28 Types of Spiders in Illinois (with pictures)


Types of Spiders in Illinois

With their terrifying fangs and eight-legged crawl, spiders are considered scary by many of us. However, these little creatures are mostly harmless, with some of them even being curious about humans.

The state of Illinois is home to over 500 different species of spiders, although most of them live far away from human settlements. In this article, we are going to talk about 28 spider species that are commonly spotted in the state.

What is the most diverse state in the U.S.? I’m sure it depends on what you are looking at and how you want to measure diversity. However, I have a strong feeling that Illinois would rank pretty well if you looked at spider diversity. This is because Illinois has an impressive 28 different types of Spiders living here.

Here’s a list that can help you identify the different types of spiders found in Illinois.

 Orb Weavers in Illinois 

1. Shamrock Orb Weaver (Araneus trifolium)

Shamrock Orb Weaver (Araneus trifolium)

Genus – Araneus
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.4-2 centimeters (0.16-0.78 inches)
Web diameter – about 60 centimeters

The Shamrock Orb Weavers are a species of Orb-weaver spiders that are found throughout the United States of America as well as in Canada.

These spiders have a bulbous abdomen with varying colors, mostly brown or beige, with matching legs containing several white bands. They also have white dots scattered on their back that sets them apart from the rest of the Orb Weavers.

It is very rare to come across a Shamrock Orb Weaver that has a yellowish or greenish touch to their abdomen. The ones that have such coloration are often confused with their relatives, Marbled Orb Weavers.

 

2. Cross Orb Weaver (Araneus diadematus)

Cross Orb Weaver (Araneus diadematus)

Genus – Araneus
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.6-2 centimeters (0.23-0.78 inches) in females; 0.5-1.3 centimeters (0.22-0.51 inches) in males
Web diameter – about 40 centimeters

The Cross Orb Weavers are known by several names, such as “Orangie”, “European Garden Spider”, “Diadem Spider”, “Crowned Orb Weaver”, etc. Although they are endemic to Europe, these spiders are now also found throughout North America.

Cross Orb Weavers display a strong sexual dimorphism in their size, wherein the females are about twice as large as their male counterparts. The color of these spiders varies from light yellow to dark grey.

You can see white mottled markings along with 3-4 segments forming a cross on their abdomen, which lends them their name.

Fun fact – It is believed that the female Cross Orb Weaver eats their male partners right after they mate.

 

3. Marbled Orb Weaver (Araneus marmoreus)

Marbled Orb Weaver (Araneus marmoreus)

Genus – Araneus
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 1.4 centimeters (0.55 inches) in females; 0.9 centimeters (0.35 inches) in males
Web diameter – unknown

Found in Europe, Canada, and most parts of the United States, the Marbled Orb Weavers are among the most decorative Orb Weavers found in the world.

The Marbled Orb Weavers have two different forms, and the ones we come across in North America have an orange abdomen with black or brownish markings on them. The females are larger in size than the males and usually stay hidden at the outskirts of the web instead of being in the center.

The inflated abdomen of these females is often compared to a pumpkin, which is why they are also known as “Pumpkin Spiders”. Their legs are orange, where they’re attached to their abdomen, and have black stripes towards the end.

 

4. Furrow Orb Weaver (Larinioides cornutus)

Furrow Orb Weaver (Larinioides cornutus)

Genus – Larinioides
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.6-1.4 centimeters in females; 0.5-0.9 centimeters in males
Web diameter – unknown

Also referred to as “Foliate Spiders”, the Furrow Orb Weavers are a species of Orb-weaver spiders that are found in the Holarctic regions. These spiders mostly inhabit moist areas with a water body nearby.

The male Furrow Orb Weavers are not only smaller in size than the females but also have less prominent markings on their abdomen. Both sexes have a brown head and legs with a slightly paler abdomen. Their legs have several black bands distributed at regular intervals.

Although they are venomous, their bite is much less effective even than a bee sting and takes a toll on their metabolism as well. This is why you will notice that they won’t bite unless excessively instigated.

 

5. Orchard Orb Weaver (Leucauge venusta)

Orchard Orb Weaver (Leucauge venusta)

Genus – Leucauge
Family – Tetragnathidae
Body length – 0.3-0.8 centimeters (0.12-0.31 inches)
Web diameter – unknown

Found in southern Canada, South Asia, and central parts of the United States, the Orchard Orb Weavers are the members of the Orb-weaver family known for their long jaws and horizontally oriented webs.

