Spiders in Oklahoma

There are hundereds of spider species that are described in Oklahoma with more being discovered. Not all spiders are dangerous to humans, though many people are scared of them.

We have described the most common spiders to the least common, enabling you to easily identify the spider you may have encountered in your home, car or when out in nature.

1. Bold Jumping Spider

Bold jumping spider

Scientific name: Phidippus audax.

Common name: daring jumping spider, bold jumping spider.

Bold jumping spiders are probably the most common spider you will encounter in Oklahoma, ranging in color and size.

Males can grow up to 15mm in body length, females are slightly larger at around 18mm in body length.

They are black spiders with spots and stripes on the legs and abdomens. Juveniles have orange spots, which turn white as they mature. In some areas, the adults may have orange, red, or yellow spots. Their mouths are bright green or blue.

These spiders prefer open areas, where they stalk and ambush their prey using their excellent jumping abilities. They are commonly encountered in grasslands and fields, exterior walls, gardens, and fences.

2. Yellow Garden Spider

Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific name: Argiope aurantia.

Common name: yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, zipper spider, corn spider, banana spider, Steeler spider, McKinley spider.

Yellow garden spiders were first described in 1833 and are yellow and black o the abdomen with a white cephalothorax (head space).

Males can grow to 0.35 inches (9mm) in body length with females being larger, growing to 1.10 inches (28mm) in body length.

Even though they are harmless, they will bite if harassed.

You can often see their webs adjacent to a sunny field, where they remain hidden and protected. They can also be seen on the eaves of outbuildings and homes, as well as in tall vegetation. The females don’t wander and will remain in the same area their entire lives.

Their webs are circular in shape and can be up to two feet in diameter with a zigzag pattern of silk. Each night the spider consumes the interior of the web, rebuilding it in the morning.

3. Tan Jumping Spider

Tan jumping spider

Scientific name: Platycryptus undatus.

Common name: tan jumping spider.

The tan jumping spider has a compressed body, allowing it to hide under the bark of trees. They have a prominent pattern on the abdomen, helping them blend into their surroundings females can grow to 13mm in body length, with males being on the smaller side, growing to 9.5mm in body length.

They prefer vertical surfaces, such as walls and fences.

They are curious spiders and will watch a human as you go about your business, they seldom flee and will climb on your hand if you are gentle.

They seldom bite, but will if they are squeezed or pinched. They are not harmful and the bite area can be washed with soap and water and an ice pack can be used to reduce pain and swelling.

4. Texas Brown Tarantula

Texas brown tarantula

Scientific name: Aphonopelma hentzi

Common name: Texas brown tarantula, Oklahoma brown tarantula, Missouri tarantula.

The Texas brown tarantula is also known as the Oklahoma brown tarantula and is common in the area.

Their leg span can exceed 4 inches (10cm) with dark brown bodies, though the brown can vary from one individual to the next.

These docile spiders will take a defensive stance if disturbed. They have urticating hairs on the abdomen, which they kick off in the direction of a threat. This can cause irritation and discomfort if it makes contact with your skin.

They have large fangs, which can cause quite a puncture if they do bite.

They are mostly encountered in grasslands, hiding in underground burrows, which have a web entrance.

5. Spotted Orbweaver

Spotted orbweaver

Scientific name: Neoscona crucifera.

Common name: Hentz orbweaver, spotted orbweaver, barn spider.

Spotted orbweavers create orb-shaped webs, which they use to hide during the day.

They vary in color from orange and red to yellow and brown or tan. They have a zigzag pattern down the side of the abdomen, though this is not always clearly visible in all individuals. There are bristles on the legs, head, thorax, and abdomen.

Their webs can reach two feet in diameter, often seen in woodlands, gardens, parks, fields, and backyards.

They tend to be active from May to August. They are nocturnal, so you will seldom see one during the day.

6. Rabid Wolf Spider

Rabid wolf spider

Scientific name: Rabidosa rabida.

Common name: rabid wolf spider.

The rabid wolf spider has two dark stripes on the cephalothorax and one stripe on their abdomens. The rest of the spider is yellow. Females can grow to an inch in body length and males to half an inch.

They have eight eyes, four above and four below. The larger eyes are reflective, which can be seen if you shine a light on the spider.

This species prefers wooded areas and cotton fields, where they live in holes. Some are encountered around bonds or in burrows, which are covered in debris.

They are ambush hunters that hunt at night, camouflaging against leaves and bark to hide from their prey. They will bite if provoked but are not dangerous.

7. Brown Recluse

Brown recluse

Scientific name: Loxosceles reclusa.

