, commonly called nursery web spider, is a brown spider species with long legs. They are endemic to the ...Read More
Agelenopsis, American grass spiders, are a genus of spiders that can be found around the world and in every US ...Read More
As the name suggests, the fishing spider is a semi-aquatic genus of spiders that are found all over the world ...Read More
Other common spiders in Indiana
Many of us are aware that there are a variety of spider species that people in Indiana may find in your garden or on your daily walks. It can be difficult to recognize them all without having knowledge about their identification, the list below can help you make it impossible to determine whether or not they are poisonous.
Acanthepeira stellata, commonly called the starbellied orb weaver, is one of the most remarkable and memorable orb weaver spiders. Its ...Read More
While the giant lichen orb weaver may not be the largest orb weaver in terms of diameter, thanks to its ...Read More
Araneus diadematus, also called the European garden spider or the cross spider is an orb weaver spider with an iconic ...Read More
The Araneus Gemmoides is an orb weaver species that occurs in the Western United States. It is also known under ...Read More
Araneus marmoreus, The marbled orb weaver is a colorful orb weaver species. Due to its orange color, it is sometimes ...Read More
Araneus trifolium, the shamrock spider, is a widely distributed orb weaver that can come in various colors, mostly beige or ...Read More
The Argiope Aurantia or black and yellow garden spider appears in every US state and in many other countries around ...Read More
The Argiope trifasciata or Banded Garden Spider is one of the most common species of the Argiope orb weaving spider ...Read More
Castianeira descripta, more commonly know as the red-spotted ant mimic spider gets its common name from the similar look and ...Read More
Castianeira longipalpa, sometimeys referred to as the long-palped ant mimic sac spider is found along the Eastern United States as ...Read More
Cheiracanthium mildei, the northern yellow sac spider is one of the most common spiders in Northeastern America. However, it can ...Read More
Spiders of the genus Clubiona, commonly called leaf-curling sac spiders, can be found throughout the world and in every US ...Read More
As the name suggests, the Dysdera crocata, or commonly called woodlouse spider, primarily preys on woodlice. The spider can be ...Read More
Candy-striped spider is not only one of the coolest names for a spider - it also looks great. This spider, ...Read More
The bowl and doily spiders, known as Frontinella pyramitela, are a small species of spiders that belong to the family ...Read More
Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, The Eastern parson spider is one of the most commonly encountered hunter spiders in the United States. The ...Read More
Hibana are a genus of spiders commonly referred to as ghost spiders. They are common throughout South and Central America, ...Read More
Larinioides Cornutus, commonly known as the furrow spider, is an orb weaver species that can be found throughout the Northern ...Read More
Leucauge venusta, commonly called orchard spider is an orb weaver spider that can be found in the Eastern US states, ...Read More
Maevia inclemens, commonly called dimorphic jumper is a species of jumping spiders mainly found in the Eastern U.S. States and ...Read More
Mangora gibberosa, the lined orbweaver, is a common spider found throughout the eastern part of North America. One of the ...Read More
Micrathena gracilis, commonly known as spined micrathena, is one of the spiny orb weaver spiders. The spiny body serves to ...Read More
The spider species Micrathena mitrata, commonly called white micrathena, is an orb weaving spider. They have a large bulbous white ...Read More
The arrow-shaped orb weaver, Micrathena sagittata, is a strange-looking, arrow-shaped spider that is commonly found in gardens of the Eastern ...Read More
The misumena, commonly called flower crab spider, is a genus of spiders that hunt their prey in or around flowers ...Read More
Neoscona arabesca, commonly known as the arabesque orbweaver, is one of the most common orbweaver species that can be found ...Read More
Neoscona crucifera, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver, is an orb weaver species indigenous to the Eastern part of North ...Read More
Commonly known as Red-femured spotted orb weaver or spotted orb weaver, these spiders are in the family of Araneidae which ...Read More
The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a ...Read More
Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or the common house spider can be found in every US state. The spider is also distributed throughout ...Read More
Phidippus audax, commonly known as the daring jumping spider is a jumping spider found throughout the USA. As their name ...Read More
As strange as it sounds, the Pholcidae, or Cellar Spider is one of the most misunderstood spiders in the world ...Read More
The tan jumping spider is a mostly black and gray jumping spider found in the Eastern United States. The can ...Read More
Salticus scenicus, the zebra spider, is a jumping spider that can be found in the entire Northern Hemisphere. As its ...Read More
The spitting spider, scientifically called Scytodaes thoracica, is a fascinating type of hunting spider that captures and paralyzes its prey ...Read More
The Steatoda bipunctata, commonly called rabbit hutch spider is a black spider found throughout the United States. It comes from ...Read More
Steatoda borealis, a spider species that belongs to the genus Steatoda is one of the members family of Theridiidae. In ...Read More
The Steatoda grossa, commonly called the false black widow spider or cupboard spider can be found throughout the United States ...Read More
The Steatoda triangulosa, commonly called the triangulate cobweb spider is a brown-black spider found throughout the US. It has an ...Read More
The Trachelas Transquillus, or broad-faced sac spider is a spider that is native to the Eastern part of the United ...Read More
The arrow-head spider, Verrucosa arenata, is an orb-weaver spider found throughout the United States. Its common name arrowhead spider or ...Read More
Spiders of the Xysticus genus, also called ground crab spiders are a rather indistinct species. As all crab spiders, they ...Read More
Even though Xysticus funestus has a dangerously-sounding common name, the deadly ground crab spider, it is of absolutely no concern ...Read More
Indiana spider identification
If you have found a spider in Indiana 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 Indiana 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.