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7 Common Spiders in Hawaii (ID Pictures)

Hawaii is a tropical getaway that many people dream of visiting one day. It is filled with stunning sights, rich culture and heritage, animals you won’t find anywhere else, and even spiders. Hawaii is home to over 200 species of spiders, but not all of them are considered common spiders in Hawaii.

7 Common Spiders in Hawaii

While there are over 100 species of spiders in Hawaii that are endemic, they are not the most commonly seen arachnids and are, unfortunately, not the ones you will find on this list. Instead, let’s look at the ones you are most likely to see in Hawaii.

1. Cane Spiders

Cane spider on a log
A cane spider on a log | image by Gee via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria

Cane spiders are large arachnids that measure 3 to 4 inches wide and are light brown. They can be found on all the Hawaiian Islands and prefer the protection of the cane fields. When people venture into the cane fields, however, cane spiders can sometimes attach themselves to the vehicle and hitch a ride back to your home.

Seeing one of these large spiders inside your home can be scary, but they don’t pose a threat unless they feel provoked or threatened. While they don’t commonly bite, they do have the ability to do so.

Their venom can cause pain, itchiness, and inflammation near the bite site, as well as a headache and nausea. However, these symptoms typically subside within a few hours.

2. Garden Spiders

Yellow garden spider on its web
Yellow garden spider on its web | image by James St. John via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Garden spiders are often found in gardens, hence its name, making its web between tall plants and shrubs. The garden spider is commonly seen making an X shape with its body, sitting in the middle of its web waiting for prey.

They are typically brightly colored yellow, though some species can also be orange or red, and have black markings. They are not harmful to humans and can provide many benefits to gardens, such as keeping annoying insects like mosquitoes in check.

3. Barn Funnel Weaver

Barn funnel weaver
Barn funnel weaver | image by Nikk via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Tegenaria domestica

Sometimes called the common house spider or drain spider, the barn funnel weaver measures less than a 1/2 inch long. People assume that these spiders crawl out of the drain because they are often found inside sinks and tubs. The truth is, these spiders will often fall into sinks and tubs and become trapped, which makes it appear as though they have crawled out of the drain.

The barn funnel weaver doesn’t bite often and you will need to provoke it rather aggressively to get it to bite. When it does bite, it is typically compared to that of a bee sting.

Their bodies can range from various hues of brown, gray, beige, and even orange. It has an elongated body and can move rather quickly, which lets it quickly move from one area of its web to the other. The barn funnel weaver is typically found in barns, sheds, under rocks, and even in door crevices.

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4. Spiny Backed Orb-Weavers

Spiny backed orb-weaver on a cobweb
Spiny backed orb-weaver on a cobweb | image by Joe Lapp via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Gasteracantha cancriformis

The spiny backed orb weavers have brightly colored spines that protrude from their shell-like backs. While they may look like they are ready to do battle, they are harmless to humans and animals, and pose no serious risks to your health. They are not large spiders, reaching lengths of only about 9 millimeters with a width of about 13 millimeters.

As with other orb weavers, the spiny back species creates the iconic circular-shaped web that most people think of when they imagine a spiderweb. They are often seen making their webs in shrubs and trees near garden centers and homes.

5. Southern Black Widow

Southern black widow juvenile
Southern black widow juvenile | image by BrunoSchalch via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans

The southern black widow is a potentially dangerous spider whose venom can cause serious and potentially life threatening issues for children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy adults, however, usually won’t see any serious or long term health effects from the black widow bite.

This spider is easy to identify, with its shiny black body and bright red hourglass located on the underside of its abdomen. It can often go undetected in homes, where it stays hidden in a dark and out-of-the-way area.

6. Brown Widow Spider

Brown widow spider
Brown widow spider | image by Roy Niswanger via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Latrodectus geometricus

The body shape of the brown widow is similar to the black widow, but it’s coloring is not as dramatic. Brown widow spiders have brown or tan with black markings.

It does, however, have the hourglass shape on the underside of its belly, but it is usually orange and not red. Even though the brown widow spider bite is a little less toxic than that of its black window cousin, it is still venomous and should be taken seriously.

Brown widow spiders like to create webs in out-of-sight areas where they are protected. They can often be found in storage closets, mailboxes, garden pots, underneath the eaves of homes, garages, and empty containers. If you have something outdoors that hasn’t been moved or bothered in some time, such as outdoor furniture, don’t be surprised if a brown widow decides to make that undisturbed object its home.

7. Brown Violin Spider

Scientific Name: Loxosceles

The brown violin spider is related to the brown recluse spider and they look similar in appearance. One difference between the two, however, is that the brown recluse isn’t found in Hawaii but the brown violin spider is.

The brown violin spider lives in hot, dry areas, such as under rock piles. These locations give them the protection they need to survive. With that said, however, they have also been found under tree bark and even underneath old baseboards.

The brown violin spider measures about ½ inch long and has a brown colored body. There is a violin-shaped marking that covers a part of its head and midsection. This marking is typically darker than the spider’s body color.

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The bite of the violin spider is sometimes not detected right away, and most people don’t even know they have been bitten until symptoms start to appear. These symptoms include red and irritated skin near the injection site, swelling, pain, and itching. A blister may start to form that turns into an open sore that takes an extended period of time to heal.

Some people have experience even more serious symptoms after being bitten by a violin spider. Because of this, it is best to seek medical attention for any potentially dangerous spider bite.