Spiders are common in Maryland. You can encounter them in your home, backyard, car parks, urban areas to rural areas, and in the wild. Maryland is home to a few venomous spiders and many non-venomous spiders.
We have compiled a list of the most common to least common spiders you may encounter in Maryland, continue reading to find out more.
Are There Venomous Spiders In Maryland?
Many spiders in Maryland have venom, which they use to subdue their prey, but the black widow is the only native spider that is dangerous to humans. Maryland is home to two black widow species:
- Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)
- Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)
The female black widow is a venomous spider that is shiny black with a bulb-shaped abdomen and a red hourglass marking on the belly.
Maryland is also home to the false widow spider, which is not as dangerous, but their bites can cause pain at the bite site, which sometimes radiates away from the localized bite area.
Common Spiders In Maryland
The most common spiders you may encounter in Maryland include:
1. Yellow Garden Spider
Yellow garden spiders (Argiope aurantia) are usually encountered in sunny areas, hiding in tall plants, shrubs, and flowers. They are common in grasslands, forests, and agricultural land.
Females are larger than males and grow to around 28mm in body length. The males only grow to around 9mm.
They have a shiny black bulb-shaped abdomen with yellow or orange markings. The cephalothorax (head space) is covered in silver hairs. The legs are black with some red or yellow areas closer to the body. They have three claws to each foot, which helps them recreate their webs on a daily basis.
Their venom is only strong enough to immobilize prey that is ensnared in their webs.
2. Orchard Orbweaver
Orchard orbweavers (Leucauge venusta) are long-jawed orb weavers that create a horizontal orientated web, where the spider hangs upside down in the center waiting for prey to get ensnared.
This is a beautiful spider with green sides and legs with yellow and black spots under the thorax and a silver with brown and black streaks on its back. The rear of the abdomen has bright red, orange, or yellow spots, which vary in size.
3. Bold Jumping Spider
Bold jumping spiders (Phidippus audax) are fast and curious spiders, belonging to the Salticidae family. They can jump more than four times their body length and quickly, which they use to ambush prey and escape predators.
These are black spiders with a white line that runs across the upper part of the abdomen with two white dots close to the rear. They have white hairy patches on their legs and pedipalps.
They live in just about any habitat from your home to your car.
They do not spin webs to capture prey, but rather rely on their rapid-fire jumping abilities.
4. Spotted Orbweaver
Spotted orbweavers (Neoscona crucifera) can create circular-shaped webs up to two feet in diameter. They range in color from tan to orange and red, with some being yellow/brown. Some have a visible pattern on their abdomen,w hie others have zigzags down their sides. They have bristles on the legs, thorax, head, and abdomen.
They are common in fields, parks, backyards, gardens, and woodlands where they are mostly active from May and August. They are nocturnal, with the spider hanging upside down in the center of the web.
5. Tan Jumping Spider
Tan jumping spiders (Platycryptus undatus) are ambush predators that pounce on their prey, injecting it with venom and then taking it back to their silk retreat.
They hibernate in large groups.
These are hairy spiders that are friendly and curious. They seldom bite but will if they feel threatened. They can jump more than four times their body length at excellent speeds, which helps them escape predators and ambush their prey.
6. Marbled Orbweaver
Marbled orbweavers (Araneus marmoreus) have a beautiful marbled pattern on their abdomens, complete with black and white bands on the lower leg and orange on the upper legs. They also have an orange head. Their abdomens can range from black and yellow, black and white, yellow and orange, or black and orange.
They create a new orb-shaped web every day.
They are commonly encountered in wooded areas, not too far from a water source, where they build their webs in tall grass, shrubs, and reeds. They are very active in summer and fall and drop to the ground if they feel threatened.
7. Dark Fishing Spider
Dark fishing spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosus) are usually encountered in wooded areas, where they live on trees.
Females are double the size of males, growing to 26mm with males growing to 13mm. Their leg span can be up to 90mm.
They are light to dark brown with chevron markings and light stripes on the legs. Their legs are brown/black with red/brown and black on the tibia.
These spiders usually flee when they sense danger and will bite if threatened or provoked. If you are bitten by the dark fishing spider, the pain is about the same as a bee sting and is not considered a medical emergency.
8. Arrowhead Orbweaver
Arrowhead orbweavers (Verrucosa arenata) are unusual for their species as they do not have a round abdomen, but rather have an arrow-shaped abdomen, with the rear being triangular and pointed.
They create large round webs where the spider hangs in the center waiting for prey to get entrapped.
Their bodies are red to brown in color with a bright white or yellow triangle on the abdomen and some smaller markings in red.
These spiders can be encountered in wooded forests and are more common in middle to late summer.
9. American Nursery Web Spider
American nursery web spiders (Pisaurina mira) are fantastic parents, with the female carrying the egg sac with her fangs, while she creates a web high in the weeds. The sac is then layered in webbing, while she guards the nursery until her eggs hatch.
