No matter where you live, there are bound to be spiders in your area—and there are probably more than you realize! Over 41,000 species of spiders worldwide, and around 3,500 live in North America alone.
With so many types of spiders in Mississippi, it can be difficult to know them all or what kind of danger each one might present to you and your family.
In this article, we’ll explore 24 common spiders found in Mississippi and what makes each one unique from the rest.
1. Wolf Spider
The wolf spider is a dark brown to black, hairy spider with long, slender legs. These types of spiders in Mississippi are usually nocturnal, and they hunt at night for insects such as crickets and grasshoppers.
Wolf spiders are not aggressive and bite only if provoked or disturbed. Females lay their eggs in a sac called an egg sac that will protect the eggs from predators until they hatch.
Females may lay up to two dozen egg sacs in their lifetime. Males die shortly after mating, while females can live for many months after laying eggs before dying.
2. Cellar Spider
Cellar spiders are common throughout the state, including in homes. These types of spiders in Mississippi have light to medium brown bodies and legs, with a body about one inch long.
Cellar spiders weave webs that resemble funnel-like webs, where the spider hangs from a silken cord at the center of its web.
These silk strands can be seen on plants and stone walls. Cellar spiders feed on insects that come into contact with their web or sticky strands.
Although cellar spiders are not known to be aggressive, they will bite humans if they feel threatened or trapped.
3. Black Widow
The black widow is an easily identifiable spider. It is usually black with a red hourglass on the underside of its abdomen.
These types of spiders in Mississippi are evil, and their bites can be fatal to humans, though luckily, they only bite when threatened or provoked.
The female black widow typically lives for about one year, while males live for about six months. The females often kill black male widows during mating season to ensure no other male mates with the female who will lay her eggs after mating.
4. Trapdoor Spider
The Trapdoor Spider is a large spider that makes its home in the ground and builds a hidden door over its hole to keep predators away.
However, it also can intuitively sense when danger is near and will retreat quickly into the burrow, leaving behind an intricate web or two as a decoy.
Despite their size, these types of spiders in Mississippi are not aggressive and don’t bite humans unless provoked or threatened.
In addition, the Trapdoor Spider doesn’t use venom like other spiders; instead, they inflict a powerful punch with their fangs if they need to defend themselves from something larger than them!
5. Brown Recluse
The brown recluse spider is one of the most common spiders in Mississippi. The brown recluse prefers to live in cool, dark places, so it will often be found in piles of clothes and shoe boxes.
Brown recluses are sometimes confused for other types of spiders because they have similar coloration and size. However, if you find one living near your home, it’s likely a brown recluse.
One way to distinguish between brown recluse spiders and others is by looking at their eyes. Brown recluse spiders have six eyes, while other species only have eight.
There’s also a small red mark on their abdomen, which may or may not be visible depending on how much hair the spider has. If this mark isn’t present, then it might not be a brown recluse but something else, like an orb weaver or garden spider instead.
6. Giant Lichen Orb Weaver Spider
There are wide varieties of spiders found in Mississippi, including the giant lichen orb weaver spider. The female is much larger than the male, with a body length of 1 inch and a leg span of 3 inches.
These types of spiders in Mississippi weave large circular webs that can be seen from a distance, which is why they are called orb weavers.
The general rule about these spiders is that it probably isn’t dangerous if you see one on the ground or walking across it. However, call an exterminator and get ready for some creepy crawly nightmares if you find one in your car or house.
7. Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spider
Spinybacked Orb Weavers are among the most common types of spiders in Mississippi, making their webs on the outside of buildings and shrubs.
They are most active at night when they search for insects to eat. These spiders are harmless to humans.
If a female is startled or feels threatened, she will often release silk from her spinnerets that can create a tangled web that surrounds her body and makes it difficult for predators to get close.
8. European Garden Spider
The European Garden Spider is a large, long-legged spider with a distinct abdomen pattern. They are usually yellow and brown, but their colors can vary depending on their environment.
