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The Ultimate Guide to 33 Common Spiders in Canada (2023 Edition)

Variety of Spiders

Discover the fascinating world of spiders that inhabit Canada and learn how to identify them by sight or sound. We’ve expanded the list to 33 species to give you an even more comprehensive understanding of these essential creatures.

1. Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae)

Wolf spiders are a diverse group of arachnids found worldwide, including in Canada. There are approximately 200 species of wolf spiders in North America, and they vary significantly in size and appearance. These spiders typically measure between 10 and 35 millimeters in length, with some species exhibiting distinct coloration patterns on their bodies.

Wolf spiders are named for their hunting style, which resembles the behavior of wolves. They do not build webs to capture prey; instead, they actively hunt and stalk their prey, primarily consisting of insects and other small invertebrates. They possess excellent eyesight, with eight eyes arranged in three rows, which allows them to detect and track their prey effectively.

These spiders are mostly ground-dwelling and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, forests, wetlands, and even human-made environments like gardens and yards. They create burrows or seek shelter under rocks, logs, or leaf litter.

Wolf spiders exhibit unique reproductive behavior. The female carries her egg sac attached to her spinnerets, and once the spiderlings hatch, they climb onto their mother’s back and stay there for a short period. This maternal care ensures the spiderlings’ survival during their vulnerable early stages.

In general, wolf spiders are not considered dangerous to humans. Their venom is primarily used for subduing their prey and is not potent enough to cause severe harm to humans. However, if bitten, a person may experience mild pain, redness, and swelling at the bite site. It is essential to clean the area thoroughly to prevent infection and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or if an allergic reaction occurs.

2. Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae)

Cellar spiders are a group of arachnids commonly found in various parts of the world, including Canada. These spiders are often referred to as “daddy longlegs” or “vibrating spiders,” but it is essential to note that they are different from harvestmen (order Opiliones), which are also called daddy longlegs.

Cellar spiders are characterized by their long, slender legs and small, elongated bodies, typically measuring between 2 and 10 millimeters in length. Their coloration ranges from pale yellow to light brown or gray. These spiders have eight eyes arranged in two rows, with the front row being slightly larger than the back row.

These spiders prefer dark, damp environments, and as their name suggests, they are frequently found in cellars, basements, crawl spaces, and other undisturbed areas in human dwellings. They build irregular, loose webs, which they use to catch small insects and other invertebrates, such as flies, mosquitoes, and ants. Cellar spiders are known for their habit of vibrating rapidly in their webs when disturbed, possibly to deter predators or make themselves difficult to focus on.

Cellar spiders exhibit interesting mating behavior. The male spider vibrates its abdomen and waves its front legs to attract the female. Once the female shows interest, the male carefully approaches her and transfers his sperm using specialized structures called pedipalps. The female lays her eggs in a silk sac, which she holds in her jaws until the spiderlings hatch.

These spiders pose no threat to humans, as their venom is not harmful to people. Their fangs are too small to penetrate human skin effectively. In fact, cellar spiders can be considered beneficial, as they help control the population of various household pests. It is generally safe to let them reside in your home, provided they are not causing any issues or concerns.

3. Crab Spiders (Thomisidae)

Crab spiders, members of the family Thomisidae, are a diverse and widespread group of arachnids found in various habitats around the globe, including Canada. These fascinating creatures derive their name from their crab-like appearance and the way they move, scuttling sideways and backward, similar to crabs.

Ranging in size from 2 to 30 millimeters, crab spiders exhibit a wide array of colors and patterns, which often serve as excellent camouflage. Some species are known for their ability to change color over several days to blend in with their surroundings, allowing them to ambush their prey effectively. Crab spiders do not build webs to catch their prey but instead rely on their stealth and agility. They possess robust front legs, which they use to grab and immobilize their prey, such as flies, butterflies, and other small insects.

Crab spiders can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, meadows, forests, and even some aquatic environments. They often position themselves on flowers, leaves, or tree bark, patiently waiting for their next meal to pass by.

The mating behavior of crab spiders is intriguing. Males are generally much smaller than females and have to approach them cautiously to avoid being mistaken for prey. After securing the female’s attention, the male uses his pedipalps to transfer sperm to the female’s reproductive organs. The female then lays her eggs in a silk sac, which she carefully guards until the spiderlings hatch.