Commonly inhabiting forests and gardens, these spiders are very colorful and appear almost painted. The color of their abdomen varies in each individual, but the base is mostly white or silver with yellow, orange, red, and green markings all over it.

Black blotches are occasionally located at the edge of their abdomen. The legs of these spiders are always leaf-green in color independent of the abdomen.

 

6. Six-Spotted Orb Weaver (Araneilla displicata)

Six-Spotted Orb Weaver (Araneilla displicata)

Genus – Araneilla
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.3-0.6 centimeters
Web diameter – about 70 centimeters

The Six-spotted Orb Weavers are Orb-weaver spiders that are found in North America, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Kazakhstan. They primarily inhabit the fields, woodlands, and forest edges. These spiders are mostly found on large-leafed trees like oak, maple, basswood, etc.

The abdomen of the Six-spotted Orb Weavers is rounded and white or yellowish in color, while the abdomen of the juveniles has a reddish hue. On the posterior end of their abdomen, six distinguished dark spots are used to recognize them.

These spiders are sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger as well as more brightly colored than their male counterparts.

 

7. Lattice Orb Weaver (Araneus Thaddeus)

Lattice Orb Weaver (Araneus Thaddeus)

Genus – Araneus
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.4-0.9 centimeters (0.16-0.35 inches)
Web diameter – unknown

The Lattice Orb Weavers are a species of Orb-weaver spiders that are primarily found in North America. These spiders inhabit fields and pastures, as well as bushes, tall grasses, and meadows.

The body of the Lattice Orb Weavers is translucent orange, with a paler but more solidly-colored abdomen that has three pairs of black spots running along its center. Around each spot, you can notice a pale, fading outer ring.

Fun fact – All of the adult Lattice Orb Weavers die in the winters.

 

8. Bridge Orb Weaver (Larinioides sclopetarius)

Bridge Orb Weaver (Larinioides sclopetarius)

Genus – Larinioides
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.45-0.62 centimeters in females; 0.42-0.7 centimeters in males
Web diameter – about 70 centimeters

Commonly known as the “Grey Cross Spider”, the Bridge Orb Weavers are one of the large members of the Orb-weaver spider family. These spiders have a Holarctic distribution and are mostly found on bridges, owing to their name.

The Bridge Orb Weavers display sexual dimorphism wherein the females are heavier than the males but not larger than them in size. Both sexes have a brown abdomen and similarly-colored legs. Dark patterns cover the dorsal side of their abdomen. They are nocturnal hunters and remain hidden throughout the day.

Fun fact – The Bridge Orb Weavers are attracted to light and have a better chance of successful reproduction if they live in well-lit areas.

 

9. Arabesque Orb Weaver (Neoscona arabesca)

Arabesque Orb Weaver (Neoscona arabesca)

Genus – Neoscona
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.5-0.7 centimeters (0.20-0.27 inches)
Web diameter – about 50 centimeters

Named after the ornamental patterns covering their abdomen, the Arabesque Orb Weavers are a species of Orb-weaver spiders that are often found inhabiting forests, gardens, fields, and structures built by humans. These spiders are primarily found in North America.

Arabesque Orb Weavers are nocturnal spiders and often hunt on the ground. The color of their abdomen varies greatly, ranging from black, brown, orange, and white. Their abdomen’s center runs several lines and curved dashes, with thicker, comma-shaped patterns drawn on each side.

These distinct markings are often used to recognize them. The abdomen of the males is slenderer than that of the females.

 

10. Labyrinth Orb Weaver (Metepeira labyrinthea)

Labyrinth Orb Weaver (Metepeira labyrinthea)

Genus – Metepeira
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.5-1 centimeter (0.20-0.39 inches)
Web diameter – unknown

Found all over the United States, the Labyrinth Orb WeaversOpens in a new tab. are a small species of the Orb-weaver family that are named after the distinct labyrinth-like pattern drawn on their abdomen.

The color of the Labyrinth Orb Weavers’ carapace ranges between brown and grey, while their dark abdomen has white patterns all over it. They have a dark brown sternum with a yellow line running vertically along with it, with legs that alternate between dark and light brown.

They display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males only reach the three-fourth length of their female counterparts and possess a darker carapace.

