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10 Common Spiders in Louisiana (ID Pictures)

Louisiana is home to around 40 different spider species, some more common than others. Some build elaborate webs, while others are efficient hunters. These creatures are an essential part of Louisiana’s ecosystem and, for the most part, are docile and harmless. This article details ten of the most common spiders in Louisiana.

10 Common Spiders in Louisiana

1. American Grass Spider

American grass spider on a leaf
American grass spider on a leaf | image by Judy Gallagher via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Agelenopsis

The American grass spider, also known as a funnel-web spider, builds cave-like funnel-shaped webs in the grass. This spider is unique because it hunts prey and uses a web to catch prey.

The American grass spider can move very quickly to pounce on prey and drag it back into the web, or it can wait for an insect to get entangled in the funnel web. These brown and tan spiders have two dark brown or black lines running down the top of the cephalothorax or head region.

2. Banded Garden Spider

Banded garden spider
Banded garden spider | by USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr

Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata

The banded garden spider is recognizable by the banded or striped pattern on its abdomen and legs. Some are reddish-brown with white bands, and others are black with yellow or white bands.

The females, which can grow up to 25mm in length, are twice the size of the males. As members of the orb weaver family, the banded garden spider builds a large, orb-shaped web with a signature zigzag pattern near the center of the web.

3. Green Lynx Spider

Green lynx spider
Green Lynx Spider by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Region via Flickr

Scientific Name: Peucetia viridans

The green lynx spider is a bright green spider with long black spines on each of its eight legs. This spider gets its name from the lynx cat, which can jump great distances. The green lynx spider has excellent vision and can spot prey up to four inches away, and then it can pounce from several inches away instead of building a web to catch its prey.

4. Southern Black Widow

Southern black widow on a leaf
Southern black widow on a leaf

Scientific Name: Latrodectus mactans

This shiny, jet-black spider is known for the red hourglass adorning the female’s abdomen. The males are black but lack the hourglass marking.

They are also significantly smaller than the females. The females are venomous to humans, but the males are not. The female of this species is known to kill and eat the males after mating, which is where the name “widow” comes from.

5. Common House Spider

Common house spider
Common house spider | image by Christoph Zurnieden via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum

One of the most common spiders in Louisiana is the aptly named common house spider, also known as the American house spider. These arachnids are brown with white or black markings on their abdomens.

They have spindly legs and spin wispy cobwebs reminiscent of Halloween decorations. They typically live in windows and other undisturbed areas of houses. These spiders are not aggressive and tend to keep to themselves.

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6. Brown Recluse

Brown recluse on denim
Brown recluse on denim | Image by Robby Lockeby from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa

These venomous spiders are dark grayish or yellowish brown. Their bite can cause nerve and tissue damage in the most severe cases.

Brown recluse spiders in Louisiana are shy and not usually aggressive. They are nocturnal but can be found hiding during the day in undisturbed areas like closets.

7. Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spider

Spinybacked orb weaver spider
Spinybacked orb weaver spider | image by L Church via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Gasteracantha

As the name suggests, the females of this species have six spines sticking out of their backs. They can range in color from red and orange to white and yellow.

The female’s spines are either black or red, but the males do not have spines. This spider is sometimes referred to as the crab-like orb weaver because its abdomen is broad and resembles the shell of a crab rather than the typical round or bulbous abdomen of other spiders.

8. Texas Brown Tarantula

Texas brown tarantula
Texas brown tarantula | image by Robert Nunnally via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi

While the Texas brown tarantula is a common spider in Louisiana, it is rarely seen because it spends most of its time in burrows in the ground. Including leg span, these large spiders can grow up to four inches and are covered in tiny hairs.

They typically have light brown or tan bodies and dark brown legs. Though they can look scary, they are mostly docile and only bite if cornered.

9. Banana Spider

Banana spider
Banana spider on its cobweb | image by mbarrison via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Trichonephila clavipes

Banana spiders get their name from their bright yellow abdomens that resemble the color of a banana. The large females can grow up to three inches in length, including leg span, while the males are much smaller, only growing up to ¾ of an inch long. They are part of the orb weaver family and spend their time in large, orb-shaped webs that can stretch up to several feet wide.

10. Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

Red-spotted ant mimic spider
Red-spotted ant mimic spider | image by David Hill via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Castianeira descripta

The red-spotted ant mimic spider is black with bright red markings on the top side of the abdomen with a white line that runs down the top of the back. This unique spider has a sneaky habit where it walks on the back three sets of legs while holding the other two legs up to mimic an ant’s antennae. This tricks insects into thinking the spider is a harmless ant, so the spider can get close enough to grab and kill them.