33 Types of Spiders in Michigan

Types of Spiders In Michigan
Photo by Max Kleinen

Spiders are some of the most misunderstood insects in Michigan – and with good reason! Many people are afraid of spiders, especially those with venomous bites that can cause severe pain and discomfort. 

However, most spiders won’t bother you as long as you don’t bother them! Here are some common types of spiders in Michigan.

So you know what to look out for and how to avoid coming into contact with these little arachnids.

1. Tibellus Oblongus

This spider is typically found on tall grasses. T. oblongus prefers places with a lot of humidity and small prey insects.

They are sometimes found on blades of grass. These spiders are typically a light brown color with a leg span that reaches up to 1/2 inch wide. 

The eggsacs of this species can be found all year round.  They are only seen when they are 1/2 inch in diameter and more likely during May-October.

2. Tigrosa Helluo

The tiger spider (genus Tigrosa) is also among the types of spiders in Michigan and even as far north as Canada. The most distinguishing characteristic is the black-and-yellow stripes on their abdomen. 

Also, the abdomen is designed to scare off predators by making it seem like they’re poisonous. They live most commonly on a sandy ground with nearby rocks.

These spiders can measure up to an inch long. They should be handled with care because they are extremely fast.

3. Trochosa Ruricola (Daddy long legs)

You can spot a Trochosa ruricola, or harvestman, by its long, segmented legs and single pair of eyes. The Trochosa is sometimes called the daddy-long-legs because it has even longer legs than other types of spiders. They are between 0.4 and 1 inch long on average and feed on other insects and spiders for food. 

However, these spiders only live about 3 months and reproduce without males. Females lay their eggs in late summer, with four to seven eggs laid at a time during this period.

This is done anywhere from 10 weeks to 20 weeks total before their death near the end of fall.

4. Trachelas Tranquillus (Broad-faced Sac Spider)

The Trachelas tranquillus is also known as a broad-faced sac spider. Trachelas can be found around houses, basements, and other types of buildings. They are also making the types of spiders in Michigan. 

More so, their size ranges from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch long, and their color is grayish brown with dark patterns on it.

Females are approximately one-third larger than males, but males have thicker bodies than females.

5. Tigrosa Aspersa (Tiger Wolf Spider)

While wolf spiders are not dangerous, they can give you a serious bite. These spiders typically have reddish-brown or gray hairs and are about 1⁄2 an inch long. You might find this spider crawling around your basement if it is dark or damp down there. 

The Tigrosa aspersa (Tiger Wolf Spider) doesn’t make a web but instead pounces on its prey. What’s even more interesting is that the female has been observed eating her mate after they mate!

If this type of behavior isn’t enough to turn you off from living near these spiders, then I don’t know what will be.

6. Tegenaria Domestica (Barn Funnel Weaver)

Tegenaria Domestica spiders typically grow between 3 and 6 cm (1-2 inches) long, but females can reach up to 10cm (4 inches).

In contrast, males are smaller at around 3 cm (1 inch). Females have a pale carapace or abdomen with dark markings that give them a slightly pointed appearance. 

The males are less noticeable because they are almost always brown. Male Tegenaria Domestica is also longer and thinner than females.

Tegenaria Domestica comes from Eurasia originally.  They inhabit areas like cottages, garages, sheds, and common household closets.

7. Steatoda Triangulosa (Triangulate Cobweb Spider)

The best way to know if you have Steatoda triangulosa is to look for a cobweb. These spiders create an irregularly shaped web with much of it hidden from view. With its sticky threads, this spider traps flies and other insects and then consumes them. 

Also, Steatoda triangulosa has very long legs, making it easy to spot one. Be careful not to disturb or touch it.  These are among the dangerous types of spiders in Michigan that use their fangs when threatened or provoked.

8. Salticus Scenicus (Zebra Jumper)

Salticus scenicus, also known as Zebra Jumpers, is one of Michigan’s most commonly seen types of spiders. They reside throughout much of Canada and a small portion of the United States, including Michigan. 

These small, black spiders are surprisingly fast runners. When threatened, Salticus scenicus will typically jump at an opponent instead of making an attack like many other types of spiders.

They can be found on tree trunks and other vegetation that faces light sources at night. Salticids are among the best-studied members of the spider family.

Hundreds or even thousands have been discovered over hundreds, or even thousands have been discovered over the past decade. Many more new ones are still awaiting a formal scientific name and classification.

9. Amaurobius Ferox (Black Lace-Weaver)

Among the many types of spiders in Michigan, Amaurobius forex is one of the most frequent visitors. A large, robust spider usually found residing in moist areas such as basements and crawl spaces, Amaurobius ferox has a black body with patches of white silk threads crisscrossing each other like laces on a shoe. 