Crab spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, as their venom is not potent enough to cause significant harm. They are, however, beneficial predators in the ecosystem, helping to control the population of various insects. Observing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat can offer valuable insights into their behavior, hunting techniques, and ecological role.

4. Daring Jumping Spiders (Phidippus audax)

Daring Jumping Spiders, scientifically known as Phidippus audax, are a fascinating species of arachnids known for their exceptional agility, unique hunting techniques, and striking appearance. They belong to the family Salticidae, which comprises more than 5,000 species of jumping spiders found worldwide, including Canada.

Measuring between 8 and 18 millimeters in length, Daring Jumping Spiders are relatively large, with females being slightly larger than males. They possess a distinctive appearance, characterized by their robust, hairy bodies and a prominent set of eyes. Their front pair of eyes are particularly large, providing them with exceptional binocular vision that enables them to spot and track their prey with precision. They come in various colors, including shades of black, gray, and brown, often adorned with iridescent chelicerae and patterns on their abdomen.

These agile predators do not rely on webs to catch their prey; instead, they use their impressive jumping abilities to pounce on unsuspecting insects. They can leap distances up to 50 times their body length, thanks to their powerful, muscular legs and an internal hydraulic system that propels them into the air. Before they jump, they secure a safety line of silk to their starting point, ensuring a safe return if their leap is unsuccessful.

Daring Jumping Spiders are primarily diurnal, actively hunting during the day and retreating to their silken retreats at night. Their mating rituals involve elaborate displays, with the male performing a dance to attract the female’s attention. Once the mating is successful, the female lays her eggs in a silk sac and guards them until they hatch.

These spiders pose no significant threat to humans, as their venom is not harmful to us. In fact, they are beneficial to our environment, as they help control insect populations. Their remarkable jumping skills and captivating appearance make them a particularly interesting subject for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.

5. American Grass Spiders (Agelenopsis)

American Grass Spiders, scientifically known as Agelenopsis spp., are a fascinating species of arachnids commonly found throughout North America, including Canada. They are part of the Agelenidae family, which consists of over 1,200 species worldwide. As their name suggests, they primarily inhabit grassy areas, such as meadows, lawns, and gardens, where they spin their characteristic sheet-like webs.

These spiders vary in size, with their bodies measuring between 8 and 20 millimeters in length. They exhibit an elongated abdomen and are typically brown or gray with distinctive markings, including dark bands along their legs and a series of chevron patterns on their abdomen. Their eight eyes are arranged in two horizontal rows, providing them with adequate vision for their environment.

American Grass Spiders are known for their unique web-building abilities. They construct horizontal, sheet-like webs with a funnel-shaped retreat at one end. The spiders usually hide within the funnel, waiting for prey to become ensnared in the web. When an insect becomes trapped, the spider quickly emerges to subdue it with its venom. Their diet mainly consists of small insects, such as flies, ants, and mosquitoes.

Mating in American Grass Spiders involves a male cautiously approaching a female’s web and signaling his presence through vibrations. If the female is receptive, they will mate, after which the female will lay her eggs in a silk sac. She then guards the sac until the spiderlings hatch and disperse.

Although American Grass Spiders possess venom, they pose little to no threat to humans. Their venom is primarily used to immobilize their prey and is not harmful to people. These spiders are, in fact, beneficial to our ecosystem, as they help control insect populations in their habitats. Their intriguing web structures and behavior make them an interesting subject for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.

6. Black Widow (Latrodectus)

The most venomous spider in Canada, the Black Widow, is easily identified by the red hourglass mark on females. While their venom is potent, they rarely bite humans.

7. Furrow Spider (Larinioides cornutus)

These spiders inhabit moist areas near water sources and human structures. They sense sound through the hairs on their legs and create new webs each night.

8. Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

With striking colors and large webs, these spiders are easy to identify. Their webs often include a thick zigzag of silk called the stabilimentum, which may help deter predators or attract insects.

9. Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes)

These large nocturnal spiders hunt around water and can even catch small fish. They have specialized hairs that allow them to stand or run on water.

10. American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira)

Known for their unique mating behavior, these spiders are found in low shrubbery and high weeds. Males tie up the female’s legs with silk to avoid being eaten after mating.

11. Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

Typically found in close proximity to humans, these spiders help control household pests. Their venom is not dangerous to humans.

12. Bowl and Doily Spider (Frontinella communis)

These spiders create unique, intricate webs consisting of two parts: the bowl-shaped upper section and the flat “doily” below. They are found in fields, forests, and near human structures.

13. Orb Weaver Spiders (Araneidae)

With their large, circular webs, these spiders are commonly found in gardens and wooded areas. Their venom is not harmful to humans.

14. Sac Spiders (Clubionidae)

These nocturnal hunters build silk retreats called “sacs” during the day. They are often found indoors and can deliver a painful bite, but their venom is not dangerous.

13. Spotted Orb-weaver (Neoscona crucifera)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 7-14 mm long, while males are 5-9 mm.
  • Abdomen is round or slightly oval, and can be red, brown, or yellowish.
  • Prominent white or yellow spots on the abdomen.
  • Legs are long and spiny, with bands of brown or reddish color.

Spotted Orb-weavers are common spiders found in Canada, particularly in gardens and wooded areas. They build large, intricate orb-shaped webs to catch their prey. These webs are typically built at night and can be found between branches or other structures. The webs have a UV-reflective silk that attracts insects, making it easier for the spider to catch its prey.

During the day, Spotted Orb-weavers tend to hide in nearby foliage or crevices, while at night they take a central position on their web. They are not aggressive spiders, and their bites are rare and non-threatening to humans.

14. Long-jawed Orb-weaver (Tetragnatha spp.)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 6-26 mm long, and males are 5-21 mm.
  • Long, slender abdomen and legs.
  • Jaw-like chelicerae are elongated, particularly in males.
  • Color can vary from silver, green, or brown.

Long-jawed Orb-weavers are found near water sources in Canada, such as rivers, lakes, and marshes. They build horizontal orb-webs, which are often found near or above the water surface. These spiders are known for their ability to stretch out their legs and align their body with a twig or grass blade, making them difficult to spot.

They primarily feed on insects, but some species are known to catch small fish. Long-jawed Orb-weavers are not aggressive and their bites are rare and harmless to humans.

15. Cross Orb-weaver (Araneus diadematus)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 6.5-20 mm long, while males are 5.5-13 mm.
  • Abdomen is round with a distinctive cross-shaped pattern of white spots.
  • Color can vary from brown, orange, or yellowish.
  • Legs are hairy and banded with light and dark colors.

Cross Orb-weavers are widespread in Canada and are often found in gardens, shrubs, and trees. They build classic orb-webs, which are typically rebuilt each day. They tend to remain in the center of their web, waiting for prey to become trapped.

These spiders are not aggressive, and while their bites can cause mild pain and swelling, they are not harmful to humans. Cross Orb-weavers are beneficial to have around, as they help control insect populations.

16. Triangulate Cobweb Spider (Steatoda triangulosa)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 3-6 mm long, and males are 2-4 mm.
  • Triangular or arrow-shaped markings on the abdomen.
  • Color varies from light to dark brown, with lighter markings.
  • Legs are long and slender, with faint bands.

Triangulate Cobweb Spiders are found throughout Canada, particularly in and around human-made structures such as barns, sheds, and houses. They build irregular, messy cobwebs, which are typically found

in corners or sheltered areas. These spiders are known for their ability to capture and feed on other spiders, including those that are larger than themselves, as well as insects.

Triangulate Cobweb Spiders are not aggressive, and their bites are rare and not considered medically significant. They can be helpful in controlling pest populations in and around homes.

17. Woodlouse Hunter (Dysdera crocata)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 11-15 mm long, and males are 9-10 mm.
  • Abdomen is elongated and shiny, ranging from gray to reddish-brown.
  • Cephalothorax is reddish-brown with six eyes.
  • Large, strong chelicerae for piercing the exoskeletons of prey.

Woodlouse Hunters are found throughout Canada and are often encountered in gardens and under rocks or logs. They do not build webs, instead, they actively hunt for their primary prey, woodlice (also known as pill bugs or sowbugs), using their strong chelicerae to pierce the exoskeleton and immobilize their prey.

While Woodlouse Hunters are not aggressive spiders, their bites can be painful due to their large chelicerae. However, the bites are not dangerous to humans and usually result in mild swelling and redness.

