There are over 600 spider species found in South Carolina. Almost all of them are completely harmless for humans or pets, even though they might look intimidating. This page gives you an overview and identification help for the most common spiders in South Carolina.
We will first take a look at the medically significant spiders found in S.C. and then look at other common brown spiders, orb weavers, jumping spiders and more. You can click on any of the spider images to learn more about the spider.
Poisonous Spiders in South Carolina
While almost all the almost 50,000 spider species in the world are venomous, only very few are considered medically significant. In the United States, only widow spiders (Latrodectus) and recluse spiders (Loxosceles) are considered medically significant. Both of these spider species are found in South Carolina. We will have a look at them and where you are most likely to find them in the state.
Black widows in S.C.
Three species of widow spiders can be found in South Carolina: the less venomous brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus), the northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) and the southern black widow (Latrodectus mactans). All three species have a red hourglass-shape on the underside of their abdomen.
The brown widow is mostly brown with alternating cream-colored and black or dark brown bands around its legs. It is found throughout southern South Carolina south of Georgetown, Columbia and Greenville.
The northern and southern black widows look almost identical at first glance. The larger female has a shiny round black abdomen, long and slender legs and a red hourglass shape on its underside. The southern black widow has an hourglass shape that is merged together to form one shape. The northern black widow has a divided hourglass shape with two separated triangles.
A bite of a black widow can cause nausea, pain, local swelling and other flu-like symptoms. If you are bitten by a black widow, get medical attention immediately. Apply ice to the bite but do not put on a tourniquet.
Southern black widows are found throughout SC. Northern black widows are also widely distributed in the state but have not been seen in the coastal areas around Charleston.
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
Latrodectus geometricus, commonly called the brown widow spider, is one of the most common widow spiders that can be found ...Read More
Brown recluse spiders in South Carolina
The brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is the most feared spider in North America. New outlets often pick up lurid stories of brown recluse bites with horrifying images. And yes, brown recluse spider bites can cause severe reactions. However, these reactions are very rare and even more rarely are they deadly. And if you live in South Carolina, we have some good news for you: You are most likely not living in brown recluse area. The spider you found is most likely some harmless brown spider, possibly a wolf spider or a grass spider. You can find some pictures in the next section.
The natural range of the brown recluse only stretches to the Northeastern tip of South Carolina. There are no brown recluses throughout Eastern and Southern South Carolina. If you live somewhere east or south of Anderson or Easley, finding a brown recluse is very unlikely.
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
Large Brown Spiders in South Carolina
Our readers often see a large brown spider in S.C. and fear that they are dealing with a brown recluse. We’ve talked about the appearance and size of brown recluse spiders above. But what other large brown spiders are there in S.C.?
Carolina Wolf Spiders (Hogna carolinensis)
Carolina wolf spiders are the largest spiders found in South Carolina. The can reach a maximum leg span of up to 4 in (10 cm)and are found throughout SC. Carolina wolf spiders, as most other wolf spiders, are predominantly brown spiders with darker markings on their cephalothorax (head). Wolf spiders are a great insect control animal and are absolutely harmless for humans and pets.
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 were different entomologists) to help me identify the different Wolf Spiders that have been sent to me. Both times, they turned me down for the same reason. It is simply too hard to identify the different species of Wolf Spiders without putting the spider under the microscope to look at ...Read More
Other large brown spiders
Other large brown spiders in SC are grass spiders, southern house spiders, fishing spiders, hacklemesh weavers, nursery web spiders and trap-door spiders. You can see pictures below. Simply click on the images or on the read more button for more information about the spider. If you see a brown spider spinning a large round web, you are dealing with an orb weaver. You can find pictures of those below this section.
Ummidia is a genus of spiders that can be found around the world. Among other genus, they are commonly called ...Read More
Kukulcania hibernalis, the Southern House Spider is a large brown spider that can be found throughout the Southern United States, ...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
Orb weavers are a family of harmless spiders (Araneidae) that spin large orb-shaped webs to catch their prey. They come in a large number of sizes, colors and shapes and are harmless for humans. The most common and largest orb weavers in South Carolina are banana spiders (Trichonenphila clavipes), black and yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) and European garden spiders (Araneus diadematus). Some orb weavers have peculiar shapes and colors. Here are images of common orb weavers in SC:
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
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
The spinybacked orbweaver is a small harmless spider with six characteristic spines along the back of its abdomen. It can ...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
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 missing sector orb weaver, Zygiella x-notata, is a common spider species found throughout Europe and the United States. The ...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
The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a ...Read More
Trichonephila clavipes, commonly called banana spider or golden-silk orb weaver is a unique orb weaver species due to its shape ...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
Jumping spiders are a family of small to medium-sized spiders that are often found in SC homes. Jumping spiders have great vision and are generally curious towards humans. They rarely bite when handled and are harmless in the few cases where a bite occurs. Jumping spiders get their common name from the fact that they can jump large distances with one quick leap.
The tan jumping spider is a mostly black and gray jumping spider found in the Eastern United States. The can ...Read More
Phidippus regius, the regal jumping spider, is one of the largest species of the jumping spiders of the Phidippus genera ...Read More
Lyssomanes viridis, commonly called magnolia green jumper, is a small bright green jumping spider that can be found in the ...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
Salticus scenicus, the zebra spider, is a jumping spider that can be found in the entire Northern Hemisphere. As its ...Read More
Phidippus audax, commonly known as the daring jumping spider is a jumping spider found throughout the USA. As their name ...Read More
Other Common Spiders in South Carolina
Other common house spiders in SC are cobweb spiders (Steatoda), daddy long-leg spiders, cellar spiders, crab spiders. Here are some SC spider pictures:
Castianeira descripta, more commonly know as the red-spotted ant mimic spider gets its common name from the similar look and ...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
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
Metaltella simoni is a spider species that is commonly often referred to as hacklemesh weaver. This may lead to confusion ...Read More
The misumena, commonly called flower crab spider, is a genus of spiders that hunt their prey in or around flowers ...Read More
Parasteatoda tepidariorum, or the common house spider can be found in every US state. The spider is also distributed throughout ...Read More
Philodromus, commonly called running crab spider, is a genus of crab spiders. Various species can be found throughout the entire ...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 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
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
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
S.C. Spider Identification
If you have found a spider in South Carolina that is not on our list, check out our spider identification page. There you can find a spider identification tool that will help you identify the spider you found. If that still won’t work, just take a picture of your spider and upload it on the identification page. We will do our best to ID the spider for you.