The European Garden Spider is not considered dangerous to humans and prefers to stay outside. However, if one does come into your home, it is best to simply scoop them up with a glass and take them outside.
9. Running Crab Spider
The Running Crab Spiders are native to the Southern states and are the most common types of Spiders in Mississippi.
It gets its name from its behavior, similar to that of a running crab. The Running Crab Spider can be found in many habitats and surfaces because it can climb and walk on the ground.
Though they are very small, they are often mistaken for brown recluse spiders. They are brown with a light tan stripe down their back but can be light brown or tan without stripes.
10. Daring Jumping Spider
The daring jumping spider is a type of spider native to Mississippi. One way they can be distinguished from other spiders is by the black and red bands on their abdomen.
They are considered one of the least dangerous types of spiders in Mississippi, but they can still inflict a bite.
If you have spotted a daring jumping spider, it might be best not to touch it with your bare hands and instead use an object (such as a shoe or twig) to knock it off into an open container or bag for later examination. They are typically found on low-hanging tree branches and shrubs, where they build small webs.
11. Woodlouse Spider
The spider is a small brownish spider less than 1/4 inch in length. Woodlouse spiders are also called cellar spiders because they live inside the walls and ceilings of buildings, usually under loose bark or in piles of leaves.
However, they may also be found outdoors under rocks, logs, and other objects near the foundation of buildings. They do not spin webs to catch prey but rather chase after them and bite them with fangs.
Woodlouse spiders can be found throughout the year indoors and outdoors but are more common in late summer. The bites usually cause little or no reaction but should be checked by a doctor if the pain persists for more than 2 hours.
12. Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider
The red-spotted ant mimic spider is also called the red and black wolf. This spider species can be found in Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana. They have a painful bite that can cause allergic reactions in some people.
They use their natural coloring to blend into the environment to avoid being noticed by predators. These types of spiders in Mississippi are nocturnal and hunt insects during the night when it is dark outside.
During the day, they hide under rocks or logs to avoid being seen by larger animals or birds that might try to eat them. Red-spotted ants mimic spiders, are not aggressive hunters, and usually only attack prey if they feel threatened or if they are hungry.
13. Furrow Spider
When it comes to types of spiders in Mississippi, the furrow spider is one of the most common. Its scientific name is Tegenaria duellica, and this species is also known as a house spider.
The furrow spider can be found throughout the world in warmer climates, and it typically lives indoors Furrow spiders are usually light brown with darker brown stripes on their abdomens and long spindly legs usually covered in fine hairs.
Furrow spiders do not build webs to catch prey but instead rely on ambushing smaller insects that wander near their hiding places close to the ground or under furniture.
In addition, they will often spin silk at night to protect against predators like ants, wasps, and other spiders.
14. Banana Spider
Despite their name, the Banana Spider does not make a habit of eating bananas. Instead, they prey on caterpillars and other insects.
What makes them stand out is their large size and the shape of their legs. The Banana Spider has a leg span that can reach up to six inches long, and its body is covered in thick black hair.
15. Spitting Spider
Spitting spiders are small and belong to the family of arachnids known as scytodidae. They can be found in the southern United States, mostly in Louisiana and Mississippi.
These tiny types of spiders in Mississippi have no hair on their bodies and will spit a poisonous substance that is painful but not deadly.
To avoid being bitten by one of these spooky creatures, stay away from piles of leaves. If you encounter one of these spitting spiders, keep your distance, so it doesn’t feel threatened and lash out with its venomous spit.
16. American Nursery Web Spider
The American Nursery Web Spider (the Lycosidae family) is often found in cotton fields and wooded areas. These types of spiders in Mississippi spin an irregular web that has a zig-zag pattern.
The female is dark brown to black with light-colored marks on the cephalothorax and abdomen, while the male is lighter in color with a pattern of dark spots on the cephalothorax and stripes on the abdomen.