Common name: brown recluse, fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, violin spider.

The brown recluse is one of the dangerous spiders you may encounter in Oklahoma, growing to 0.79 inches (20mm) in body length.

They are brown in color, ranging from light brown to black/gray. Their head space and abdomen are not always the same color, there are markings on the cephalothorax, which looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing towards the rear.

Unlike the majority of other spiders, the brown recluse only has six eyes, which are arranged in pairs.

The intensity of the violin marking can also vary with mature adults having a darker marking than the younger spiders.

They tend to build webs in woodpiles, closets, cellars, and sheds where they are not disturbed. If they move indoors, they prefer cardboard.

They do hunt at night, leaving their webs to find their next meal.

Most bites from this spider are considered minor, however, they can cause skin necrosis. Because of their secretive nature, bites are rare. Though children and the elderly are most common to experience fever, rash, muscle, and joint pain, and nausea and vomiting if bitten.

Most fatalities are a result of a weakened immune system. Bites can become itchy and painful after two to eight hours with the pain getting worse within 36 hours. Necrosis develops within days. The bite wound can grow to 10 inches (25cm) with damaged tissue becoming gangrenous.

Further Reading:

8. Southern Black Widow

Southern black widow

Scientific name: Latrodectus mactans.

Common name: southern black widow, simply black widow, shoe-button spider.

The female Southern black widow is the most dangerous spider you can encounter in Oklahoma reaching a body length of 0.51 inches (13mm). Males are smaller growing to 0.24 inches (6mm) in body length.

The female is shiny black with a red hourglass marking on her bulb-shaped abdomen. Gravid (egg carrying) females can have an abdomen that is more than 0.5 inches (1.25cm) in diameter. Some have an orange or red patch just on the top of the abdomen near the spinnerets.

Juveniles are black to gray with white stripes and yellow and orange spots males are purple or close to the juvenile coloration.

Only a mature female black widow is above to affect humans, though the amount of venom injected varies. No deaths have been reported despite there being approximately two thousand bites each year. If you are bitten by a Southern black widow, seek medical attention immediately.

Further Reading:

9. Green Lynx Spider

Green lynx spider

Scientific name: Peucetia viridans.

Common name: green lynx spider.

A female green lynx spider can grow to 0.87 inches (22mm) in body length, with males growing to half the size. They usually have a red patch between their eyes and some red spots on their bodies. The eyes have white hair. The abdomen has six chevrons where the points face forward.

Their legs are green to yellow with black spines. They tend to change color in the springtime from green to a pale yellow with red streaks. Gravid (egg-bearing) females also change their color based on their habitat, this can take up to two weeks.

They don’t bite humans often, but when they do, it is painful and can cause localized swelling. They are useful for pest management in cotton fields.

10. Dimorphic Jumping Spider

Male Dimorphic Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Maevia inclemens.

Common name: Dimorphic Jumping Spider.

Dimorphic means two forms, which is the perfect name for this umping spider. The two look completely different, even though they are the same species.

Males are black with yellow legs or tan with red on their abdomens. Females look similar to tan males with their bodies covered in short hairs.

They can jump considerable distances, using this to ambush their prey, which they capture with a single thread of silk to reduce the risk of it escaping.

11. Flea Jumping Spider

Flea Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Naphrys pulex.

Common name: Flea Jumping Spider.

The flea jumping spider belongs to the Salticidae family and is intelligent with excellent vision, able to jump more than four times its body length.

They are gray and black mottled on the top of their abdomens, cephalothorax, and legs with orange on the sides of the cephalothorax, which helps to identify them.

They grow to 10mm in body length, capturing prey more than double their size, including crickets, grasshoppers, and cockroaches.

They will bite if roughly handled, their bites can be painful. Their venom is harmless to humans, with bites causing mild pain and redness, which will subside within a few days.

12. Peppered Jumping Spider

Male peppered jumper

Scientific name: Pelegrina galathea.

Common name: peppered jumper.

Peppered jumping spiders are small gray jumping spiders with females growing to 5.4mm in body length and males to 4.4mm in body length.

Females are gray with dark and light spots, giving them a peppered look, while males are bronze brown with white patterns on the abdomen and cephalothorax.

The males also have two white markings behind the median eyes which gives the face a constant frown.

They are often encountered in prairies, fields, and crops, where they help to control pests.

13. Golden Jumping Spider

Female emerald jumping spider

Scientific name: Paraphidippus aurantius.

Common name: emerald jumping spider, golden jumping spider.

Golden jumping spiders are also known as emerald jumping spiders. These solitary hunters can jump considerable distances for their small size.