18. Hacklemesh Weaver (Amaurobius ferox)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 9-14 mm long, and males are 6-9 mm.
  • Abdomen is oval and dark brown or black, with a velvety appearance.
  • Legs are long and spiny, with light bands.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

Hacklemesh Weavers are found in various habitats throughout Canada, including forests, gardens, and buildings. They construct messy, tangled webs in crevices, under rocks, or within leaf litter. These webs are used to trap prey, which mainly consists of small insects.

Although Hacklemesh Weavers are not aggressive, they may bite when threatened. Bites are rare and usually result in mild pain and itching, but are not medically significant.

19. Thinlegged Wolf Spider (Pardosa spp.)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 5-9 mm long, and males are 4-7 mm.
  • Abdomen is elongated, with a wide variety of colors and patterns.
  • Eight eyes arranged in three rows.
  • Long, slender legs.

Thinlegged Wolf Spiders are a genus of spiders found throughout Canada. They are commonly found in grassy or wooded areas, near water, and in gardens. They are active hunters and do not build webs; instead, they rely on their speed and agility to catch prey.

These spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

20. Funnel Weaver (Tegenaria spp.)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 7-20 mm long, and males are 6-13 mm.
  • Abdomen is elongated, with various shades of brown, gray, or black.
  • Legs are long and slender, with distinctive bands.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

Funnel Weavers are found throughout Canada, often in dark, sheltered locations such as basements, garages, and sheds. They construct a flat, horizontal sheet-like web with a funnel-shaped retreat at one end where the spider hides. These webs are used to catch prey such as insects and other small arthropods.

Funnel Weaver bites are rare and not considered medically significant. In most cases, a bite may result in mild pain, redness, and swelling.

21. Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 8-15 mm long, and males are 3-6 mm.
  • Females have a shiny black body with a distinctive red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen.
  • Males are smaller and lighter in color, with various markings on the abdomen and legs.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

The Western Black Widow is primarily found in the western regions of Canada, particularly British Columbia. They prefer dry, sheltered locations such as woodpiles, debris, and under rocks. These spiders are known for their venomous bite, which can cause significant pain, muscle cramps, and other symptoms. While bites are rarely fatal, medical attention should be sought immediately if bitten.

22. Eastern Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 5-9 mm long, and males are 4-8 mm.
  • Black or dark brown body with a distinctive white or pale yellow band on the abdomen.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Agile runners.

The Eastern Parson Spider is found across Canada and is commonly encountered in homes and gardens. They do not build webs; instead, they actively hunt for prey at night. These spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

23. Red-and-Black Mason Spider (Eresus kollari)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Females are 10-16 mm long, and males are 6-10 mm.
  • Females have a black body with red or orange markings on the abdomen.
  • Males have a black body with red or orange markings on the abdomen, thorax, and legs.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

The Red-and-Black Mason Spider is found in parts of Eastern and Central Canada. They are ground-dwelling spiders that build silk-lined burrows in sandy or loose soil. They are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

24. Jumping Spider (Family: Salticidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 3-18 mm in length.
  • Compact, stout bodies with short legs.
  • Known for their excellent vision and jumping ability.
  • Eight eyes arranged in three rows, with two large, forward-facing eyes.
  • Various colors and patterns depending on the species.

Jumping spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in gardens, on walls, and in homes. These spiders are active hunters and do not build webs to catch prey. Instead, they stalk and pounce on their prey using their excellent vision and impressive jumping abilities. Jumping spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

25. Orb Weaver Spider (Family: Araneidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 3-30 mm in length, depending on the species.
  • Various colors and patterns, often with a large, rounded abdomen.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Known for their intricate, circular webs.

Orb weaver spiders are found across Canada and are commonly seen in gardens, forests, and other outdoor areas. These spiders construct large, circular webs to catch flying insects. Orb weaver spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

26. Crab Spider (Family: Thomisidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 2-15 mm in length.
  • Typically characterized by their crab-like appearance, with two front pairs of legs being longer than the back pairs.
  • Various colors and patterns, often camouflaged to blend in with their surroundings.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

Crab spiders are found throughout Canada and are often seen on flowers and plants where they ambush their prey. They do not build webs to catch prey but instead rely on their camouflage and speed to capture insects. Crab spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

27. Sheetweb Spider (Family: Linyphiidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 2-8 mm in length.
  • Small, with elongated or rounded abdomens.
  • Various colors and patterns, often with a dull appearance.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.