The spiderlings remain in the nursery for around a week before venturing out on their own.
The webs created by the American Nursery Web Spider is for their nurseries, not to capture prey.
These are ambush spiders and they hide in leaf litter and plants. They are light brown to tan in color with a dark brown line running down their cephalothorax and abdomen.
10. Spined Micrathena
The spined micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) female has pointed ridges on her abdomen, which makes her less appealing to predators. The female is brown, black, and white in color, which helps her camouflage herself in the forests.
These spiders can vary in color from one spider to the next.
The males do have sharp ridges and tend to be more black or white with a narrower waist than the female.
They create circular webs where the female sits upside down in the center, while the males usually hide nearby.
11. Grass Spiders
Grass spiders (genus Agelenopsis) are common in Maryland during the summer months. They create funnel-shaped webs, like a cave in the grass. The spider hides at the back of the web. These are fat spiders that ambush their prey, dragging it to their web.
They are tan with two black lines running down the sides, which is why they are often mistaken as wolf spiders. The grass spider’s abdomen has dark lines that are more like chevrons with the males being smaller than the females.
They are common in front and backyards.
12. Common House Spider
Common house spiders (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) create tangled and messy webs, which we associate with Halloween. Their webs are often found in widow corners and attics.
Multiple females often have their webs near each other, which means numerous webs and a rather spooky atmosphere.
These are comb foot spiders with long skinny legs and a bulb-shaped abdomen. They are brown with white and dark lines and patches.
They are small spiders and are not aggressive, they won’t bother humans. They usually play dead if they feel threatened, though they can bite. Bites from the common house spider are not considered medically significant.
13. Golden Jumping Spider
The golden jumping spider (Paraphidippus aurantius) is also known as the emerald jumping spider with males being black with white side stripes on the side of his head and a white borer around his abdomen. Females are brown with orange details and both have metallic green on their cephalothorax and abdomen. There is a line of hairs down the abdomen with dots and lines on either side.
These are excellent jumpers with exceptional eyesight and very curious.
They are commonly found indoors and are not aggressive towards humans.
14. Basilica Orbweaver
The basilica orbweaver (Mecynogea lemniscata) has a beautiful pattern, colors, and an abdomen shape that reminds you of the inside of a beautiful basilica in Italy.
These spiders have long abdomens in orange, yellow and green, making them easy to spot and identify. Their abdomen shape is more rectangular than bulb-shaped.
The sides are green with white dots and the abdomen is edged in white and filled with orange lines with brown, black, and yellow inlays. The carapace or neck is similar to a cat’s eye with a black line down the center. They have green legs with brown feet.
The basilica orbweaver makes a dome-shaped web, similar to the top of a cathedral, with dangling sticky threads hanging own.
15. Eastern Parson Spider
The Eastern parson spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus) is a black spider with a white necktie, similar to a cravat or a necktie that was worn by clergymen back in the eighteenth century. They are hairy spiders, medium in size, and exceptionally fast.
They are wandering hunters and do spin webs to capture prey. They hide during the day and hunt at night. They do sometimes come indoors, though they are mostly encountered hiding under debris, rocks, and boards.
Their venom is not considered lethal, but there are reports of some people having an allergic reaction to the bite.
16. Furrow Orbweaver
Furrow orbweavers (Larinioides cornutus) have large bulb-shaped abdomens with females growing to around 114mm and males to 9mm in body length with a 35mm leg span. Colors range from gray and black to red.
The carapace on the abdomen has a lighter shade arrow that points towards the cephalothorax. Their legs also have an arrow pattern. Their eight eyes are arranged with two eyes and the other six in a horizontal row below.
They are commonly encountered near water, in moist areas.
17. American Green Crab Spider
The American green crab spider (Misumessus oblongus) can walk forwards, backward, and sideways with long front legs, which helps it grab prey. It hunts pollinating insects, such as butterflies, bees, and beetles, hiding in a flower and waiting for the insect to come to drink the nectar.
They are bright green, helping them hide among flower petals. The spider has a diamond or kite marking on the slender abdomen with red banding on the sides.
18. Rabid Wolf Spider
Rabid wolf spiders (Rabidosa rabida) do not carry the rabies virus and are completely harmless to humans.
They are fast-moving and rather erratic, which makes them look crazed. They tend to run away from danger. They will bite, but it is not medically significant and is no worse than a bee sting, with some redness and swelling in the bite area.
The rabid wolf spider is tan to light brown with two dark brown stripes down the side of the head and a single dark brown stripe down the center of the back with two thin brown lines on either side.
They chase down their prey, often lying in wait for prey to pass close enough that they can catch it. Due to them being wandering predators, they are known to wander indoors from time to time.
19. Bronze Jumping Spider
The bronze jumping spider (Eris militaris), from the Salticidae family, will often wander into homes hunting for food. These small and fast spiders are not dangerous and only spin webs as a retreat, somewhere to hide and eat in privacy.
