Your chance of actually encountering any of these spiders in Montana is slim, but it’s important to know how to identify them if you cross their path.
Here are 18 of the most common types of spiders in Montana and some tips on how to keep them out of your way—and keep yourself safe!
Hint: If you don’t want to wake up with a spider in your face, leave the lights on while you sleep.
1. Wolf Spider
Wolf spiders are one of the most common types of spiders in Montana. They can be up to three inches long, usually brown or gray, with a lighter stripe on each side.
They also have six eyes, two rows of four eyes each. Wolf spiders are diurnal hunters, which means they hunt during the day – some people call them sun spiders.
When hunting, wolf spiders will crawl out from their webs and wait for prey to get close before running and jumping at it.
Unlike other types of spiders that use venom to paralyze prey, wolf spiders inject digestive enzymes into their victim’s body with their fangs; this liquefies its insides to slurp up the spider later on.
2. Cellar Spider
Cellar spiders are generally found in storage areas such as closets, basements, and laundry rooms. They have a brownish-black abdomen with a light brown stripe down the center.
These types of spiders in Montana are typically about an inch long, and their lifespan is about one year.
Cellar spider bites can be painful but not dangerous. If bitten by a cellar spider, clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antiseptic ointment to reduce any chance of infection.
3. Black Widow
The black widow spiders are the most common types of spiders in Montana and all over the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous types of spiders.
The female black widow has a glossy, shiny, jet-black abdomen with an orange or red hourglass. The male is smaller and more slender than the female.
Black widows are not aggressive, but they’re shy enough that you’re unlikely to be bitten by one unless you disturb its web or don’t watch where you step.
4. Trapdoor Spider
Trapdoor spiders live under rocks, logs, or boards and are usually found in the eastern half of the United States. They are about an inch long with a body about as wide.
They have a cylindrical-shaped abdomen with short spines on their back and brownish-black stripes on their legs.
Trapdoor spiders can be identified by their cephalothorax, which is wider than long, and by their three pairs of equal-sized eyes. Trapdoor spiders feed on insects such as flies, crickets, and grasshoppers.
Females lay eggs in a silk cocoon inside the tunnels near where they live at ground level. The eggs hatch in about six weeks and take another two months before they reach adulthood.
5. European Garden Spider
European Garden Spiders are a type of spider found throughout North America. They are sometimes mistaken for brown recluse spiders, but they have an orange cephalothorax with dark patches near the back of their head and four light-colored spots on their abdomen.
They also have long front legs, which wrap up prey. These types of spiders in Montana spend most of their time hanging upside down, waiting for prey to pass below them.
These types of spiders in Montana can live outside, under rocks, or inside homes, where they will spin webs in out-of-the-way places.
6. Running Crab Spider
Montana is home to many types of spiders in Montana, but the running crab spider is the most common. The running crab spider gets its name from how it moves: like a crab.
Montana’s common types of spiders can be found anywhere, including on flowers and plants. It’s small and hard to see, with an average body length of 1/4 inch.
Types of spiders in Montana this spider is mostly brown or gray and has eight eyes arranged in two rows.
They have no markings on their abdomens and will live almost anywhere where food is available. In areas where they are frequently seen near water, they are often mistaken for mosquitoes by humans because of their fast movement patterns.
Types of spiders in Montana Females are typically smaller than males. However, the difference isn’t very noticeable at first glance; males have red-orange hairs along their tibiae (the second segment of their legs).
7. Daring Jumping Spider
The Daring Jumping Spider is a common spider found in the United States that can be found all over Montana.
These common types of spiders in Montana have bright green or brown markings on their abdomen and legs with black and white stripes on their back.
It gets its name from its habit of leaping through the air to catch its prey, usually another jumping spider. They are known to jump up to five feet long, enough to cover most rooms’ distance.
They are active hunters and take any opportunity they can get to attack humans, especially if they feel threatened or provoked. Their bites are painful but not dangerous for humans as long as medical attention is sought quickly.
8. Furrow Spider
Furrow spiders are typically found in the northern areas of Montana and the northwestern and central parts of North America. Furrow spiders are characterized by their green or brown color and have four pairs of spinnerets.
The female deposits furrow spider eggs on a web she has constructed for this purpose. When the eggs hatch, they enter the larval stage and leave the nest to find their food source.
The furrow spider is an ambush predator found on flowers, stalks of grasses, leaves, and bushes.
9. Banana Spider
Banana spiders are a type of orb-weaving spider that lives exclusively in Australia’s arid and semi-arid regions.
They get their name from the appearance of their webs, which resemble a bunch of bananas hanging from a tree.
The banana spider is also the garden spider because it spins large webs on shrubs, hedges, and trees around homes. These types of spiders in Montana are large, with a leg span of up to six inches long.
10. American Grass Spider
The American Grass Spider is the most common spider found in Montana. These types of spiders in Montana are typically light brown with some stripes and a chevron pattern on their abdomen.
They measure about half an inch long, including their legs. They’re often found near ground level, where they hunt grasshoppers and other insects that they can capture on the ground or by dropping down from above.
Occasionally, they feed on small vertebrates such as frogs, toads, lizards, and small snakes. They create a tubular web about two inches wide and three feet tall for capturing prey.
The web may be built from the ground up to low vegetation to tree trunks. However, most webs are built near water, where there are more insects to prey upon.
11. Black and Yellow Garden Spider
The Black and Yellow Garden spiders are the most common types of spiders in Montana. It’s also a member of the orb weaver family, which means it creates a web that resembles an orb with spokes coming off of it.
Black and yellow are the two most common colors, but they can also be brown or gray. Males can grow 6-7 millimeters, while females can grow 8-9 millimeters long.
They usually live on plants and trees but occasionally set up their webs on buildings. If you find one, don’t worry – they’re not venomous!
12. Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider
The Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider is the largest in Montana and can often be found living under rocks or logs. It’s also a good idea to check your shoes before putting them on.
If you find this type of spider crawling inside your shoe, just give it a light tap, and it will fall out. These types of spiders in Montana are generally harmless to humans but may bite if they feel threatened.
Females lay eggs throughout their lifetime, with as many as 700 in one season. They’re small, though, and usually only seen by chance when they’re crushed during yard work.
13. Fishing Spider
Fishing spiders are one of the types of spiders you might find in Montana. Fishing spiders are usually found near water and often catch their prey by wading into the water and catching a fish with their front legs.
They are also known for sitting on the edges of streams and ponds, waiting for prey to come close enough to grab.
These types of spiders in Montana can grow up to 6 inches long, but they typically only reach 2-3 inches long when fully grown.
Fishing spiders are brown or dark brown with six eyes arranged in three rows across their head, plus two large eyes at the back corners of their heads.
In addition, the fishing spider has large fangs that it uses to inject venom into its prey, which stuns them before they’re eaten.
14. Spitting Spider
The spitting spider is a wolf spider most commonly found in the Great Plains. They are named for their tendency to spit venom, which they use to kill or paralyze their prey.
The spitting spiders have a leg span of up to six inches, with males being smaller than females. Their body size ranges from three-quarters inches to one and a half inches long.
The spitting spiders look different from other types because they have eight eyes and two rows of four back legs (eight total).
Their color can vary from gray, brown, black, or yellowish-white, and sometimes has stripes on the abdomen.
These types of spiders in Montana also have a dark stripe running down the cephalothorax, separating it into two segments: the prosoma and opisthosoma.
15. Mouse Spider
Montana is home to a wide variety of types of spiders, but the mouse spider is one that you don’t want to come into contact with.
These types of spiders in Montana can be found in farm fields and wooded areas near the Rocky Mountains.
Mouse spiders are typically dark brown or black but have lighter brown stripes on their abdomen that can range from narrow to broad.
These types of spiders in Montana are mainly active during the night and will run away if disturbed by humans or other predators.
The mouse spider’s venom isn’t as harmful as other types of spider bites, but it can cause some discomfort for days or even weeks after being bitten.
16. Common House Spider
These common spiders found in Montana spin a web with a bowl-shaped outer edge and a flat, round inner portion that looks like a doily.
The web is often found on the sides or tops of doors or windows. The spider waits inside the web until the insect lands, then wrap it up in silk.
These types of spiders in Montana are typically found indoors. A close relative to this species is the Long-jawed Spider (Tetragnatha sp.), which has legs much longer than those of other spiders and typically lives outdoors near water sources such as streams, lakes, and ponds.
17. Bowl and Doily Spider
The Bowl and Doily Spider are common types of spiders in Montana. They make their webs by rolling a leaf or flower petals into a bowl shape, then spinning silk around the outside to hold it together.
The spider hides at the bottom of the bowl, so if you happen to disturb this type of web, you will see the spider quickly scurry away.
It’s not harmful to humans, but it can be frightening if you don’t know what it is! Bowl and Doily Spiders are commonly found on wild roses, grape vines, and other forest vegetation like thistles or ferns.
18. Harvestmen Spider
The Harvestmen Spider is not a true spider, and they are also not insects. Instead, these common types of spiders in Montana are arachnids like the tarantula but have eight legs instead of eight feet or eight hands.
They have no venom, and their fangs are so small that you will unlikely feel any pain if bitten. It has a brown body with a dark green stripe running down the length of its back.
The harvestman spider can grow up to 1.5 inches long and ranges from .4-1 inch wide at its widest point.
Montana has different types of spiders in Montana you may encounter. Some are harmless, but others may be harmful.
It is important to know that even if a spider is not dangerous or poisonous, it can still bite a human.
Knowing which type of common spiders found in Montana you are dealing with can help keep your home spider-free and make the most informed decision about whether or not to kill the spider.