Sheetweb spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in gardens, forests, and grassy areas. They construct horizontal, sheet-like webs with a tangled mass of silk above the sheet to trap flying insects. Sheetweb spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

28. Nursery Web Spider (Family: Pisauridae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 8-20 mm in length.
  • Long legs and slender bodies, often with a brown or gray coloration.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Known for their maternal behavior, including constructing a nursery web for their eggs.

Nursery web spiders are found across Canada and are commonly seen near water sources, such as streams and ponds. These spiders are active hunters, relying on their speed and agility to capture prey rather than building webs. Female nursery web spiders are known for their maternal behavior, as they construct a nursery web to protect their eggs and guard the young spiders after they hatch. Nursery web spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

29. Ground Spider (Family: Gnaphosidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 3-25 mm in length.
  • Stout bodies with flat abdomens, often brown or gray in color.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Often found in leaf litter, under rocks, or on the ground.

Ground spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in a variety of habitats, including gardens, forests, and grasslands. They are active hunters, preferring to hunt at night and hide during the day. Ground spiders do not build webs to catch prey, but instead rely on their speed and agility. Ground spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

30. Crab Spider (Family: Thomisidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 2-10 mm in length.
  • Wide, flattened bodies with a crab-like appearance.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Short front legs are used to capture prey.
  • Often found on flowers and plants.

Crab spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in gardens, meadows, and forests. They have a unique, crab-like appearance due to their wide, flattened bodies and short front legs. Crab spiders are ambush predators that rely on camouflage to catch their prey. They do not build webs, but instead wait patiently on flowers or plants, blending in with their surroundings, to catch insects that come too close. Crab spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

31. Ant-mimic Spider (Family: Corinnidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 3-8 mm in length.
  • Resemble ants in size, shape, and color.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Often found in leaf litter, under rocks, or on the ground.

Ant-mimic spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in a variety of habitats, including gardens, forests, and grasslands. These spiders have evolved to resemble ants in size, shape, and color as a form of protection against predators. Ant-mimic spiders do not build webs to catch prey but instead rely on their speed and agility. They are active hunters, primarily feeding on other arthropods, including ants. Ant-mimic spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

32. Spitting Spider (Family: Scytodidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 3-6 mm in length.
  • Pale brown or gray color with dark markings on the abdomen.
  • Eight eyes arranged in a unique pattern, with six closely grouped together and two larger eyes set apart.
  • Known for their unique method of capturing prey by spitting a venomous silk.

Spitting spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in homes, barns, and other structures. They have a unique method of capturing prey by spitting a venomous silk that immobilizes their victims. The silk and venom mixture is produced in their chelicerae (fangs) and is ejected in a rapid, zig-zag pattern. Spitting spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

33. Sheetweb Spider (Family: Linyphiidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 2-8 mm in length.
  • Brown or gray color, often with mottled or striped patterns on the abdomen.
  • Eight eyes arranged in two rows.
  • Known for building horizontal sheet-like webs with a tangled web structure above.

Sheetweb spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in forests, grasslands, and gardens. They construct horizontal sheet-like webs close to the ground with a tangle of webs above it, known as a “canopy.” These spiders capture their prey by waiting underneath the sheet, where they can quickly grab insects that become trapped in the tangle above. Sheetweb spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

34. Purseweb Spider (Family: Atypidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 6-20 mm in length.
  • Dark brown or black color.
  • Stout, robust body with long spinnerets.
  • Build tube-shaped webs in the ground or on tree trunks.

Purseweb spiders are found throughout Canada and are commonly encountered in forests and woodlands. They are unique among spiders for constructing tube-shaped webs in the ground or on tree trunks. The outer part of the tube is camouflaged with debris, while the inner part is lined with silk. Purseweb spiders wait inside the tube for prey to walk over the web, at which point they lunge out and grab their victim. These spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

35. Six-eyed Sand Spider (Family: Sicariidae)

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Size ranges from 8-15 mm in length.
  • Sandy brown color with a flattened body.
  • Only six eyes, arranged in a semicircle.
  • Known for burying themselves in the sand for camouflage.