They are green or black with white stripes on both sides of the head and a border around the abdomen. There are mid-line hairs with white dots and lines on both sides of the hairs.

Females are brown with orange details, both have metallic green coloration on the cephalothorax and abdomen, which is visible in the light.

They have excellent eyesight and are ambush predators, using their webs as a retreat to eat their prey and lay their eggs.

They often come indoors after insects and are not aggressive towards humans. They can bite if provoked which is no worse than a bee sting, though chances are if you get too close they will simply leap away, disappearing into cracks and corners.

14. Brilliant Jumping Spider

Adult Male Brilliant Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Phidippus clarus.

Common name: Brilliant Jumping Spider.

Brilliant jumping spiders belong to the Salticidae family, often found in old fields.

They sit upside down at the top of a plant, helping them detect passing prey. Once prey is seen, it jumps down and captures its meal.

They are relatively large for a jumping spider and capture prey much larger than themselves. They have a rectangular carapace with females growing to 0.159 inches (4mm) in body length and males being smaller at 0.126 inches (3.2mm).

They are usually red to brown, though some are yellow to brown with dark markings on their body.

15. American Nursery Web Spider

American Nursery Web Spider

Scientific name: Pisaurina mira.

Common name: American Nursery Web Spider.

American nursery web spiders have long abdomens and a high carapace, which protects the cephalothorax. They have eight eyes arranged in two rows. Males have longer legs than females. They have a dark band on the abdomen with two rows of spots.

Their name comes from the care the female provides to her eggs and spiderlings. They protect their eggs in sacs, which are then covered as she stands guard. She will bite if you get too close to her eggs.

These spiders do not rely on a web to capture prey, they are wandering hunters found on vegetation or the edge of the water, often encountered in woods and meadows. They prefer tall grass, bushes, and shrubs.

16. Habronattus coecatus

Male Habronattus coecatus

This spider is a jumping spider that belongs to the Salticidae family, the largest family of spiders in the United States.

They have large forward-facing median eyes.

They do not rely on their webs to capture prey, but are ambush predators, relying on their excellent jumping abilities.

They are active during the day, living in several different habitats. When they ambush prey, they throw out a single line of silk, which reduces the risk of their prey escaping.

17. Bronze Jumping Spider

Adult male bronze jumping spider

Scientific name: Eris militaris.

Common name: bronze jumper or bronze lake jumper.

The male bronze jumping spider has a dark cephalothorax with white banding on the sides. The abdomen is lighter in color with white banding.

Females are lighter in color on the cephalothorax with a darker abdomen without any lateral banding, though they have one short white band close to the cephalothorax and a number of white spots.

Females can grow to 8mm in body length with males being slightly smaller at 6.7mm.

Their bites are not considered medically significant and they are curious, jumping onto your hand if given a chance. They will only bite if they feel threatened or are provoked, maybe you accidentally squeeze it. The pain from the bite is immediate but only lasts a few short seconds.

18. Striped Lynx Spider

Striped lynx spider

Scientific name: Oxyopes salticus.

Common name: striped lynx spider.

The striped lynx spider can vary in color from brown to cream or orange. Females have stripes on their carapace and abdomen with more pronounced stripes on their abdomen. They also display a diamond mark.

Females can grow to 6mm with males growing to 5mm in body length.

These ambush predators only create webs as a retreat, a place to hide and eat their prey, or to lay eggs.

19. Putnam’s Jumping Spider

Putnam’s Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Phidippus putnami.

Common name: Putnam’s Jumping Spider.

The Putnam’s jumping spider belongs to the Salticidae family and is able to jump more than four times its body length from a standing position.

They are hairy with black tufts of hair above the eyes and some on the side of the head.

They have excellent vision, which assists them as an active ambush predator.

They jump towards their prey shooting out a single line of silk, which stops the prey from escaping. They bite their prey to paralyze them and drag them to their web, where they can consume it in safety and privacy.

These jumping spiders can be encountered in a range of habitats from fields and gardens, to parks, open fields, forests, and parking lots. They are known to make their way indoors but don’t worry, they are not dangerous.

20. Common Hentz Jumping Spider

Common hentz jumper

Scientific name: Hentzia palmarum.

Common name: common hentz jumper.

The common Hentz jumping spider also belongs to the Salticidae family and are small spiders that can jump considerable distances for their small size.

They pounce on their prey, releasing a single line of silk, also known as a dragline, which reduces the risk of the prey escaping. They use their jumping ability to get away from threats, including humans.

