Spiders in Ohio

Currently, around 680 described spider species can be found in Ohio. The most common spider families are small money spiders (Linyphiidae), orb weavers (Araneae), cobweb spiders (Theridiiae), jumping spiders (Salticidae), wolf spiders (Lycosidae) and funnel-web spiders (Agelenidae). While the vast majority of all spiders is harmless for humans, there are four venomous spider species in Ohio. First, we will take a close look at the dangerous spiders in Ohio and then introduce you to other common Ohio house and garden spiders

Poisonous spiders in Ohio

Generally, it can be said that almost all spiders are venomous. However, there are four species of venomous spiders in Ohio that are considered medically significant: the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), the mediterranean recluse (Loxosceles rufescens), the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus).

Info: Spiders are generally referred to as venomous.
Things that can be ingested are referred to as poisonous (like mushrooms). Animals that transfer a venom through their bite are venomous (e.g. spiders or snakes).

Brown Recluse Spiders in Ohio

The range of the brown recluse spider includes southwestern Ohio, up to Columbus. While recluse sightings also occur north and east of Columbus, they are mostly displaced individuals or small local populations that have yet failed to establish stable populations in these areas. The superficially identifical mediterranean recluse (Loxosceles rufescens) can also be found in Ohio.

Even if you live in the Southwest of Ohio and theoretically in the distribution area of the brown recluse, you are still unlikely to ever encounter one, let along be bitten by one. As their name suggests, these spiders are reclusive and prefer to spend their lives in areas where they are not commonly disturbed by humans. Most alleged brown recluse sightings are usually other brown spiders found in Ohio, commonly wolf spiders, grass spiders or fishing spiders. Here are a few identification marks how to identify a brown recluse:

  • Size: The brown recluse is a relatively small spider compared to wolf spiders and fishing spiders. It’s body size is always under 1 in. (25 mm), maximum 3/4 in (19 mm).
  • Thin Legs: Recluse spiders have very long, thin and non-hairy legs. If the legs are very hairy or thick, it is most definitely not a recluse.
  • 6 Eyes: Most spiders have eight eyes, recluse spiders have 6 eyes. If you can easily identify 8 eyes, you are not looking at a recluse spider.
  • Violin Shape. The brown and mediterranean recluse spiders both have a distinct dark brown violin shape on their cephalothorax (spider’s head). Other than the violin, the spider does not have any patterns or markings.
  • Dark Abdomen. While the overall body and legs are uniformly brown except for the darker violin shape, the abdomen of the recluse is darker and can appear gray, dark brown or even black. There are no markings on the abdomen.
  • No Web. Recluse spiders only build small webs to lay their eggs. If you see a larger, funnel-shaped web or other web structures, you are not dealing with a brown recluse.
Brown recluse spider
A brown recluse spider with its thin legs and violin shape.

Even though brown recluse spiders have the potential to cause severe necrotism with their bites, these instances are very uncommon. According to scientist Rick Vetter, who studied the venom and effects of brown recluse bites in detail, around 90% of brown recluse bites heal by themselves. Around 3% need skin replacement surgery. Also, around 10 times as many people die from bee and wasp stings than from spider bites in the United States.

Check out the post below to learn more about the brown recluse:

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 ...
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Black Widows in Ohio

The species of the black widow can be found in Ohio: the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans) and the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus). Both species look very similar: the most commonly encountered female has a large round black and shiny abdomen with a red hourglass shape on its bottom. Northern and southern black widow can be distinguished by the hourglass marking:

The hourglass shape of the northern black widow is broken into two parts (two triangles that almost touch). The hourglass shape of the southern black widow is clearly one single shape.

Latrodectus mactans Southern black widow female closeup high resolution dorsal below
The red hourglass shape on the bottom of a southern black widow.

The rest of the spider is often completely black. However, especially juvenile individuals often have several red or white markings on its back.

The male black widow usually has a more oblong and less shiny abdomen but is also less aggressive and bites from male black widow spiders have not been recorded. Several black spiders in Ohio are frequently mistakenly identified as black widows. E.g. false black widow spiders (Steatoda grossa) and other species in the Steatoda genus can have a very similar appearance to widows.

You can read more about the northern or southern black widow in the articles below:

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 ...
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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 ...
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Other common spiders in Ohio

Now we have looked at the potentially dangerous spiders in Ohio. Let’s next look at spiders in Ohio that are not considered medically significant but are known to bite or show aggressive behavior.

Biting spiders in Ohio

Next to the medically significant spiders mentioned above, yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium mildei), broad faced sac spiders (Trachelas tranquillus), the woodlouse hunter (Dysdera crocata), the daring jumping spider (Phidippus audax) and the eastern parson spider (Herpyllus eccleclasticus) are considered biting spiders in Ohio. Bites of these spiders are relatively common and can cause some local swelling and pain, including mild headaches and nausea in some cases. However, they usually don’t require any medical attention. You can click on the spider images below to learn more about the spiders:

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Large Spiders in Ohio

The largest spider in Ohio is the Carolina wolf spider (Hogna carolinensis) that can reach a leg span of up to 4 in (100 mm). Its body can grow up to 1.5 inch in length. Other large spiders in Ohio are fishing spiders, grass spiders, wood spiders (also called giant crab spiders) and other nursery web spiders.

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Common house spiders in Ohio

The most common house spiders in Ohio are black or brown spiders of the cobweb spider family. These spiders that include the false widow spiders are often confused with black widows. Jumping spiders and ground crab spiders are also commonly seen inside people’s homes in Ohio.

Steatoda borealis in United States

Steatoda borealis

Steatoda borealis, a spider species that belongs to the genus Steatoda is one of the members family of Theridiidae. In ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Crab spiders and orb weaver spiders

Crab spiders and orb weaver spiders are among the most common spiders found in gardens or around our homes. The most commonly seen orb weaver spiders in Ohio are the European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) and the black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia). Another fascinating spider is the flower crab spider (Misumena sp.), one of the few white spiders in Ohio that can even change its color into yellow to perfectly blend into the flowers where it lurks for potential prey.

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Araneus Marmoreus - Marbled Orb Weaver

Araneus Marmoreus – Marbled Orb Weaver

Araneus marmoreus, The marbled orb weaver is a colorful orb weaver species. Due to its orange color, it is sometimes ...
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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 ...
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Neoscona-crucifera-Spotted-Orbweaver

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 ...
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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, ...
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pachygnatha orb weaver Picture

Pachygnatha

The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Araneus diadematus - European Garden spider

Araneus diadematus – The European Garden Spider

Araneus diadematus, also called the European garden spider or the cross spider is an orb weaver spider with an iconic ...
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Other common Ohio spiders

Below, you can find more pictures of common Ohio spiders:

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Ohio Spider Identification

If you have found a spider in Ohio that is not on this site or that you are uncertain, head over to our USA spider identification page. We have built a tool that should help you identify the spider you found. If you are still unable to identify the spider, you can upload a picture on that page and we will be happy to do our best to identify the spider for you. Head over to the spider identification tool now.

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