25 Types of Spiders in Iowa

Types of Spiders in Iowa
Photo by JoSherls

You may have heard that Iowa has some scary spiders, but you might not have known just how many different types of spiders in Iowa!

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has identified 24 types of spiders native to the state, some of which are much more terrifying than others.

So if you’re planning on moving to Hawkeye State anytime soon, be sure to look these guys up before you pack!

1. Black Widow

Black Widow spiders are recognizable by their hourglass-shaped red or orange mark on the underside of their abdomen.

These types of spiders in Iowa live everywhere, from residential homes to cornfields, and can be found throughout Iowa.

Black Widows are often found in outdoor storage areas where they will build a web across doorways to try and catch prey; however, they also enjoy hiding under debris inside buildings, such as old tires, wood piles, and the like. 

One might think that any type of spider is harmless because they seem so tiny, but this isn’t true – many different types of spiders can bite humans.

Several types of spiders in Iowa have venom toxic enough to kill a human. One such type is the black widow spider.

2. Brown Recluse

This spider is typically found in the midwestern states, including Iowa. These types of spiders in Iowa are mostly nocturnal and typically hide behind furniture or inside clothing during the day.

The brown recluse does not spin a web but hunts for prey at night when temperatures are lower. Their bites can be painful and cause death in children and seniors due to their lack of an immune system.

This spider is typically found in the midwestern states, including Iowa. They are mostly nocturnal and typically hide behind furniture or inside clothing during the day.

The brown recluse does not spin a web but hunts for prey at night when temperatures are lower. Their bites can be painful and cause death in children and seniors due to their lack of an immune system.

3. Carolina Wolf Spider

Carolina wolf spiders are the largest type of wolf spider. These can be found throughout the southern United States, including Iowa.

It is easy to identify a Carolina wolf spider by its large size and reddish-brown color with cream or white stripes on the back. They are not aggressive but may bite if provoked or if it feels threatened.

4. Common House Spider

The most common spider in Iowa is the common house spider. These types of spiders in Iowa are often found inside houses and around windows.

They can also be found outdoors on trees, under stones, and in the bark. The coloration of these spiders is usually tan or brown, with a leg span that may reach up to one inch long. 

These types of spiders in Iowa prefer to live near people as they provide prey for the arachnid. House spiders feed mainly on insects but will also eat small invertebrates, such as moths and flies.

While this type of spider does not have venom, it can bite humans, causing pain and redness at the contact site. These bites should go away without any treatment.

5. Dark Fishing Spider

If you happen to live in Iowa, you might be interested to know that many different types of spiders can be found here. One type is the dark fishing spider. The dark fishing spider is not very aggressive and spends most of its time hunting at night. 

The dark fishing spider has a shiny body and eight eyes, two rows with four on each row. To make its web, this type of spider uses a combination of silk and sticky droplets that it produces. For food, the dark fishing spider eats other small spiders and insects.

6.Woodlouse Hunter Spider

Woodlouse hunter spiders are one of the types of spiders in Iowa. They’re a type of wolf spider and love woodlice, so if you see them hanging outside your home, it may be a good idea to call an exterminator because they can bite people. 

They live in crevices on or near trees or under rocks and logs, where they wait for their prey to come by. They have powerful jaws that allow them to crush their victims with great force and speed. Woodlouse hunter spiders are not venomous but can still bite humans if provoked.

7. Grass Spider

Grass spiders are smaller than other types of spiders in Iowa. They have a long, thin body that is covered with hair. Grass spiders can be found on any type of grass or weed, and they make their webs close to the ground.

 Grass spiders are usually shy and will run away if disturbed or threatened. Their bites do not produce any serious symptoms, but a bite may cause swelling and redness at the site of the bite.

Grass spider bites may also result in pain, itching, and inflammation around the eyes if they happen to wander into your house via an open door or window during the summer months.

8. Yellow Sac Spider

Some, like the yellow sac spider, are relatively harmless. These spiders are typically found in moist environments like under rocks and logs. The yellow sac spider has a thick abdomen with pale markings on its back. 

In addition to being an occasional pest for gardeners, these spiders in Iowa also feed on other types of arachnids and insects, such as scorpions and centipedes.

The bite from these spiders is typically not harmful to humans, but they can produce a painful reaction if they inject too much venom into their prey.