They are beautiful spiders with red and long front legs, with the rest of the legs being yellow. These strong front legs help the spider subdue their prey and inject its venom, which then paralyzes the prey.

They have large eyes on the front of the face with excellent vision. The eyes are surrounded by orange hairs and smaller eyes.

The cephalothorax is brown to red with white hairy bands, the abdomen has dark bands with white mottling.

They can be encountered on the ground outside or in leaf litter. They sometimes wander indoors looking for their next meal.

They are not harmful and will likely jump away from humans, though they can give a painful bite if provoked, which is not medically significant and will reduce within a few hours.

21. Spined Micrathena

Adult female spined micrathena

Scientific name: Micrathena gracilis.

Common name: spined micrathena, castleback orbweaver.

The spined micrathena belongs to the orb weaver family. They create large webs, which can reach two feet in diameter and are tightly coiled.

The spiders are small, growing to 10.8mm in body length.

They are harmless to humans.

They have spikes on their abdomens with black and white bodies. Some have yellow on their sides.

They are mostly active at the end of summer and the start of fall. They are active during the day.

Females can grow to 10mm in length with a bulb-shaped abdomen with spines. Males are smaller with fewer spines and a flatter abdomen, they are also lighter in color.

22. Grayish Jumping Spider

Grayish Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Phidippus princeps.

Common name: Grayish Jumping Spider.

Grayish jumping spiders belong to the Salticidae family, a large group of jumping spiders in the United States. These spiders can jump more than four times their body length, ambushing their prey.

They do spin webs, which are used as a retreat, a safe place to consume their prey and to lay eggs.

These spiders are not considered dangerous, but they do give a painful bite. The bite can be managed with an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain.

23. High Eyelashed Jumping Spider

Adult female Phidippus mystaceus

Scientific name: Phidippus mystaceus.

Common name: High Eyelashed Jumping Spider.

The high eyelashed jumping spider is one of the common spiders you may encounter in Oklahoma with females growing to 0.39 inches (1cm) in body length. The male is significantly smaller.

These jumping spiders are ambush spiders, they do not spin webs to capture prey.

While they prefer the outdoors, they do sometimes come inside searching for food. They are inquisitive and have excellent eyesight.

They only bite if provoked, which is painful but only for a short period.

24. Orchard Orbweaver

Adult female orchard orbweaver

Scientific name: Leucauge venusta.

Common name: orchard orbweaver.

The orchard orb weaver creates a horizontal web, where the spider hangs upside down in the center.

This spider has leaf green legs and sides, which vary from dark green to an orange/green color. Their underside has yellow and black spots and the abdomen is silver with black and brown streaks. The rear of the abdomen has yellow, red or orange spots, which vary in size, sometimes they are not visible.

Wasps deposit their larvae on the spider, which eats off the spider.

25. Grass Spiders

Grass spider

Scientific name: Genus Agelenopsis.

Common name: American grass spiders, grass spiders.

The grass spider is a member of the funnel weaver family, first described in 1869. They weave sheet webs with a funnel on one side, which acts as a shelter. Their webs are not sticky.

They can grow to19mm in body length with eight eyes, set in three rows. The top row of two eyes, the middle row of four eyes, and the bottom row of two eyes. Their legs have distinct banding, along with two dark bands on the side of their cephalothorax.

26. Cardinal Jumping Spider

Male cardinal jumper

Scientific name: Phidippus cardinalis.

Common name: cardinal jumper.

The cardinal jumping spider is a bright and very noticeable spider with a red or orange cephalothorax and abdomen. Their legs are darker than the body covered in black hairs, along with two rows of tuft hair down their abdomens.

They are also known as velvet ants, due to the velvet look of their bodies. These small spiders have an oval carapace with females being larger than males.

While they can give a painful bite, they are not harmful to humans.

27. Furrow Orbweaver

Furrow spider

Scientific name: Larinioides cornutus.

Common name: furrow spider, furrow orb spider, foliate spider.

The furrow orbweaver female can grow to 14mm in body length, with the male being slightly smaller at around 9mm. Their leg span can reach up to 35mm.

They have a large bulb-shaped abdomen with colors ranging from red to gray or black. The carapace has a lighter haded arrow that points towards the cephalothorax, the legs have a similar arrow pattern.

They have eight eyes, arranged in a horizontal row of six eyes with a pair above the center row.

They are commonly found in moist areas, close to water. They build their webs in low shrubs and grass, hiding during the day, hidden by plants and debris. They remake their web every night.

28. Triangulate Combfoot

Triangulate cobweb spider

Scientific name: Steatoda triangulosa.

Common name: triangulate cobweb spider, triangulate bud spider.