One characteristic of this spider is that it frequently changes its web due to contact with wind or rain. When it does so, it will attach silk to trees, fences, plants, and other objects for anchorage before constructing its new web.
This process can take anywhere from an hour to several days, depending on weather conditions.
17. Fishing Spider
A fishing spider is a type of spider that lives by the water. It has a large, heavy body and long legs. A fishing spider usually hangs out on the water’s edge or in nearby vegetation.
Fishing spiders are also known as daddy longlegs spiders because of their similar appearance to other types of arachnids, such as orb-weaving spiders.
However, unlike many other types of spiders in Mississippi, male fishing spiders can be found near the female during the mating season instead of farther away from her web to protect and catch prey for her.
18. Southern House Spider
The southern house spider (Araneus diadematus) is commonly found in the Southern United States. The color of the body can vary from yellow to light brown, with the abdomen being striped or banded with lighter colors.
Females are typically larger than males and can grow up to 30 mm in size. This species typically lives in buildings but often wanders into homes and yards.
The female southern house spider will produce an egg sac containing about 200-400 eggs during the summer months that she will guard until they hatch.
19. Broad-Faced Sac Spider
The broad-faced sac spider is the rarest in Mississippi and can be found in various habitats. Though relatively harmless to humans, these types of spiders in Mississippi are venomous to other small animals such as lizards, frogs, and insects.
In addition, their round bodies and short legs are often mistaken for ticks. The females of this species also have an enlarged sac at the end of their abdomen that they use to capture prey.
However, unlike most spiders, they do not spin webs or construct burrows. Instead, they prefer to hide in leaves or under rocks during the day before coming out at night to hunt insects.
20. American Grass Spider
The American Grass Spider is a member of the family of spiders called the orb weaver. It gets its name because it creates an orb web.
The spider will sit in the middle and wait for prey to get tangled up in its webs before moving in and wrapping it up with silk.
These types of spiders in Mississippi can grow to be about one inch long, making them one of Mississippi’s largest spiders.
They are most active during the summer months. During mating season, males and females attach their egg sacs to grass blades or tree leaves near water sources.
21. Harvestmen Spider
The Harvestmen Spider is so named because it looks like a type of harvestman bug. It is not venomous, but it does have the ability to inflict an irritating bite. The Harvestmen Spider can be found in moist, dark places, and it is mostly active at night.
The Harvestmen Spider has an oval-shaped abdomen with three pairs of legs. They are usually brown or black and may occasionally be yellowish or red.
They measure about 3/4 to 1 inch long (1.9 to 2.54 cm). One should avoid handling these types of spiders in Mississippi because they produce an irritant oil from the body that can cause skin irritation and blisters on contact.
22. Bowl and Doily Spider
The Bowl and Doily Spider (Frontinella pyramitela) is a member of the Araneidae family of arachnids. They are named for their fine webbing that resembles a bowl and doily.
It is found in Southern United States, Central America, South America, and some Caribbean Islands. These types of spiders in Mississippi are characterized by the bright yellow or white stripes on their abdomen.
The female will create a web to catch prey and lays eggs nearby. The Bowl and Doily Spider hunts for small insects such as flies and mosquitoes in the late summer months before fall begins.
23. Black and Yellow Garden Spider
The black and yellow garden spiders are common types of spiders in Mississippi. They are often found near their namesake, gardens, but they can also be found on other plants.
Black and yellow garden spiders spin a large round web at night that can span up to two feet in diameter.
The web will often have a zigzag pattern of brown silk running through it that helps to disguise the nest for predators. These spiders will also often dangle upside-down from the center of the web, waiting for prey to fly into it.
When it comes to the most common types of spiders in Mississippi, there are a lot of them. There is no need to be afraid of these eight-legged creatures, though, as they are mostly harmless and do not bite humans often.
If you find one of these spiders in your home, try to capture it by throwing a container over it. Then place the spider outside or release it near a tree that isn’t close to a house or garden.