9. Shamrock Orb Weaver

The Shamrock Orb Weaver is a type of spider found in Iowa. It is typically black with yellow or green coloring on its abdomen.

These types of spiders in Iowa are usually found near vegetation and commonly reside at ground level, often hiding under leaves or logs.

 They also sometimes build webs near water sources and runways. The Shamrock Orb Weaver is one of the types of spiders you might find in Iowa that produces an irritating bite for humans and can be poisonous to animals such as cats and dogs.

10. Cellar Spider

Cellar spiders are very common in Iowa and can be seen anywhere from basements to barns. They look like a tarantula and have hairy feet, but unlike the tarantula, these guys are harmless. 

Cellar spiders can grow up to six inches long and will eat anything it comes across. These guys come out at night and stay around until morning when they return to their hiding spot.

Cellar spiders cannot create webs or silk, so you won’t see them hanging around for long periods, just wandering the landscape looking for food.

11. Barn Funnel Weaver Spider

Barn funnel weavers are one of the most common types of spiders. These types of spiders in Iowa can grow up to two inches long and have a leg span reaching up to four inches. They often feed on flying insects like flies, moths, and wasps. 

Most barn funnel weavers don’t spin webs, but they often use their silk to line the insides of their nests or leaves near ground level.

The strong silken fibers support their delicate egg sacs and help protect them from predators such as ants or wasps.

12. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

If you live in Iowa, there are many types of spiders in Iowa you might find. One type is the black and yellow garden spider. It is often found on flowers or other foliage, waiting for prey to come nearby. 

The coloration makes it difficult to spot from a distance, which is a great advantage when hunting for food! This spider has eight eyes and three pairs of spinnerets on its abdomen. These types of spiders in Iowa are generally not aggressive but will bite if provoked.

13. Spotted Orb Weaver

Iowa is home to many different spiders, and while they may look pretty similar, they are all unique. Here are the types of spiders you might find if you live in Iowa: Black Widow, Brown Recluse, Jumping Spider, Wolf Spider, and Hobo Spider.

 The most common type of spider in Iowa is the spotted orb weaver (Araneus Trifolium). It has a round body with a small head and six legs.

14. Bold Jumping Spider

Bold jumping spiders are small and brown, with a single row of white dots running down their backs. The bold jumping spider is often overlooked because it is small and well camouflaged.

However, it is important to know about this spider because it may jump onto you or bite you if you disturb it.

If bitten by a bold jumping spider, the wound will usually be painful for about an hour before going numb. There has only been one reported death from this type of spider bite.

If you see one outside your home, do not panic- they are not aggressive and will not chase after people or animals unless they feel threatened.

These types of spiders in Iowa are most likely looking for food or shelter rather than attacking humans on sight.

15. Bridge Orb Weaver

Bridge Orb Weaver spiders are the most commonly found spider species in Iowa. These critters are often found near water sources such as creeks, streams, and rivers.

These types of spiders in Iowa can be identified by their orange-brown abdomen with dark bands. The average size is about one inch long, but they can grow up to two inches when fully grown.

Bridge Orb Weavers typically live under rocks or logs close to water, and they will spin a web that spans at least three feet. 

These webs catch flying insects that land on the water’s surface. Bridge Orb Weavers usually do not bite humans unless threatened, but if you react to their venom, it will feel like a bee sting or mild electric shock for about fifteen minutes after being bitten.

16. Marbled Orb Weaver

Marbled Orb Weavers are a type of spider that many people find cute. These types of spiders in Iowa have a pattern on their backs that looks like colorful polka dots.

Mostly, they are pretty harmless and will just be curious about what you are doing if you come across one.

 However, there is always the possibility that it could bite you if provoked or if it feels threatened. If this happens, it is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Thankfully, most people won’t need to worry about that happening because these spiders typically only live indoors or outdoors near human dwellings where they can easily get their prey: flies and other insects.

17. Eastern Parson Spider

Eastern Parson spiders have a brown body with a yellow or orange stripe on the cephalothorax. The female can grow up to 1 inch, while the male is slightly smaller at 0.5 inches. 

They are typically found in fields and prairies, but they can also be found near buildings, hedges, and fences. These spiders eat insects such as crickets and grasshoppers.