 

11. Hentz Orb Weaver (Neoscona crucifera)

Hentz Orb Weaver (Neoscona crucifera)

Genus – Neoscona
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.4-1.5 centimeters (0.16-0.59 inches)
Web diameter – about 61 centimeters

Also referred to as “Spotted Orb Weavers”, the Hentz Orb Weavers are found in most parts of the United States. These spiders have been named after the French American Arachnologist Nicholas Marcellus Hentz. They inhabit woodlands, fields, and gardens.

Hentz Orb Weavers mostly have a golden orange or rusty-red color, although some of them can be brown too. Their body is covered in whitish hair, with dark and light brown bands on their legs.

The ventricle side of their abdomen is black with two distinctive dark spots. Although they are generally nocturnal, the females tend to become diurnal during the fall.

 

12. Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

Genus – Argiope
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 1.9-2.8 centimeters in females; 0.5-0.9 centimeters in males
Web diameter – about 60 centimeters

Found throughout the United States and Canada, the Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are referred to by several names, such as “Writing Spider”, “Corn Spider”, “Zigzag Spider”, “Zipper Spider”, etc.

The Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger in size than the males. It is fairly easy to recognize them due to the characteristic black and yellow markings on their abdomen. Their scientific name translates to “Silver-face” in English, which is true since their head is silver from above.

These spiders have a short temper and are quick to bite if you disturb or harass them. However, their venom is practically harmless to you unless you are allergic.

 

13. Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata)

Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata)

Genus – Argiope
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.4-2.5 centimeters (0.15-0.98 inches)
Web diameter – about 60 centimeters

Although the Banded Garden Spiders are endemic to North and South Americas, they can now be found in any part of the world.

These spiders have two color morphs: reddish-brown and black and yellow. Both morphs have white bands on their abdomen. The color of their body darkens as they grow older. They have a hairy carapace and a wide and rounded abdomen. The males are smaller in size than their female counterparts.

Fun fact – Although the Banded Garden Spiders are not known for being highly venomous, a female guarding the eggs can deliver a considerably painful bite if they feel threatened.

 

14. Arrowhead Spider (Verrucosa arenata)

Arrowhead Spider (Verrucosa arenata)

Genus – Verrucosa
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.7-1.4 centimeters in females; 0.4-0.6 centimeters in males
Web diameter – about 40 centimeters

Also known as “Triangle Orb Weaver”, the Arrowhead Orb Weavers are one of the most unusual members of the Orb-weaver family, having an atypically pointed and triangular abdomen that lends them their name. These spiders can be found all over North America.

Apart from their unique abdomen, the Arrowhead Orb Weavers also sit in their web-facing upwards, something that is rarely seen in the other Orb-weavers. These large spiders are sexually dimorphic in their size, with the females being larger than their male counterparts.

Their abdomen’s color ranges between white and yellow, while their carapace and legs are rusty red, brown, or black. The females have a characteristic whitish triangle on their abdomen, which is absent in the males.

 

15. Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)

Genus – Micrathena
Family – Araneidae
Body length – 0.42-1.08 centimeters
Web diameter – about 20 centimeters

Often referred to as “Castleback Orb Weaver”, the Spined Micrathena spiders are a large species of the Orb-weaver spiders that are endemic to Central and North America. These spiders mostly inhabit the hardwood forests, building their webs on trees of Oak and Hickory.

Spined Micrathena spiders are diurnal spiders and have a black and white body with a large, spiny abdomen that lends them their name. These spiders display significant sexual dimorphism.

The males are much smaller in size than their female counterparts and have a lighter skin color and flatter and less spiny abdomen. The male Spined Micrathena spiders can produce silk but use it only in their mating ritual.

Fun fact – The Spined Micrathena spiders are wanderers by nature and seldom stay in one place longer than a week.

 
 Jumping Spiders in Illinois 

16. Bold Jumper (Phidippus audax)

Bold Jumper (Phidippus audax)

Genus – Phidippus
Family – Salticidae
Body length – 0.4-1.8 centimeters in females; 0.4-1.5 centimeters in males

Also known as “Daring Jumping Spiders”, the Bold Jumpers are a large species of Jumping Spiders that are endemic to North America.

Bold Jumpers are sexually dimorphic, with the females being slightly larger in size than their male counterparts. Their mouth is distinctly recognizable due to its metallic blue or green color.

