Common Spiders in Northern Maryland

In Northern Maryland, a variety of spider species can be encountered, from those that weave their intricate webs to those who prefer a more reclusive lifestyle. The landscape of forests, meadows, and urban environments provides perfect habitats for these arachnids. Below we will explore some of the most commonly encountered spiders in the region.

American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

The American House Spider is a common sight in homes and buildings. Recognizable by their comb-footed webs which are often built in corners and neglected spaces, these spiders have a brownish color with mottled patterns on their abdomens.

Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

Also known as the “writing spider” for the white zig-zag patterns in the center of their webs, the Black and Yellow Garden Spider is large and easily noticeable. Their striking yellow and black coloring is hard to miss when they’re sitting in the middle of their large, orb-shaped webs often found in gardens and near vegetation.

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae)

These small but charismatic spiders are known for their excellent jumping abilities and their large, forward-facing eyes, giving them sharp vision. They are commonly found on sunny exterior walls, fences, and vegetation, hunting prey during the day.

Wolf Spider (Family Lycosidae)

Notorious for their speed and agility, Wolf Spiders are ground dwellers and do not spin webs. Instead, they chase down their prey. They are often brown or grey with various markings and can be found in leaf litter, under rocks, or along the ground near building foundations.

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

The Brown Recluse is a widely known spider due to its venomous bite, but it is not commonly found in Maryland and is quite rare in the northern part. When encountered, they are usually in secluded, undisturbed areas like basements or sheds.

Grass Spider (Family Agelenidae)

The Grass Spider constructs sheet-like webs attached to the grass or underbrush with a funnel they hide in. They are quick to retreat but can be seen early in the morning when dew highlights their large webs covering the ground or bushes.

Barn Funnel Weaver (Tegenaria domestica)

This brownish-grey spider with dark bands on its legs prefers the indoors or outdoor structures. They create conical webs and are often found in barns, hence their name.

Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)

Easily distinguished by its green body and red to orange spots, the Orchard Orbweaver spins its web among trees and shrubs. Their webs are often horizontal or slightly angled to the ground and are commonly found in forests and orchards.

Remember, while some spiders can deliver a painful bite, they are a key part of the ecosystem and generally aren’t a threat to people. If you’re in an area where harmful spiders may reside, like those similar to the Brown Recluse, it’s wise to take precautions but also appreciate the diverse spider population that calls Northern Maryland home.

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