The female triangulate combfoot can grow to 6mm in body length with a brown to orange colored cephalothorax and yellow legs, covered in tiny hairs. They have a bulb-shaped abdomen in cream with purple to brown zigzag lines that run from front to back.

They prey on other spiders (including the brown recluse), fire ants, ticks, and pillbugs.

They live on windows or in dusty areas, eating for most of the day and spending hours developing their webs. Their webs are usually filled with dead insets

They have very bad eyesight and depend on the vibrations through their web. They are not aggressive, though their bite can cause an allergic reaction in some people. They are mostly encountered in homes, where they create webs in dark corners.

29. Banded Garden Spider

Banded garden spider

Scientific name: Argiope trifasciata.

Common name: banded garden spider, banded orb weaving spider.

The banded garden spider is a member of the orb-weaver family and is native to North America. They are mostly encountered from early September to late October.

Their webs can be up to two feet in diameter with the length dependent on the size of the spider. Some webs can reach two meters. Their webs can be seen on bushes and stems.

The female sits upside down in the center of the web with her legs arranged in pairs. The male is smaller than the female and usually has their web close tooth female.

The silk decorations of their webs are believed to make the spider look larger than it is, a warning sign to any predators.

30. Hammer-jawed Jumping Spider

Male hammerjawed jumping spider

Scientific name: Zygoballus rufipes.

Common name: hammerjawed jumper.

The hammer-jawed jumping spider female can grow to 6mm in body length, while the male remains smaller at around 4mm.

They are encountered throughout Oklahoma, often making their way into homes looking for their next meal.

These ambush predators can jump more than four times their body length from a standing position, which they use to ambush their prey and escape predators.

They are not considered medically significant, though they can give a painful bite, which eases quickly.

31. Boreal Paradise Spider

Adult Female Boreal Paradise Spider

Scientific name: Habronattus borealis.

Common name: Boreal Paradise Spider.

This is a member of the Salticidae family of jumping spiders, which are known for being able to jump more than four times their body length when ambushing prey or escaping predators, including curious humans.

These spiders do spin webs, which are a retreat, where the spider can hide and eat in privacy, or lay eggs.

They are ambush predators and will jump in a rapid-fire motion to capture their prey as they throw out a single line of silk to reduce the risk of the prey escaping, before injecting their venom and dragging the prey back to their web.

32. Sylvan Jumping Spider

Sylvan Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Colonus sylvanus.

Common name: Sylvan Jumping Spider.

The Sylvan jumping spider is a small jumping spider that belongs to the Salticidae family. Females are larger than males and brown.

They live in or around trees and in plants, reproducing in the spring and summer. They can grow to 7mm in body length, using their excellent jumping abilities to ambush prey, which they drag to their webs and eat at leisure.

They are often found on the petal of flowers, sometimes hanging upside down, waiting for prey to pass. They then leap down and capture the prey before it escapes.

33. Common House Spider

Common house spider

Scientific name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum.

Common name: common house spider, American house spider.

The common house spider is also known as the American house spider, belonging to the Parasteatoda family. They are common in homes, preying on insects that get entangled in their messy cobwebs. They rely on vibrations in the web to identify their prey.

They vary in color from black to tan, often with varying shades on their body.

Females can grow to 0.24 inches (6mm) and males to 0.19 inches (4.7mm) in body length.

The female is a similar shape to a widow spider with a bulb-shaped abdomen, while males have less of a bulb shape. Their size and coloration help them blend into their habitat, escaping unnoticed.

They live very close to humans and are not aggressive, your hand can approach their web and they will not bite, but they will bite if they are squeezed. They often fake death rather than be aggressive. Even though they have neurotoxic venom, they are not dangerous to humans.

34. White-banded Crab Spider

White banded crab spider

Scientific name: Misumenoides formosipes.

Common name: white banded crab spider.

The white-banded crab spider belongs to the Thomisidae family and has a white band that runs through the plane of the eyes.

They are sit-and-wait predators, that capture pollinator’s visibility the flower where the spider is waiting. They have exceptionally strong front legs, which they use to seize their prey, including those much larger than themselves.

Females are variable in color and can change from yellow to white, based on their surroundings. Males stay the same color with the four front legs being darker with a golden abdomen.

The female can grow to 0.44 inches (11.3mm) and change color, they are white, light brown, or yellow with markings on their body in brown, black, or red. They have a rounded posterior and can change color over around three days.

The male grows to 0.13 inches (3.2mm) in body length with longer front legs that are a darker color than the rest of their legs. Their abdomen is gold.

Further Reading: