Let’s have a look at the spiders found in Minnesota. There are over 500 different species of spiders in the State. The most common spiders found in MN are orb weavers, jumping spiders, cobweb spiders, wolf spiders, fishing spiders and crab spiders. And we’ll have a look at all of them on this page.
Poisonous spiders in Minnesota
If you are here to identify a spider that you found in Minnesota, you are probably wondering if it can be dangerous for you, your children or your pets. First off the good news: while almost all spiders in the world are venomous, only around 30 species worldwide are considered medically significant. And none of these spiders is commonly found in Minnesota. In the United States, only black widow spiders and brown recluses are medically significant spiders.
Black widows in MN
The range of the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) does not reach farther North as Central Missouri and Southeastern Wisconsin. No established populations of black widows have been found in Minnesota and the few confirmed sightings were imported live spiders from farther South or East.
So it is very unlikely that you encounter a black widow spider in Minnesota. However, here are a few identification tips:
Black, shiny body
Red hourglass-shape on the bottom of its abdomen
Spins an erratic and tangled cobweb
Possibly some white or red markings on its back
Here are some pictures:
Brown recluse spiders
You are even less likely to encounter a brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) than a black widow in Minnesota. Brown recluses prefer warm weather and their natural range only reaches up to Southern Iowa. Very few sightings of cargo spiders have been documented in Minnesota. However, most sightings were false identifications of other brown spiders. Here are some identifications tips for brown recluse spiders:
Completely brown body
Darker brown violin shape on the back of its cephalothorax (head)
Long and slender legs, not hairy
Leg span not more than 1.5 in (3 cm)
Here is an image of a brown recluse and more information in the linked article:
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 ...
To sum it up: You are very unlikely to encounter a medically significant spider in Minnesota. Sightings of black widows are very rare and often false identifications of false black widow spiders. Brown recluses are even less likely to appear in your MN home. Even though everybody knows someone who has seen or been bitten by a brown recluse, the large majority of these alleged sightings are false identifications of other brown spiders in Minnesota. Most of the look almost nothing like brown recluses other than their body color. Here are a few brown spiders that are common in Minnesota: Wolf spiders (Lycosidae), fishing spiders (Dolomedes), grass spiders (Agelenopsis) and nursery web spiders (Pisaurina).
Here you can see some images of brown spiders in MN that are NOT brown recluses and absolutely harmless:
Large spiders in Minnesota – wolf spiders, fishing spiders and more
The biggest spider in Minnesota is the fishing spider. They are often found near, or even running on water. Their bodies can grow up to one inch and they can reach a maximum leg span of 3.5-4 in (10 cm). Wolf spiders, which are also common in Minnesota can reach a similar size. Here, you can find an overview of the largest spiders in MN:
Orb weavers are the most commonly found spider throughout the U.S. Even though they rarely appear indoors, they spin large orb-shaped webs in our gardens, front porches and in forests. Orb weavers come in a range of colors, shapes and sizes and are especially abundant in late autumn. The most common orb weavers found in Minnesota is the European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) and the black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia). Here is an overview of all common orb weavers in the state:
Next to large brown spiders and orb weavers, jumping spiders and cobweb spiders are some of the most common house spiders in MN. In the following list, you can see pictures of common Minnesota spiders. Just click on the links to learn more about them and to see more pictures.
If you have found a spider in Minnesota that is not on our list, head over to our spider identification page. We have a spider identification tool that might help you identify your spider. If not, simply upload a picture of your spider on that page and we will try our best and find out what species you’ve got.