Six-eyed sand spiders are found in arid regions of Canada and are commonly encountered in sandy or desert environments. They have a unique appearance with only six eyes arranged in a semicircle, a flattened body, and a sandy brown color that helps them blend in with their surroundings. These spiders are ambush predators that bury themselves in the sand and wait for prey to pass by. When an insect or other small arthropod comes close, the sand spider quickly emerges and captures its prey. Six-eyed sand spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, and bites are rare. If bitten, mild pain, redness, and itching may occur, but the bite is not medically significant.

General Spider Facts

  1. How many species of spiders are there in Canada? There are over 1,400 known species of spiders in Canada, with more being discovered regularly.
  2. What is the largest spider species found in Canada? The Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica) is one of the largest spiders found in Canada, with a leg span of up to 10 cm.
  3. Do venomous spiders live in Canada? While most spiders in Canada are venomous, only a few species pose a potential threat to humans, such as the Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus) and the Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum). However, bites from these spiders are rare and fatalities are extremely uncommon.
  4. What is the most common spider in Canada? The Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus) is one of the most common spiders in Canada. It is easily recognizable by the white cross-shaped pattern on its abdomen.
  5. Where can spiders be found in Canada? Spiders can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Canada, including forests, grasslands, wetlands, gardens, and even inside homes. They are more abundant in warmer months but can be found year-round.
  6. What do spiders in Canada eat? Spiders in Canada primarily feed on insects and other small arthropods, such as flies, mosquitoes, and aphids. They play an essential role in controlling insect populations.
  7. Do spiders in Canada hibernate? Some spider species in Canada hibernate during the winter months, while others lay eggs that can survive the cold temperatures and hatch in the spring.
  8. What is the main predator of spiders in Canada? Birds, wasps, other spiders, and small mammals are among the main predators of spiders in Canada.
  9. Are spiders in Canada beneficial to humans? Yes, spiders play a crucial role in controlling insect populations, including those of agricultural pests and disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes. They also serve as an important food source for various bird and animal species.
  10. How can I safely remove a spider from my home in Canada? You can use a cup and a piece of paper to gently trap the spider and then carefully release it outside. Avoid handling spiders directly, as they may become defensive and bite.
  11. What are some common types of webs created by Canadian spiders? Canadian spiders create various types of webs, including orb webs (made by orb-weaver spiders), sheet webs (created by sheet weaver spiders), funnel webs (constructed by funnel web spiders), and cobwebs (made by cobweb spiders).
  12. How do spiders reproduce? Most spiders reproduce through sexual reproduction. Males transfer their sperm to the female using specialized appendages called pedipalps. After mating, the female lays her eggs in a silk sac and guards them until they hatch.
  13. Are there any endangered spider species in Canada? Some spider species in Canada are considered rare or threatened, mainly due to habitat loss and environmental changes. The Osgood Swamp Spider (Asemonea tenuipes) is one such example. Conservation efforts are crucial to protect these species and their habitats.
  14. Can spiders regenerate lost limbs? Yes, spiders can regenerate lost limbs through a process called molting. As a spider grows, it sheds its exoskeleton and replaces it with a new one. During this process, a lost limb can be regenerated, although it may take several molting cycles to fully restore the limb.
  15. What is the fastest spider in Canada? The Wolf Spider (family Lycosidae) is among the fastest spiders in Canada. They are ground-dwelling hunters that rely on their speed and excellent vision to catch their prey.
  16. Do Canadian spiders have good vision? The quality of vision in Canadian spiders varies greatly among species. Jumping spiders (family Salticidae) have exceptional vision, while web-building spiders like orb weavers may have relatively poor vision and rely more on their sense of touch and vibrations to detect prey.
  17. What is the lifespan of spiders in Canada? The lifespan of spiders in Canada varies by species. Some spiders may live for only a few months, while others, like the Tarantula, can live for several years. Factors such as predation, habitat, and environmental conditions can influence a spider’s lifespan.
  18. Are there any social spiders in Canada? Most Canadian spiders are solitary creatures, but a few species exhibit social behavior, such as the Cobweb Spider (Theridion pictum), which cooperatively build and share webs.
  19. Do Canadian spiders migrate? Some spider species, like the Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata), have been observed to engage in passive migration through a process called ballooning. Spiders release silk threads that catch the wind, allowing them to travel long distances.

