Over 500 spider species call Arkansas home. Some are found in many other states in the United States, and others are more unique to Arkansas. To some, spiders inspire fear, but these eight-legged creatures can be fascinating. This article highlights some of the common spiders in Arkansas as well as some spiders you will find in the state that possess unique qualities.
10 Common spiders in Arkansas
1. American House Spider
Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum
The American House Spider is an extremely common occurrence in homes across Arkansas. They are the most commonly encountered spider in the entire US.
This species is comb-footed, which means it has comb-like hairs at the ends of its long, skinny legs. They are yellowish brown with white spots on the abdomen.
American House Spiders prefer undisturbed areas such as corners, window frames, closets, sheds, barns, and under furniture.
2. Spotted Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Neoscona crucifera
The spotted orb weaver is known for its large, orb-shaped web. These large spiders can grow up to ¾ of an inch long and range in color from tan to dark brown with black, white, and red bands down their legs. In Arkansas, you can find these spiders stretched across trails or between the pillars on the porch of a house.
3. Arrow-Shaped Micrathena
Scientific Name: Micrathena sagittata
The arrow-shaped micrathena is named for the arrow or triangle-shaped marking on the top of its abdomen, which is also more arrow-shaped than round. The females are brightly colored with red heads and legs and bright yellow markings.
The females also have pointy spines like the thorns of s rose stem. The males do not have sharp spines and are typically black with white edges. These spiders are a type of orb weaver known to rebuild their webs daily.
4. Banded Garden Spider
Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata
The banded garden spider gets its name from the lateral bands stripping its elongated, oval-shaped abdomen. The females of this species are quite large, growing up to almost one inch in length with a leg span of nearly half an inch.
The males are significantly smaller, only growing up to ⅕ of an inch in length. While these spiders are large enough to bite, it is a rare occurrence and doesn’t pose any real danger to humans.
5. Yellow Garden Spider
Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia
The yellow garden spider is slightly larger than the banded garden spider. The females can grow up to 1.1 inches and are black with bright yellow patterns.
The males are smaller and are browner with more muted yellow markings. As the name suggests, these spiders tend to build webs in areas with plants, such as a backyard garden in Arkansas.
6. Southern Black Widow
Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans
The Southern black widow gets its name from the female’s tendency to kill and eat the males shortly after mating, earning her the title “widow.” The females are shiny black with a tell-tale orange or red hourglass on the underside of the abdomen.
The females can grow up to half an inch in length with a leg span of up to 1.1 inches. The males are smaller, less shiny black, and have white and red markings.
Southern black widows can be found in Arkansas, hiding under stones and logs or in quiet corners of barns and garages. Though male and juvenile black widows cannot pierce through human skin, the female can, and the bite can cause serious medical issues.
7. Brown Recluse
Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa
The brown recluse can range in color from dark grayish brown to yellowish brown. These spiders are unique because, unlike most spider species with eight eyes, the brown recluse only has six.
As the name suggests, brown recluses prefer to keep to themselves and are typically found in closets, cabinets, and other undisturbed areas.
They are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night, so they are rarely seen by humans. If a human interaction does happen and leads to a bite, medical attention is highly recommended.
8. Goldrenrod Crab Spider
Scientific Name: Misumena vatia
The goldenrod crab spider, also known as the smooth flower crab spider, ranges in color from white to yellow. This unique spider can change color over a few days to better camouflage with its environment; white or yellow flower blooms.
The goldenrod crab spider does not build webs to catch its prey. Instead, it lies in wait in flower blooms and attacks insects seeking nectar.
Another unique aspect of this species is that while many web-building spiders have poor vision, the goldenrod crab spider has very good eyesight.
9. Rabid Wolf Spider
Scientific Name: Rabidosa rabida
This large spider is most commonly found in wooded areas in Arkansas. As with most spider species, the females are larger than the males. The females can grow up to .82 inches while the males are around half an inch in length, not including the legs.
Rabid wolf spiders are dark grey and light brown. These spiders are unique because the female carries the egg sac around with her, and once the babies hatch, she carries them around on her back until they are old enough to survive on their own.
10. Arkansas Chocolate Tarantula
Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
These large spiders are found throughout Arkansas but are not known to inhabit the Mississippi Delta region. The females can grow up to two inches in length, and the males are slightly smaller at around 1 ½ inches in length.
Arkansas Chocolate Tarantulas are dark brown and covered with light-colored hairs. This species doesn’t build webs but lives in burrows in the ground where they lie in wait for a beetle or other insect to get too close.