The rest of their body is a dull shade of black, with white stripes on their legs and three distinct orange spots on their abdomen’s posterior. These spiders are quick to bite humans, but their venom is not strong enough to do us any fatal harm.

 

17. Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus)

Tan Jumping Spider (Platycryptus undatus)

Genus – Platycryptus
Family – Salticidae
Body length – 1-1.3 centimeters in females; 0.85-0.95 in males

The Tan Jumping Spiders are a species of Jumping Spiders that are primarily found in Central and North America. Owing to their name, they have a hairy, tan-colored body with black bands on their legs and a black pattern on their abdomen.

Tan Jumping Spiders are sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger than their male counterparts. These spiders are known for their incredible speed and pounce right on top of their prey.

However, they have a friendly and curious attitude towards humans. Although they are generally not inclined to bite, if you mishandle them, they just might.

 

18. Zebra Jumper (Salticus scenicus)

Zebra Jumper (Salticus scenicus)

Genus – Salticus
Family – Salticidae
Body length – 0.5-0.9 centimeters in females; 0.5-0.6 centimeters in males

Known for their characteristically striped body, the Zebra Jumpers are small Jumping Spiders that are fairly common in North America.

Zebra Jumpers have a dark brown body with creamy horizontal stripes that resemble a Zebra’s striping from a fair distance.

White hair covers every part of their body. Although the females are larger than the males, the latter possesses a larger mouthpart. Despite their small size, these spiders can hop to a considerable distance.

 
 Wolf Spiders in Illinois 

19. Rustic Wolf Spider (Trochosa ruricola)

Rustic Wolf Spider (Trochosa ruricola)

Genus – Trochosa
Family – Lycosidae
Body length – 1.5 centimeters in females; 1 centimeter in males

The Rustic Wolf Spiders are a species of Wolf Spiders that are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. These spiders primarily inhabit lawns, scrubs, grasslands, and woodlands.

Rustic Wolf Spiders have a rusty-brown body with a pale vertical line running along its length, covering both the abdomen and the carapace.

They are sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger than the males. They appear even larger while they’re carrying their egg sac on their abdomen.

 

20. Dotted Wolf Spider (Rabidosa Punctulata)

Dotted Wolf Spider (Rabidosa Punctulata)

Genus – Rabidosa
Family – Lycosidae
Body length – 0.8-1.5 centimeters

Often confused with their close relatives, the Rabid Wolf Spiders (Rabiosa rabida), the Dotted Wolf Spiders are a species of Wolf Spiders that are found in the southwestern parts of the United States. These spiders mostly inhabit weeds and tall grasses.

Dotted Wolf Spiders have a brown body with paler, vertical stripes on their carapace and distinctive light spots on their abdomen. The best way to distinguish them from the Rabid Wolf Spiders is their smaller size.

 
 Crab Spiders in Illinois 

21. White-Banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)

White-Banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)

Genus – Misumenoides
Family – Thomisidae
Body length – 0.5-1.1 centimeters in females; 0.25-0.32 centimeters in males

Found in Canada and the United States, the White-banded Crab Spiders are a species of Crab Spiders that have been named after the characteristic white band running through the plane of their eyes.

White-banded Crab Spiders display a significant sexual dimorphism wherein the males are much smaller in size than their female counterparts. They have a small, golden abdomen with similarly colored legs at the back. Their front legs are darker and stronger, which helps them in seizing their prey.

On the other hand, the females have a large abdomen, with their body color ranging from white to yellow in color, depending upon their surroundings. They have a fading V-shaped mark on the posterior end of their abdomen.

 

22. American Green Crab Spider (Misumessus oblongus)

American Green Crab Spider (Misumessus oblongus)

Genus – Misumessus
Family – Thomisidae
Body length – 0.3-0.7 centimeters (0.12-0.27 inches)

Endemic to the Americas, the American Green Crab Spiders are a small species of Crab Spiders. These spiders’ front legs are extremely long and strong (the second pair being the longest) and are used by them in catching small insects.

The American Green Crab Spiders have a neon-green body and are small enough to hide behind flower petals. Their abdomen is slender and roughly shaped like a diamond, with a V-shaped red stripe.

