20 Types of Spiders in Pennsylvania

Types of Spiders in Pennsylvania
Photo by Hamish Weir

The state of Pennsylvania is home to a diverse collection of spider species. That is much too many to include here, so we have compiled a list of 20 types of spiders in Pennsylvania.

1. Wolf Spider

The Wolf Spider is one of Pennsylvania’s most well-known types of spiders. They can survive practically anywhere and in any environment.

You will always find these spiders under rocks or logs when turned over. Unfortunately, there are so many species of Wolf Spiders that it would be hard to include them all here, especially considering how similar most of them are to one another in appearance.


Interestingly, Wolf Spiders do not construct webs to capture their prey. Instead, they sit and wait for a bug to pass by before chasing it down and eating it.

Some Wolf Spiders may dig themselves a hole and wait inside for prey to pass by so they can feast. The majority of Wolf Spiders do not have a fixed abode, and those that do always hunt and live by themselves.

Compared to other types of arachnids, the eyesight of wolf spiders is unparalleled. If you shine a light on their faces, the retroreflective tissue in their eyes will emit a glow. In addition, they have this tissue in their eyes.

When provoked, Wolf Spiders will bite; however, they do not always inject venom into their bites. Because of this, they are not harmful to human beings.

The symptoms of a bite are relatively moderate and may include mild itching, swelling, and pain.

2. Cellar Spider

You know how there’s always that one Spider that hangs out in the same spot in the corner of your basement, right?

It’s probably the Cellar Spider! It is not uncommon to discover these elongated, slender, and fragile arachnids living inside homes and other buildings.

Their web is disturbed by touch, or when it has huge prey caught in it, cellar spiders engage in an interesting behavior.

Because of the quick vibrations that they begin to produce, people sometimes refer to them as “vibrating spiders.”

They engage in this behavior to conceal themselves from potential enemies or improve their chances of successfully capturing prey that has accidentally brushed against their webs.

Cellar Spiders are useful to have around because they will hunt down and kill other types of spiders, including poisonous spiders.

3. Black Widow

The Black Widow spiders are the most dangerous types of spiders in Pennsylvania. In addition, they are likely the world’s most well-known and widely recognized species of Spider.

The females of the species have a distinctive red mark in the shape of an hourglass, which is visible to almost everyone.

Even though their venom is 15 times more lethal than that of a rattlesnake, these animals are not particularly aggressive.

It is extremely rare for a Black Widow to bite a human being because they only do so in self-defense when their web is disturbed.

However, you should be aware that venom affects your nervous system if you are one of the unlucky few people bitten each year.

While it may have a relatively mild impact on some, most people are severely impacted by it. The neurotoxic venom can be lethal to young children if a medical professional does not treat the bite. If you get bitten, get medical assistance immediately.

The ideal environment for a Black Widow is darkly lit and congested, like a basement closet, dark corner, or closet.

The ideal areas to seek for them are overhanging ledges, underneath benches or stones, next to the mouths of abandoned rodent burrows, or in and around sheds. They avoid wet environments and look for dry places to live.

4. Trapdoor Spider

Contrary to the majority of other types of spiders in Pennsylvania, trapdoor spiders do not spin webs.

They construct subterranean tunnels made of silk material, and they protect the entrance to each tunnel with a door that has a hinge so that it may be closed. As can be seen, this is how the band got its name, which translates to “Trapdoor.”

The two huge fangs trapdoor spiders use to capture prey are on either side of their mouths. When the victim approaches the tunnel, it is in grave danger because the Trapdoor Spider will pounce on it and consume it.

Fortunately, Trapdoor Spiders are not aggressive and typically go underground if they see a human approaching them.

This allows humans to approach them safely. In the rare event that a bite occurs, it is only moderately painful and poses little threat to the victim’s life.

5. Giant Lichen Orb Weaver Spider

A portion of their name comes from the fact that Giant Lichen Orb Weavers reside in the woods of Pennsylvania on trees that have lichens, which is a type of fungus that grows on trees.

These spiders can spin webs with a circumference of up to 2.4 meters (8 feet) in diameter. Because of this, a portion of their name refers to them as “giant.” It would be the worst possible outcome if you unintentionally walked through this web!

They are active at night and prefer to hide during the day, which allows them to avoid being discovered by birds and other potential enemies.

6. European Garden Spider

The European Garden Spider is also known as the Crowned Orb Weaver, the Cross Spider, the Diadem Spider, the Orangie, and the Pumpkin Spider.

In reality, European Garden Spiders have eight eyes, yet they only appear to have six eyes due to their appearance. This is because they are so minute that one cannot observe them with the naked eye.

The European Garden Spider spins an impeccable web when it does it for the very first time in its lifespan.

What’s even stranger is as time passes and they construct an increasing number of webs, they start to make more mistakes and become less careful. I assume there are exceptions to the rule that practice makes perfect!

After they have constructed their web, they will wait for prey by sitting in the exact center of it with their head pointed downward toward the earth.

If forced to leave their web, they will attach themselves to a single trigger line to continue sensing the vibrations caused by their prey. It’s like having a security system and a doorbell rolled into one convenient device.