If you’re unlucky enough to encounter this creepy crawler, don’t panic. It prefers dark places, so it won’t come anywhere near your sleeping quarters.

The best way to deter them is by ensuring adequate lighting or vacuuming up any potential hiding places they could use.

10. Araneus Diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver)

The Araneus diadematus or cross orb-weaver is a spider found worldwide, especially near water and other wet areas. Females are typically 25mm in length, males a little smaller. These spiders can be recognized by their strong, dense webs and rounded back. 

Also, they use a stabilimentum (which looks like an X on its back) as camouflage while they wait at the center of their web. To avoid detection, it occasionally makes slight movements resembling a dew drop suspended on silk threads. 

Occasionally, when prey falls onto their web’s strands, the orb-weavers will shake it vigorously until it is dizzy and entangled. Then they bite it and wrap it up before sucking out the juices!

11. Araneus Trifolium (Shamrock Orb-weaver)

This spider makes a three-dimensional orb web and can often be found in wooded areas but has also been spotted on the sides of buildings.

The Araneus Trifolium (Shamrock Orb-weaver) is relatively large for a house spider. It measures about two inches across.

However,  females are larger than males and have wide abdomens with three pairs of pointed projections at the rear end. This allows them to defend themselves by moving sideways over their orb webs quickly. 

Generally, males retain narrower abdomens that do not extend beyond their spinnerets near the front end and are less aggressive than females. Adult spiders grow to around four mm long, with a body that’s one cm wide at its thickest point.

12. Araniella Displicata (Six-spotted Orb-weaver)

The Araniella displicata spider is also known as the six-spotted orb-weaver, and they are one of the types of spiders in Michigan. They are usually only around a few millimeters in size, but that doesn’t make them any less frightening. 

The name comes from the pattern on its back consisting of six dark spots. This creature is easily identifiable thanks to these spots, which create a circular pattern on its abdomen.

Another identifier for this type of spider is its ability to spin webs both during the day and at night.

13. Argiope Aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Their bright colors easily identify the black and yellow garden spider. The abdomen is yellow with a black pattern on top.

The legs are yellow with a black line on each one. When they sit still, they often face head-down into the web in an ant-like stance. 

Female Black and Yellow Garden Spiders can grow up to 3/8 inch long. Males can be up to 1/2 inch long, but females live longer, sometimes into old age!

They spin sheet webs that capture prey while they wait nearby inside leaves or crevices. Here, they dart out if prey lands on the web.

14. Argiope Trifasciata (Banded Garden Spider)

Argiope trifasciata is a large, white, and black spider that can grow up to one inch long. It has distinctive diagonal bands on its abdomen and is typically found near water.

They are diurnal creatures meaning they are active during the day rather than at night like most other spiders. 

Occasionally, the female carries her eggs on her back until they hatch. A young Argiope may build a snare for a web. As it matures, it often establishes itself with its web in one place and guards it aggressively. This behavior has led to the name Garden Spider.

It is because it is usually seen around gardens where there are bugs. Bugs such as grasshoppers abound, which makes them easy prey for these spiders.

15. Cheiracanthium Mildei (Long-legged Sac Spider)

Cheiracanthium mildei, known as the Long-legged Sac Spider is also one of the types of spiders in Michigan. Its distinctive features are its size, being both very small and slender when compared to other species. 

This type of spider is also known for spinning thin webs near ground level, where they capture prey that passes by.

Cheiracanthium mildei’s capture prey by capturing them with their long legs and wrapping them up in a silk sac. Then they inject venom with their fangs, liquifying their insides so they can be sucked out.

16. Dolomedes Tenebrosus (Dark Fishing Spider)

You might not be able to tell by looking at them, but Dolomedes tenebrosus is a spider! That makes them arachnids (creatures with eight legs). Along with being spiders, they are also known as Dark Fishing Spiders. 

They’re often confused with other types of spiders in Michigan. This is because they spend their time on the water and can’t go more than 100 yards without getting wet.

What’s even more surprising about these little guys is that females are much larger than males! These spiders have the ability to catch prey that’s much bigger than themselves.

17. Dolomedes Triton (Six-spotted Fishing Spider)

The Dolomedes triton is a fishing spider and can be found throughout North America. Its abdomen is often mistaken for that of a brown recluse. One way to differentiate them is by looking at the eye pattern.  

However, the Dolomedes have three rows and six spots, while brown recluse spiders only have one row and six spots. Fishing spiders do not eat other spiders but will prey on many insects, such as dragonflies, small birds, mice, etc.