They jump at rapid-fire speeds, jumping more than four times their body length to ambush prey or escape predators. When hunting prey, they throw out single silk, called a dragline, as they jump towards the prey. This dragline reduces the risk of the prey escaping.
The spider then bites the prey, injecting its venom, while wrapping it in silk and dragging it back to its retreat, where it can eat at leisure.
20. Ribbon Jumping Spider
Ribbon jumping spiders (Metacyrba taeniola) belong to the Salticidae family. Females are larger than the males, rowing to 7.2mm in body length and males to 6mm. It is one of the larger jumping spiders with a broad carapace.
They are harmless to humans but will bite if provoked. Their bites are no worse than a bee sting. They are very curious but are more likely to jump away at fast speeds, hiding in crevices and cracks.
21. Six-spotted Fishing Spider
The six spotted fishing spider (Dolomedes triton) is usually found near lakes, in vegetation, on or under boat docks, and structures near water.
These are large spiders that are boldly marked and not always easy to tell apart from a wolf spider. They have eight eyes of equal size, three claws on their feet, and are gray to brown in color with some light patches and spots on their abdomens.
Females are larger than males and can grow to 26mm in body length. Males can grow to around half that at 13mm in body length.
They are excellent hunters and spend their day hunting for food. With their excellent vision, they can dive into the water to capture prey. They make surface waves on the water using their front legs, this helps them identify prey locations up to 18cm away.
They can dive into the water, enjoying a varied diet of small fish, insect larvae, and tadpoles.
22. Sylvan Jumping Spider
The Sylvan jumping spider (Colonus sylvanus) is a small jumping spider in the Salticidae family. The males tend to be dark brown to black with white markings, while females are light brown.
They seem to prefer forest areas and can jump more than four times their body length. Being ambush spiders, they spin their webs as a safe retreat and a place to hide food for when they want it.
It is not uncommon for them to wander into homes looking for their next meal, often attracted by insects that are drawn to outside lights.
23. Arabesque Orbweaver
The arabesque orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca) is a beautiful spider with dashes and swirls on the abdomen. They vary in color with some being orange and others brown, there are reports of some being black.
Females have a rounder abdomen than males, both with short lines and dashes that scroll down the abdomen with thick black commas near the rear of the abdomen. Females create large circular webs, where she hangs upside-down waiting for insects to get ensnared.
Males are usually close to the females, often hiding on a nearby leaf or branch.
They are not aggressive.
24. Broad-Faced Sac Spider
Broad-faced sac spiders (Trachelas tranquillus) are outdoor spiders that do make their way into homes during the fall when the temperature starts to drop.
They have a shiny brown or red cephalothorax without any patterns, along with a tan to gray abdomen, that is dull in color with no patterns. Their legs can range from brown or tan to red with the front pair being darker than the rest.
Females are larger than males and can grow to 10mm in body length with a 16mm leg span.
These nocturnal spiders are commonly found in their cocoon-like sac on ceilings and windowsills.
25. Arrow-shaped Orbweaver
Arrow-shaped orbweavers (Micrathena sagittata) have a triangular-shaped abdomen, unlike other orbweavers that have bulb-shaped abdomen. Their abdomens look similar to an arrowhead.
Females have sharp spines on her back, making them less appealing to predators. The males do not have spines and their abdomens have rounded edges. Males are mostly black and have white edges, while females can be a range of colors and varying patterns.
The center of the arrow abdomen is bright yellow with red dots, the large spines are tipped in black, the body, head, and legs are mostly red.
They create orb-shaped webs, that are only a few feet from the ground.
26. Northern Black Widow
The Northern black widow (Latrodectus variolus) has a glossy black abdomen with large red circles on the backside and a broken or splits red hourglass on the belly.
The hourglass is how you can tell a Northern black widow apart from the more toxic Southern black widow, which has a distinct unbroken red hourglass o the belly.
Only the female is dangerous to humans. Males are different in color and pattern and are not considered dangerous to humans.
If you are bitten by a black widow, you will want to visit the emergency room as soon as possible. Bites are painful immediately and can get worse over a few hours. Other symptoms include fever, sweating nausea, weakness, and rapid heart rate.
They create messy webs in woodpiles and the woodlands, also in undisturbed areas in shelters, garages, and sheds. They are shay and will likely try and hide. They will only bite if threatened or provoked.
27. Red-femured Spotted Orbweaver
The red-femured spotted orbweaver (Neoscona domiciliorum) is easily identified with yellow or white markings on the abdomen and a lateral black stripe on either side of a white band, which makes a pale cross shape.
Each leg has red as the first segment with the rest being gray and black banding. They have a dark belly with four white spots and a red tip on the abdomen.
Females grow to around 16mm with males being half the size.
These orbweavers prefer woodland habitats, especially moist areas with hardwood trees.