18. Orchard Spider

Orchard spiders are one of the most commonly found types. With their shiny, black body and cream-colored legs, these spiders are named for the orchards where they can be found.

 These spiders spin orb webs that look like tiny balls. These types of spiders in Iowa also eat larger prey than other types of spiders, so they often get killed by birds before they finish eating it.

19. Six-Spotted Fishing Spider

The Six-spotted Fishing spider is an arachnid member of the Araneidae family. It is named for the six dark spots on its abdomen.

The Six-spotted Fishing spider lives near water. These types of spiders in Iowa eat crustaceans, insects, and smaller spiders.

These spiders in Iowa are generally found on weeds or grasses overhanging the water and around docks or piers that stick out into the water. 

The Spider’s presence can be detected by looking for fishing line hanging from overhanging branches or grasses; this is often evidence that a fishing spider has been seen at this location previously, as they will use their web to catch prey that passes under them while they sit on their fishing lines waiting for food to come by

20. White Micrathena

White Micrathena spiders are small spiders found throughout the United States. They are often misidentified as black widow or brown recluse spiders due to their similar physical features, and, as a result, they may be killed unnecessarily.

White Micrathena spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows, and males are smaller than females. 

The females will have an orange-red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen, whereas males do not have this marking.

White Micrathena spiders also typically reside close to plants and will use them for protection when threatened. If you find one in your home, it is probably harmless!

21. Triangulate Cobweb

This spider is a type of cobweb spider and can be found throughout the United States. They are usually found on their webs, made from silk, at night near lights. Females can produce up to five egg sacs that will be deposited on or near the web. 

Males typically die after mating, while females may live for another year or more. The Triangulate Cobweb Spider is typically light brown or yellowish-tan with three pairs of black stripes on its abdomen and chevrons on its back legs.

22. Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider, Argiope trifasciata: These spiders are common in most areas but especially prevalent in the Midwest. These large and colorful spiders can be identified by alternating white and yellow bands on the abdomen.

Females can grow to be about three inches long. Males are smaller, with a body length usually less than one inch. 

They feed primarily on insects and other small arthropods. The Banded Garden Spider is among the few spider species known to have a nasty bite.

Other garden spiders will often band together when they feel threatened to form a living barrier that scares away predators or captures prey more effectively when it is entangled in their webbing.

23. Six-Spotted Fishing Spider

Six-spotted fishing spiders are large, hairy spiders with brown cephalothorax and chelicerae. The most distinctive feature is their six red or orange spots on the abdomen.

A key feature for identification purposes is that the spider’s legs are longer than its body. This spider is capable of catching fish, hence its name.

They can be found in various habitats, from lakes to rivers to marshes, ponds, and vernal pools. Six-spotted fishing spiders typically live in aquatic environments because they need water to catch their prey. 

They will sometimes enter houses and buildings when flooding occurs and sometimes even enter through doors or windows during heavy rains without human intervention!

24. Furrow Orb Weaver

Different types of spiders can be found worldwide; some are more common than others. Furrow Orb Weaver spiders are one such spider. They generally build their webs in the shape of a row or furrow, hence their name. 

These eight-legged creatures usually only grow to about an inch and a half long, with females slightly larger than males. Furrow Orb Weavers don’t bite humans very often, but they will sometimes if provoked.

Female Furrow Orb Weavers carry their egg sacs on their abdomen at the end of summer until it hatches, about two weeks after mating.

25. Tuft-legged Orb Weaver

Tuft-legged Orb Weaver spiders are relatives to the garden spider. These types of spiders in Iowa are found worldwide and prefer moist habitats.

One Tuft-legged Orb Weaver was discovered on a walkway at an elementary school in Southeast Iowa, as reported by a fourth grader during an insect study. This tiny spider is about 1/4 inch long and has a red body with a yellow tuft on its back.


Whether you’re an arachnophobe or not, the mere sight of a spider can send shivers down your spine. The vast majority of spiders in North America are harmless, but if you spot one that could hurt you or someone else, get rid of it.

When disposing of a spider, be sure to capture and kill them so they don’t have time to bite and harm anyone; their bite is typically worse than a bee sting.

These types of spiders in Iowa play important roles in nature as predators and prey, so next time you see one, just remember that they may be there for a good reason!

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