Females lay up to 400 eggs which hatch into spiderlings with cannibalistic tendencies – they eat each other until only one survivor emerges.

18. Dysdera Crocata (Woodlouse Hunter)

The woodlouse hunter is so called because it feeds primarily on woodlouse and other terrestrial isopods. These spiders do not spin webs but hunt their prey by lurking under logs and stones or among dead leaves. 

During such hunting, they will sometimes create small tunnels in rotting vegetation as they move about. When ambushed, prey is pounced on with great agility and ferocity. The prey is wrapped with silk while they are repeatedly stabbed with venom-injecting fangs. 

With most prey small enough to be captured in this way, death usually results from rapid loss of fluids from these wounds into the silk wrapping.

Sometimes larger quarry (e.g., pillbugs) will be bitten several times around the body. This is done before being cocooned and abandoned to die.

19. Eratigena Atrica (Giant House Spider)

Eratigena atrica is commonly found in houses and inside garages. Female spiders can be identified by their hourglass-shaped webs that are often found near doorways or windows, while males will build webs that intersect. 

If bitten by an Eratigena atrica, call for medical assistance if symptoms occur, such as fever, sweating, lightheadedness, or agitation.

For treatment to be effective, it is necessary for a doctor to know how many hours have passed since the bite occurred. 

Also, it’s important for those who live with people allergic to these bites to stay out of them when possible. Avoid contact with items that could contain spider webs.

This is so as not to transmit disease from one person who is allergic and another who may not be without knowing about it.

20. Eris Militarism (Bronze Jumper)

Eris militaris is one of the types of spiders in Michigan. Bronze jumpers are not a common species, and their rarity increases as you move south.

They’re about 3/4 inch long, with a bronze-green carapace, dark brown legs, and other characteristics that depend on whether it’s male or female (e.g., certain males have red chelicerae). 

It gets its name from its preferred habitat: thick shrubs and hedges near buildings. The jump part comes from the fact that it likes to make leaping vertical jumps when disturbed.

Jumping spiders often have the ability to change color when they feel threatened by changing their hair length.

21. Herpyllus Ecclesiasticus (Eastern Parson Spider)

This brown spider is found all over Michigan. They’re large and round, with long bodies and short legs. They are usually 6-12mm in diameter but can grow up to 25mm.

They have three dark longitudinal stripes on their body that meet at the head, with a light spot on their head as well.   

Typically, the nest is inside and under structures with many hiding spots, such as houses and sheds. 

These spiders like to eat cockroaches, house flies, small butterflies, bees, and yellow jackets; they will also kill any other spiders they come across while they’re looking for food. This includes other types of herpyllus ecclesiasticus!

22. Larinioides Cornutus (Furrow Orb-weaver)

Larinioides cornutus spiders sometimes referred to as furrow orb-weavers, inhabit various habitats such as woodlands and other wooded areas.

Like many other types of spiders in Michigan, Larinioides cornutus hunts for prey during the nighttime hours.

Similarly, the females lay their eggs on silken cocoons, often found hanging on leaves at branch tips. Male spiders can be identified by their greatly enlarged front two pairs of legs, which they use to hold females during mating. 

The hairs on the male’s palps provide him with the increased sensory perception of both sight and touch. Adult males live no more than three months before dying, while females can live up to two years or more.

23. Larinioides Sclopetarius (Bridge Orb-weaver)

The most commonly seen spider is Larinioides sclopetarius (Bridge Orb-weaver). They are also known as the gray cross spider, gray cobweb spider, woodlouse spider, or just orb weaver. This is because it is an active hunter which pursues its prey throughout gardens and parks. 

It has a beautiful shape for such a fearsome creature – about two inches long and less than one-quarter inch wide.

The adult female’s abdomen hangs below her spinnerets due to heavy egg development; this resembles the arched suspension bridge seen between Italy and Croatia that gives this species its name.

24. Latrodectus Mactans (Southern Black Widow)

The Latrodectus mactans, also known as a Southern Black Widow spider, is one of Michigan’s most infamous types of spiders.

The female Latrodectus mactans is generally larger and rounder in shape than its male counterpart while also having a glossy black body with an orange-red hourglass mark on its underside.

Sometimes, they are called the widow for their dangerous poison. Which can particularly harm small children and frail elderly individuals.

Latrodectus mactans can be found throughout the southern and eastern United States, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. However, some colonies may be found within Canada as well as parts of Central America, like Mexico.

25. Leucauge Venusta (Orchard Orb-weaver)

The Leucauge venusta, or Orchard Orb-weaver Spider, is one of Michigan’s largest types of spiders. The main distinguishing feature is its long tail-like rear spinnerets.