 
 Nursery Web Spiders in Illinois 

23. Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira)

Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira)

Genus – Pisaurina
Family – Pisauridae
Body length – 1.2-1.5 centimeters in females; 0.9-1.5 in males

The Nursery Web Spiders are often confused with the Wolf Spiders due to the physical resemblance between the two. However, their two-rowed eyes work as a distinction between them. These spiders are widespread in North America and can be found in meadows, fields, woods, shrubs, and bushes.

Nursery Web Spiders have a yellowish-brown body with a white border on their abdomen and a brownish banded in the middle of their back. Although both sexes are roughly the same size, the males have longer legs.

 

24. Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

Genus – Dolomedes
Family – Pisauridae
Body length – 1.5-2.6 centimeters in females; 0.7-1.3 centimeters in males

The Dark Fishing Spiders are a species of Fishing Spiders that are found throughout the United States as well as in Canada. These spiders are primarily tree-dwellers and are, thus, mostly found inhabiting wooded areas.

Dark Fishing Spiders are sexually dimorphic, with the females being larger in size than their male counterparts. The color of their body ranges from dark to light brown in color.

Their legs have bands of light brown, with chevron markings covering their abdomen. These spiders are often confused with their close relatives, the Striped Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes scriptus).

 
 Other Spiders in Illinois 

25. Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)

Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus)

Genus – Latrodectus
Family – Theridiidae
Body length – 0.4-1.1 centimeter (0.16-0.43 inches)

Primarily found in the Middle Atlantic states of the United States, the Northern Black Widows are one of the most venomous spiders of North America.

These spiders have a glossy black body and black legs. The females possess a remarkable red broken hourglass on their ventral side, which sets them apart from their genus’ other spiders.

Fun fact – Only the Female Nothern Black Widows are poisonous; the males are mostly harmless.

 

26. Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

Genus – Loxosceles
Family – Sicariidae
Body length – 0.7-1 centimeters (0.27-0.39 inches)

Also referred to as “Violin Spider” or “Fiddleback Spider”, the Brown Recluse spiders are a species of recluse spiders that can be found in the Southern United States all the way to California.

The color of their abdomen varies from brown to grey, with lighter legs. Near their head, they have a birthmark that appears like a violin, lending them their name. Although they are not aggressive spiders, the necrotic venom they possess makes them a serious threat to humans.

 

27. Black Lace Weaver (Amaurobius ferox)

Black Lace Weaver (Amaurobius ferox)

Genus – Amaurobius
Family – Amaurobiidae
Body length – 1.1-1.6 centimeters in females; 0.8-1 centimeters in males

The Black Lace Weavers are a species of nocturnal spiders that are endemic to Europe and have been introduced to North America and New Zealand.

These spiders have a dark body ranging from dark red, tan, brown, to black in color. They have a rounded abdomen that is covered with pale yellow markings all over it. The Black Lace Weavers display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males are smaller and have a slenderer abdomen than their female counterparts.

Fun fact – Although the female Black Lace Weavers live for two years on average, the males only manage to live for a couple of months.

 

28. Woodlouse Hunter (Dysdera crocata)

Genus – Dysdera
Family – Dysderidae
Body length – 1.1-1.5 centimeters in females; 0.9-1.1 centimeters in males

Named after their primary diet of woodlice, the Woodlouse Hunters are a species of spiders that are found in New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Eurasia, North and South America. They are known by several names such as “Sowbug Hunter”, “Pillbug Hunter”, and “Slater Spider”.

These spiders’ head and legs range from tawny orange to dark-red in color, while their abdomen is pale beige or yellowish-brown in color. Their mouthparts are exceptionally large in proportion to their body.

They resemble their close relatives, Dysdera erythrina. However, the latter is rarely found around human civilization.

 
 Conclusion: Spiders in Illinois 

Of all the spider species commonly found in the state of IllinoisOpens in a new tab., the Orb Weavers are most widespread. As their name suggests, these spiders are known to weave large and intricate webs.

Apart from two of the spiders mentioned above whose bite can cause serious damage (Brown Recluse and Northern Black Widow), all the other spiders are harmless and don’t sting until instigated.

We hope that with the help of this article, you’d be able to identify the next spider you spot in your vicinity.

That brings our article to its conclusion! We hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article…all 28 types of spiders!

It’s safe to say that you’ll never be able to say “I didn’t know that there were so many different types of spiders in Illinois!” again.

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