According to a 2005 study, there are 479 species of spiders in Wisconsin. Other sources claim that there are over 1,000 species to be found in the state. Regardless of the exact number of species, this page provides an overview of the most common spiders in Wisconsin. The information and pictures below will help you identify Wisconsin spiders. Just click on any of the images or links to learn more about each spider.
The largest family of spiders found in Wisconsin with over 20% of all species are Linyphiidae. These are small and timid spiders, often called money spiders. None of these spiders is dangerous and they are rarely seen or noticed given their small size. Other large groups of spiders in Wisconsin with around 10% of all species each are jumping spiders (Salticidae), cobweb spiders (Theriidiae), wolf spiders (Lycosidae), orb weavers (Aranidae) and ground spiders (Gnaphosidae).
If you are looking to identify a spider you found in Wisconsin, scroll through the images and articles linked in this post or check out our spider identification tool here.
Poisonous Spiders in Wisconsin
While almost all spiders are venomous (not poisonous), there is only one venomous spider species in Wisconsin that is considered medically significant, meaning that it could seriously harm people: the northern black widow, Latrodectus variolus:
Latrodectus, the black widow spider is one of the most famed and feared spider genera in the world. Hollywood tends to use only one kind of Black Widow in its films. It is always shown as a shiny black spider with a red hourglass on the dorsal side of its abdomen. However, this is not exactly the only species of the Black Widow that is out there. In the United States, five species of Black Widows can be found: the Southern Black Widow, the Northern Black Widow, the Western Black Widow, the Brown Widow and the Red Widow. While the ...Read More
The black widow is often confused with other species of the cob-web spider family, especially the false black widow, Steatoda grossa. If you see a red hourglass marking on the bottom of the spider, you are almost certainly looking at a real black widow.
Are there brown recluse spiders in Wisconsin?
We are often asked if there are brown recluse spiders in Wisconsin. The answer is not really simple. Generally, the entire state of Wisconsin is out of the range of the brown recluse. So the answer is: there are no native brown recluse spiders in Wisconsin. However, occasional sightings of brown recluse spiders in Wisconsin occur as they might be carried into the state on cargo. However, the climate in Wisconsin is too cold for the brown recluse to develop a stable population.
Common spiders in Wisconsin
Some of the most common spiders found in Wisconsin are orb weaving spiders and jumping spiders. Orb weavers are often colorful spiders that spin large orb-shaped webs to catch flying insects. They are very common in our gardens in autumn. Jumping spiders are relatively small spiders that don’t spin webs with the ability to jump very far.
The biggest spiders in Wisconsin are wolf spiders and fishing spiders. Both can reach a maximum leg span of over 3 inches (8 cm).
We have separated the most common Wisconsin spiders into the categories orb weavers, jumping spiders and other common species. Just scroll through the images to identify your spider
Orb Weavers in Wisconsin
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-head spider, Verrucosa arenata, is an orb-weaver spider found throughout the United States. Its common name arrowhead spider or ...Read More
Acanthepeira stellata, commonly called the starbellied orb weaver, is one of the most remarkable and memorable orb weaver spiders. Its ...Read More
Neoscona arabesca, commonly known as the arabesque orbweaver, is one of the most common orbweaver species that can be found ...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 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
Neoscona crucifera, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver, is an orb weaver species indigenous to the Eastern part of North ...Read More
Leucauge venusta, commonly called orchard spider is an orb weaver spider that can be found in the Eastern US states, ...Read More
The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a ...Read More
Larinioides Cornutus, commonly known as the furrow spider, is an orb weaver species that can be found throughout the Northern ...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 diadematus, also called the European garden spider or the cross spider is an orb weaver spider with an iconic ...Read More
Jumping Spiders Wisconsin
Jumping spiders are small to medium-sized spiders with the ability to jump impressive distances. They don’t use muscles in their legs to propel forward but suddenly increase the “blood pressure” that kicks them into the desired direction. Jumping spiders, Salticidae, are one of the most common spider family in the United States and Wisconsin.
Spiders of the genus Phidippus are the most commonly found jumpers in Wisconsin.
The tan jumping spider is a mostly black and gray jumping spider found in the Eastern United States. The can ...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 house spiders and large spiders in Wisconsin
Sac spiders, crab spiders, wolf spiders and fishing spiders are some of the most common other large spiders found in Wisconsin. The most commonly found house spiders in Wisconsin are daddy long-legs (Pholcidae), common house spiders (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), cobweb spiders of the genus Steatoda and ground crab spiders (Xysticus). Here are images of the most common Wisconsin house spiders – learn more and see more images by clicking on the individual images or titles:
Agelenopsis, American grass spiders, are a genus of spiders that can be found around the world and in every US ...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
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 fishing spider is a semi-aquatic genus of spiders that are found all over the world ...Read More
As its name suggests, the giant house spider, Eratigena atrica, is one of the largest spiders found in Europe and ...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
The Lycosidae, commonly called wolf spiders are a family of hunter spiders found throughout the United States and the rest ...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
Piraurina Mira, commonly called nursery web spider, is a brown spider species with long legs. They are endemic to the ...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
Ummidia is a genus of spiders that can be found around the world. Among other genus, they are commonly called ...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
If you have found a spider in Wisconsin that is not on our list below, make sure to upload your picture, description and state where it was found here on our spider identification page. We will try our best and find out what spider species you’ve got and get back to you. Follow the tips found on our spider identification page to take an ideal photo and describe the spider, so the identification is easier for us.