Also, it uses to create webs in orchards and gardens. These spiders make strong webs but can be easily broken because they’re not sticky and don’t ensnare prey like other spiders.

26. Maevia Inclemens (Dimorphic Jumper)

Meet Maevia inclemens, also known as a Dimorphic Jumper! Unlike most other spiders, M. inclemens is active day and night.

With males reaching a length of only 1/8 and females averaging around 1/4 (also potentially small eggs). M. inclemens has a rather small body size. 

However, this often makes it hard for people to notice the spider’s presence even when there are only one M. inclemens per household or building!

The female spider can be found on outdoor foliage like grasses, flowers, and shrubs in the summer months from June-September. This is when she feeds on mites, caterpillars, butterflies, mosquitoes, and other spiders.

27. Misumena Vatia (Golden-rod Crab Spider)

Misumena vatia is one of the most common types of spiders in Michigan, and their mating ritual sounds both terrifying and fascinating.

When a male approaches a female from behind, he grabs her chelicerae (front fangs). He then taps her abdomen with his forelegs, then quickly spins 180° to face her with his chelicerae pointing towards her mouthparts. 

Also, he then grasps his palpus around the female’s second abdominal segment, enabling him to position himself over top of her.

He will then perform two short strokes followed by what appears to be a vibratory motion with his palps that cause ejaculation.

28. Misumenoides Formosipes (White-banded Crab Spider)

The Misumenoides formosipes is a small white spider with a prominent black pattern across its upper side. These spiders are also known as White-banded Crab spiders. 

The females carry their egg sac on their spinnerets until they hatch, unlike other types of spiders in Michigan, which suspend their egg sacs from a web.

Male Misumenoides formosipes are smaller than females and have an amber cephalothorax (head area) and brown abdomen.

29. Neoscona Crucifera (Hentz Orb-weaver)

All Hentz orb-weavers have a grayish body that is pointed on both ends. The abdomen is usually lighter than the cephalothorax.

The characteristic of this species is its tightly woven orb-shaped web. It has very strong silken threads and is able to withstand high winds. 

Furthermore, these spiders often build their webs near porch lights or street lamps. They eat almost anything that they can catch, including crickets, beetles, flies, and other spiders. 

In order for these spiders to capture their prey, they wait at the web until an insect becomes entangled. They then jump out from a safe distance to bite and inject venom into their prey before wrapping it up with more silk threads.

30. Phidippus Audax (Bold Jumper)

Phidippus audax is a jumping spider found throughout North America. Its body can be about 20 millimeters long.

These spiders have a distinctly green or yellow head, and females are identifiable by their enlarged, pear-shaped abdomen, which contains their egg sacs.

The bold jumper has no problem boldly jumping into anyone’s face as they walk past. However, this species doesn’t actually feed on humans or any other animal.

It feeds primarily on grasshoppers and various arthropods that live near the ground level of open fields and meadows. This includes cockroaches, flies, beetles, and caterpillars.

31. Pholcus Phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider)

Pholcus phalangioides is one of the most common types of spiders in Michigan. These spiders are harmless and often found near water. They live by capturing prey with an adhesive capture web. 

Unlike most web-weaving spiders, these do not produce a new web every night and instead attach them to surfaces like ceilings, walls, or corners. Females will attach egg sacs onto their webs as well for later hatching.

32. Platycryptus Undatus (Tan Jumping Spider)

Tan Jumping Spider is also one of the most common spiders in Michigan. The spider usually likes staying around woodpiles, logs, and rocks. 

In addition, they are often seen with another jumping spider on their back and are not aggressive towards humans or other creatures.

These spiders like to eat butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. Sometimes when hungry, they will even try eating other jumping spiders that are around.

33. Pisaurina Mira (Nursery Web Spider)

Pisaurina Mira is a Nursery Web spider found primarily in Southeast Michigan. The scientific name means ‘bearer of gold,’ and for a good reason, as this coloration is strikingly beautiful. 

Most females can grow up to 1 inch long, and males are about half that size. P. Mira spiders are typically yellow with a dark brown saddle shape on their backs with distinct thick black stripes. 

Also, they have large globular abdomens and sometimes mottled, silvery-brown banding on their legs. The nursery web spider prefers grasses, herbs, and shrubs around ponds or lakes for egg-laying sites.

Conclusion

Michigan is home to both beautiful greenery and creepy crawlies that make us shudder, including many different types of spiders.

Spiders can be intimidating with their spindly legs and multiple pairs of eyes. It’s important to know that not all are harmful. 

In fact, some spiders are beneficial because they eat the insects we don’t want around our homes. Learn more about the most common types of spiders in Michigan with this complete guide to spider identification.

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