What are the most common spiders in Canada

  1. Grass Spiders (Agelenopsis spp.): These spiders belong to the Agelenidae family and are known for their funnel-shaped webs. They are commonly found in grassy areas, gardens, and near the ground in wooded areas.
  2. Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae): Wolf spiders are ground-dwelling hunters that rely on their speed and excellent vision to catch their prey. They can be found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and gardens.
  3. Orb-weaver Spiders (Araneidae): Orb-weaver spiders create the iconic circular, wheel-shaped webs often seen in gardens and wooded areas. They are highly diverse, with numerous species found in Canada.
  4. Jumping Spiders (Salticidae): These small, agile spiders have exceptional vision and are known for their jumping ability. They can be found in various habitats, including gardens, forests, and grasslands.
  5. Crab Spiders (Thomisidae): Crab spiders get their name from their crab-like appearance and sideways walking motion. They are ambush predators that patiently wait for prey to come within striking distance. They can be found on flowers and vegetation.
  6. Sheetweb Spiders (Linyphiidae): These spiders create sheet-like webs to catch their prey. They are commonly found in gardens, forests, and grasslands.
  7. Cobweb Spiders (Theridiidae): Cobweb spiders are known for their irregular, tangled webs. They are often found in dark, undisturbed areas such as basements, garages, and corners of rooms.
  8. Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes spp.): Fishing spiders are semi-aquatic and can be found near water sources, such as ponds and streams. They are known for their ability to walk on water and catch aquatic prey.
  9. Sac Spiders (Clubionidae): Sac spiders are small, nocturnal hunters that construct silken retreats during the day. They can be found in gardens, forests, and sometimes inside homes.
  10. Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae): These spiders are often found in dark, damp areas such as basements, cellars, and crawlspaces. They are known for their long, slender legs and their habit of vibrating rapidly when disturbed.

Are there poisonous spiders in Canada?

There are some spiders in Canada with venom that can cause mild to moderate reactions in humans. However, the term “poisonous” is often misused when referring to spiders. The correct term is “venomous,” as venom is injected through a bite, whereas poison is ingested or absorbed.

In Canada, two main types of venomous spiders can be a concern:

  1. Black Widow Spiders (Latrodectus spp.): The black widow is the most venomous spider in Canada. They have a neurotoxic venom that can cause symptoms such as pain, muscle cramps, nausea, and sweating. Bites from black widows can be serious, especially for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. However, black widows are generally timid and rarely bite humans unless threatened or provoked.
  2. Yellow Sac Spiders (Cheiracanthium spp.): These spiders have cytotoxic venom, which can cause localized pain, redness, and swelling. In some cases, the bite can lead to a necrotic lesion, but this is rare. Yellow sac spider bites are usually not serious, and symptoms often resolve within a few days to a week.

It’s important to note that, while these venomous spiders are present in Canada, bites are rare, and fatalities are even rarer. Most spiders in Canada are harmless to humans and play an important role in controlling insect populations in the ecosystem. If you are bitten by a spider and are concerned about the bite, it’s essential to seek medical attention for proper assessment and treatment.

What is the most common house spider in Canada?

The most common house spider in Canada is the American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum). These spiders are part of the cobweb spider family, Theridiidae. They are often found in residential areas, building their irregular, messy webs in corners, window frames, or other sheltered spots.

American House Spiders are harmless to humans, and their bites rarely cause more than mild irritation, if they bite at all. They are usually brown or gray in color, with a body length of about 3-8 mm for females and 2.5-6 mm for males. These spiders can help control insect populations in your home by preying on various small insects.

Do house spiders in Canada bite?

House spiders in Canada can bite, but it is a rare occurrence as they are generally non-aggressive towards humans. If a house spider does bite, it is usually in self-defense when they feel threatened, such as being accidentally squeezed or disturbed.

The bites of common house spiders in Canada, like the American House Spider, are usually not dangerous to humans. Their venom is not potent enough to cause any significant harm, and the symptoms, if any, may include mild pain, itching, or redness at the site of the bite. However, if you are bitten by a spider and experience severe symptoms or have an allergic reaction, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.