Class: Arachnida - Spiders are part of this group. The body consists of two parts, an abdomen and a cephalothorax.
Order: Araneae (Spiders) - The Order Araneae contains the spiders. Spiders are invertebrate animals that have eight legs, and they produce silk, releasing it through spinnerets. Their body consists of a fused head and thorax (cephalothorax) and abdomen. They are predators, and most of them have fangs to inject venom. There are more than 46,000 types of spiders in the world.
Family Agelenidae - These spiders sit at the end of their funnel-shaped web as they wait for insects. Webs are often seen in late summer and early fall close to the ground and covered with dew. The female dies in fall after depositing her eggs in an egg sac.
funnel weaver spider Coras lamellosus
Family Amaurobiidae - The night spiders live in holes in trees, houses or other man-made objects and are active at night. Their web usually is built to open into the hole. The female spins a closed chamber for her eggs and encloses herself in it. After the spiderlings have hatched, they eat her!
black lace-weaver spider
Family: Anyphaenidae - Known as “ghost spiders” because of their pale coloration, these spiders are active at night. They hunt prey but also feed on plant nectar. Unlike most spiders, they move continually when performing daily activities and courtship. They are excellent climbers due to specialized hairs on their claws.
Family Araneidae - The spiders in this group build orb webs. The familiar yellow garden spider is a member of this family. This large spider prefers to build its web in prairie grasses and sometimes gardens. The female has black front legs while the other legs are black with a brown section near the body. Males have black legs.
marbled orb-weaver spider
black-and-yellow garden spider
banded garden spider
Family Corinnidae - Known as sac or swift spiders, these roving predators often build their sac web on trees, other plants or in leaf litter. Their body is about three times as long as it is wide. Some of these spiders are mimics of ants and velvet ants.
Family Gnaphosidae - The ground spiders are small, usually less than one-half inch in length. They are active at night and hide during the day in such places as under rocks, under logs and in leaf litter. There are more than 2,000 species recognized in this family. These predators run down their prey instead of catching it in a web.
ground spider Sergiolus capulatus
ground spider Sergiolus montanus
Family Linyphiidae - Sheetweavers are very small spiders that build a flat or dome-shaped web. They hang under the web waiting for prey to walk across it, then bite through the web to catch the prey. Most of these species are active at night. There are more than 4,000 types of sheetweaver spiders in the world.
filmy dome spider
Family Lycosidae - Wolf spiders are very common and have four small eyes below four large eyes. They hunt on the ground, in leaf litter, in trees and on the water. Some dig tunnels or burrows.
wolf spider Gladicosa pulchra
Carolina wolf spider
shore spider Pardosa milvina
thin-legged wolf spider Pardosa pauxilla
wolf spider Rabidosa hentzi
dotted wolf spider Rabidosa punctulata
rabid wolf spider Rabidosa rabida
wolf spider Schizocosa mccooki
brushlegged wolf spider
Family Mimetidae - Pirate spiders feed mainly on other spiders. These small animals visit the web of other spiders and pluck the strands to imitate a trapped insect or a spider ready to mate. When the owner of the web comes to investigate, it is caught and eaten instead!
retriculated pirate spider
Family Miturgidae - The prowling spiders are nocturnal species that travel mainly on the ground during their daily active period. They do not use a web to capture prey. Their eyes are positioned in two rows of four. They have conical spinnerets and modified hairs on their claws. They rest during the day in a silken cocoon in a rolled leaf or under a rock.
Family Oxyopidae - Lynx spiders are hunters instead of web-builders. They often hide in flowers to catch pollinating insects. They have large, spiny bristles on their legs.
striped lynx spider
Family Philodromidae - The spiders in this family are known as running crab spiders. They are generally light brown or gray. They may twist their legs when at rest so that the front of the leg becomes the top of the leg, giving a crablike appearance. The thoracic section of the cephalothorax is often about equally long as wide. They have hairs on the claws and legs.
running crab spider
Family Pisauridae - Waiting patiently or actively hunting are both methods used by nusery web spiders to capture prey. They are large arachnids, and some hunt on water. They may eat tadpoles and small fishes as well as insects. The female carries the egg sac with her and constructs a nursery web when the spiderlings are due to hatch. The spiderlings stay in the nusery web, guarded by their mother, for about one week and then disperse.
sixspotted fishing spider
nursery web spider
scallop-banded spider Pisaurina mira
Family Salticidae - Jumping spiders have excellent vision and pounce on their insect prey. The males dance as part of their mating behavior.
crowned hentzia jumping spider
emerald jumper Paraphidippus aurantius
Pike slender jumper Marpissa pikei
red and black jumping spider Phidippus clarus
pale jumping spider Thiodina sylvana
Family Scytodidae - The spitting spiders have six eyes, arranged in three sets of two. After moving close enough to a potential prey item, the spider spits a mixture of glue and venom on it, trapping it against the object it was walking on. As the venom starts to poison the prey, the spider bites the prey, injecting more venom, then moves away to wait before feeding.
Family Sicariidae - These six-eyed spiders use a sheet web to capture insects. Often living in houses, the brown recluse has a venomous bite. Bites generally occur when people put on clothing or use a towel in which a recluse is resting.
Family Tetragnathidae - These spiders have large fangs that are used in mating. They build orb webs over water. Some are commonly found along creeks and ponds, where they eat many mosquitoes and midges.
orchard spider Leucauge venusta
Family Theridiidae – The comb-footed, tangle-web or cobweb weaver spiders are commonly found in houses. They use sticky silk to help them capture their prey, and this group has a great diversity of web shapes and types. They also have a bundle of stiff hairs on each of their fourth legs. The first pair of legs is usually longest with the third pair of legs shortest. The abdomen is generally rounded.
southern black widow Latrodectus mactans
Family Thomisidae - These spiders resemble crabs in the way their legs are positioned. Instead of using a web, they wait in flowers then capture prey directly.
whitebanded crab spider
green crab spider
ground crab spider
Family Titanoecidae - There are four species of rock weaver spiders in the United States. They build sheet webs, usually under rocks, and tend to occupy dry habitats. Their abdomen is usually plain-colored.
Family Uloboridae - The hackled orbweaver spiders build an orb web that is horizontal or may be just a reduced web. These spiders have a specialized spinneret that is a plate that produces many strands of silk at once for the sticky, spiral section of the web. These strands are combed by a structure on the fourth pair of legs, and the result is silk with a fuzzy appearance and sometimes blue coloration. These spiders do not have venom glands. They wrap their prey in silk and eat both prey and silk when they are feeding.
cribellate orb weaver