7. Running Crab Spider

They most likely reside in wooded or grassy areas close to a body of water. But sadly, they are also known to enter buildings constructed by humans.

The Crab Running Spiders solely spin webs to carry their egg sacs; they do not use their webs to capture prey.

Instead, they search for spiders that rely on camouflage to hide from predators. They can also run quite quickly, which helps them to pursue and catch their prey.

Running Crab Spiders have the interesting ability to lose a leg and then develop a new one in its place.

A painful and swollen reaction may result from their bite. In rare cases, it can also result in nausea, vomiting, an abnormal heartbeat, headache, inflammation, or chronic pain. However, these side effects are uncommon.

8. Daring Jumping Spider

Jumping Spiders can make leaps that are up to 50 times their own body length. They are incredibly small spiders. Could you even begin to fathom what they would look like if they were the size of a tarantula?

Daring Jumpers are hunting spiders that prefer to lurk in open locations to ambush and pursue prey. They exclusively spin webs to guard their egg sacs or use them as a place to sleep at night.

Jumping spiders only spin one strand of webbing to utilize as their escape line if a predator attacks them. They use this as a backup plan if their jump is unsuccessful; it acts like a bungee cord.

Daring The presence of jumpers is widespread in grassy and open regions. Because they prefer to perch on level surfaces and their beaks point downward to make it simpler for them to capture prey.

They can sometimes perch on the walls or fences of outside constructions. Why put forth more effort when you could be more efficient?

They avoid human contact as much as possible because they are terrified of us. If you get bitten, the bite will hurt and cause significant swelling, high temperature, chills, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

Don’t worry too much about this teeny-tiny Spider; even though it packs quite a punch, it falls into the low-risk category.

9. Furrow Spider

In the state of Pennsylvania, you can find furrow spiders in grassy or shrubby areas that are damp and located close to sources of water.

These arachnids aren’t bothered by being near human buildings, such as porches or the nooks and crannies of houses.

Did you know that spiders cannot hear? Like many other species of Spider, the furrow spider uses the hairs found on its legs to detect sound.

Like other types of spiders in Pennsylvania, these spiders construct a whole new web each night. The explanation for this is the fact that they consume their meal first thing in the morning!

Even if you get bitten by one of them, the pain will be minimal, and the discomfort will be little as well.

10. Banana Spider

The woods and forests of Pennsylvania are home to arachnids known as banana spiders. Keep an eye out for their asymmetrical webs composed of silk with a golden hue and can measure up to 6 feet in diameter!

As with many other types of common spiders, female Banana Spiders are significantly larger than males.
However, it is good news for the male because the female does not consume them once they have mated.

The silk produced by Banana Spiders is one of a kind because there are seven distinct varieties. Studies have shown that the golden-colored silk is not only highly robust, but it also has the potential to be used in surgical procedures to improve the neurological system.

11. American Grass Spider

One of the types of spiders in Pennsylvania that has one of the quickest running speeds is the American Grass Spider.

The American Grass Spider is a funnel weaver, which means that one edge of its web is woven into the shape of a funnel.

In contrast to the webs spun by other spiders, theirs are not sticky. However, when the silk is activated, they use their speed to chase down and capture their victim as swiftly as possible.

Grass Spiders will typically remain in their webs unless anything disrupts their routine. They do not pose any threat to human health, which is a relief.

12. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The Yellow Garden Spider is another name for this species. The Black and Yellow Garden Spider is among the most well-known spiders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

They spin exquisite webs with a distinctive circular shape and sometimes have a diameter of up to 2 feet. As their name implies, you can find them in bright, open areas like fields or gardens.

Many species of spiders, including the Black and Yellow Garden Spiders, spin their webs throughout the day.

The strong zigzag of silk in the middle of the web is known as the stabilimentum, and it serves the purpose of helping the spider blend in while it is sitting in the web.

Experts believe that the zigzag pattern acts as a deterrent for larger animals that might otherwise run into it and cause damage.

In addition, they can maintain their position at the center of their web while vigorously moving it. They do this to prevent predators from taking a significant portion of the web and assist in entangling an insect before it becomes accessible and falls off the structure.

Even though they are not hostile, black and yellow garden spiders will bite if they are grasped or disturbed.

On the other hand, the bite is completely safe for humans, and the worst that can happen is that it feels like a bee sting.

13. Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

People frequently misidentify Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spiders as Black Widows. The fact that both species have red and black coloring contributes to the confusion.

Fortunately, with just a little bit of practice, it is simple to differentiate between the two. Under rocks is the ideal spot to look for them, but it is not unusual for one to make its way into your house.

The peculiar actions of the Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider are the source of its strange name. They frequently walk with their two front legs lifted in the air while twitching them, which creates the impression that they are an ant with six legs and antennae.

This helps them to sneak up on their target and launch an attack by fooling them into thinking they are ants.

These hostile spiders mainly prey on ants and other small insects but avoid bothering people and animals. If you get bitten, the area where the bite occurred may become swollen and red. Those who suffer from allergies ought to use increased caution.

14. Woodlouse Spider

Most of their food comprises woodlice, sometimes potato bugs or pillbugs. These isopods have tough exoskeletons, but the enormous fangs of the woodlouse spider make it easy to puncture them and inject their poison. In addition to that, they consume crickets, earwigs, millipedes, and silverfish.

These types of spiders in Pennsylvania hide in damp and gloomy places such as behind rocks, decomposing logs, leaf litter, and other similar areas.

As can be seen, these are the exact locations in which their preferred prey, which is woodlice, can be found.

Because of the size of their fangs, female Woodlouse Spiders risk getting harmed during the mating process, which is typically a rather combative occurrence.

They occasionally bite humans, although those bites have never resulted in any serious medical issues. The place of the bite could get itchy, but that is the worst thing that could happen.

15. Fishing Spider

Fishing Spiders, Raft Spiders, Dock Spiders, and Wharf Spiders are some of the other names for these arachnids.

One of the largest types of spiders in Pennsylvania is the Fishing Spider. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are a few different species of fishing spiders. They are all found in semi-aquatic environments, except for the D.albineus, which is arboreal.

Large hunter spiders that are active at night and catch their food near water, fishing spiders are known as “water spiders.” During the day, you may frequently find them lounging on the docks next to lakes.

These spider-like arthropods can walk or run on water because of the short velvet-like hairs that cover their bodies. These hairs do not become wet.

They wait for their prey to cause a ripple in the water before making a dash for it across the lake. Most Fishing Spider species consume insects, although several species can catch and consume tiny fish.

They can climb underwater thanks to their specialized lungs, which allow them to continue breathing while they are in the water.

However, because this trapped air causes them to float, they are required to grab onto a rock or plant to prevent themselves from floating to the surface.

16. American Nursery Web Spider

Most people are familiar with the peculiar mating habits of the Nursery Web Spider. After mating, it is common practice for female spiders to consume their male offspring.

To avert this fate, the male wraps the legs of the female in his silk and ties them together. This keeps him from being consumed by the female.

They inhabit dense underbrush and tall weeds across the entire state of Pennsylvania. They favor this setting because it allows them to conceal themselves more easily.

These types of spiders in Pennsylvania wait patiently for their prey to approach within striking distance, pouncing on them with their chelicerae, which are like pincers but shaped like claws.

The American Nursery Web Spider is one of the most common types of spiders in Pennsylvania. It shares the abilities of many other types of spiders in the state.

One of their abilities is that they can walk on the surface of the water and then dive underneath it to escape from their opponents. The second ability is that they have a vertical leap of up to 6 inches.

17. Spitting Spider

The only spiders in Pennsylvania that shoot webs at their prey to trap it are called spitting spiders. They like it when the environment is dry and quite chilly.

You might discover them buried beneath stones in the yard of a house, or you might stumble upon them in the Cellar of your own home.

The majority of spiders only use their silk to construct webs. Spitting Spiders, on the other hand, have two silk glands near their fang glands, allowing them to spit the silk-covered venom at their victim to immobilize it.

It appears that Spider-Man drew some of his inspiration from similar events. Fortunately, both humans and their pets are safe from the Spitting Spider’s bite.

They have no intention of attacking, and their fangs are not powerful enough to cut through human skin even if they try.

18. Broad-Faced Sac Spider

Large-Faced Receptacle Crevices around houses are a common hiding spot for these spiders, and windowsills can also be a common location. As the temperature outdoors drops, you are more likely to find them inside your home.

They hunt at night and do not use webs to capture their prey. Instead, sac spiders would spin webs for themselves to conceal themselves within; this behavior is how the species received its name.

People have reported getting bitten by them, and because they have such enormous fangs, the bite may be rather excruciating.

Although some people can experience adverse reactions, this is relatively uncommon, and they are generally not dangerous.

19. Common House Spider

These types of spiders in Pennsylvania live close to people. The average length of a Common House Spider is only five to six millimeters (0.20 to 0.24 in), which is always surprising.

It would be best if you weren’t afraid of Common House Spiders, although there are probably already a number of them in your home at this very moment.

They are beneficial because their diet consists of small insects and pests found in and around your houses, such as ants, flies, and mosquitoes.

Bites are uncommon, although they are generally gentle, and are typically caused by their proximity to humans. But you have nothing to worry about because their poison is completely harmless.

20. Bowl and Doily Spider

Have you ever seen web patches hanging low in the woods or nearby bushes? If that’s the case, it was most likely the web of a Bowl and Doily Spider.

They are most well-known for the bowl-shaped, horizontal sheet webs they spin, which you can discover in weedy fields or among bushes in many different environments.

The Doily and Bowl The sheet webs that spiders construct between branches are only a few inches in diameter and are created by the spiders.

The Spider will wait for its victim on the underside of the bowl while perched on the bottom of the bowl. This position also makes it possible for it to launch a surprise attack. You can see that they can bite their victim while it is still on the web.

Although males do not construct webs very often, they will dwell with females for extended periods in their webs.

Because of this, it is not uncommon for more than one male to mate with a single female, which results in a sperm race among the males.

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