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12 Common Spiders in Maryland (Pictures)

Maryland is a mid-Atlantic state that’s home to a variety of spiders! While Maryland is home to hundreds of spider species, there are certain types of spiders you’re most likely to see. Read on to learn about common spiders in the Old Line State!

12 Common Spiders In Maryland

What kinds of spiders are you likely to see in Maryland? These 12 arachnids are all quite common.

1. Common house spider

common house spider on artificial plant
Common house spider in artificial plant | image by Fyn Kynd via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Not only is this one of the most frequently-seen spiders in Maryland, but it’s among the most common spiders in the United States! The common house spider makes its home inside human dwellings, where it feeds on pests like mosquitoes and flies.

These spiders have very poor vision, which can make it hard to spot threats from a distance. If they find themselves cornered, they can play dead in self-defense. Although common house spiders have neurotoxic venom, they don’t pose any danger to humans.

2. Black and yellow garden spider

Black and yellow garden spider
Black and yellow garden spider | Image by Roland Steinmann from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

If you were to spot this spider from a distance, you might mistake it for a wasp or a bee! The spider has a long abdomen and bright yellow and black markings. It likes to build web along walls so that it has protection from the wind.

Male spiders tend to weave smaller webs, but female spiders can spin webs with a diameter of more than 2 feet! While black and yellow garden spiders usually stay in the same location throughout the summer, they eat parts of their web and rebuild it each day.

3. Marbled orb weaver

Marbled orb weaver weaving
Marbled orb weaver on its web | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Araneus marmoreus

This bright and bold arachnid is one of the most distinctive-looking spiders you can find in Maine! Spiders are usually yellow or orange and have patterns on their abdomens that look like marbling! They’re drawn to habitats near bodies of water, like ponds, rivers, and streams.

These spiders are often found in gardens and near the entryways of homes, where they feed on insects that try to wander inside. They usually build their webs along shrubs or tall grass. The marbled orb weaver is very active in summer and autumn, but is a rare sight in the winter and spring.

4. Black widows

Black Widow Spider
Black Widow Spider | image by CanyonlandsNPS via Flickr

Scientific Name: Latrodectus

Both the northern and southern black widow can be found in Maryland. While black widow sightings are common in the Old Line State, it’s rare to see these spiders inside homes. Instead, they tend to lurk in rock or wood piles or hide in structures stored outdoors, like flowerpots or baskets.

Black widows aren’t aggressive, but they can be very dangerous because they are venomous. Bites can cause extreme pain and serious symptoms, including muscle cramps and spasms. If you see a black spider with an hourglass marking, it’s best to keep your distance.

5. Bold Jumper

daring jumping spider on a leaf
Bold Jumping Spider on a leaf | image by glennberry via iNaturalist

Scientific Name: Phidippus audax

Also known as the daring jumping spider, this spider tends to stand out. It’s larger than most jumping spider species, with an average body length of 11 mm. While the spider is mostly black, it has iridescent markings across its body.

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The bold jumper uses webbing to build shelter and shield eggs, but it’s an active hunter. When it hunts, it uses a strand of spider silk as a tether. This allows it to safely jump long distances.

6. Yellow sac spider

Northern yellow sac spider
Northern yellow sac spider | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium mildei

Sometimes called the yellow house spider, this spider is frequently seen inside Maryland homes, especially during the fall and winter. While it isn’t as dangerous as the black widow, it’s still a spider you should watch out for. Not only can its bites be very painful, but its venom contains cytotoxic, which can cause inflammation and cell injury.

You’re most likely to find this spider in corners, crevices, and other dark and secluded areas. While hunting, these spiders occasionally crawl into shoes or piles of clothing. To be safe, it’s a good idea to shake shoes and clothing before you put them on.

7. Black Lace-Weaver

A black lace-weaver spider
A black lace-weaver spider | image by gailhampshire via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Amaurobius ferox

This nocturnal spider is native to Europe, but is now common in many parts of the United States, including Maryland. It prefers to live near man-made structures like sheds and garages. These spiders sometimes make their way into homes, especially during the spring.

The black lace-weaver’s web is incredibly sticky, which makes it almost impossible for its prey to escape. Its webbing has an unusual texture that resembles lace. Spiders spin their webs at night, but they’ll wake up to feed on insects during the day.

8. Dark Fishing Spider

Dark fishing spider
Dark fishing spider | image by Katja Schulz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Dolomedes tenebrosus

The dark fishing spider is one of the biggest spiders you can find in Maryland. Including its legs, it can grow to be more than 3 inches long! These spiders don’t build webs and are usually seen walking along the ground.

While the dark fishing spider is occasionally found near bodies of water, it prefers wooded areas. If there are stumps or logs nearby, it may wander close to homes. It’s usually pale or dark brown and has reddish-brown markings across its legs.

9. Furrow Orb Weaver

Furrow orb weaver
Furrow orb weaver on its web | image by Mark Nenadov via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Larinioides cornutus

The furrow orb weaver gets its name from the pattern on its abdomen, which looks like a furrow left behind by a plow. You’re most likely to spot this spider in damp areas, like ponds and legs. It’s not unusual for these spiders to build webs along bridges in Maryland!

You can sometimes spot these spiders in their webs during the day, but they usually retreat to a nearby silk crevice. At night, they come out and feast on the insects that were trapped in their web during the day. Furrow orb weavers can live for up to two years.

10. Nursery Web Spider

American nursery web spider
American nursery web spider | image by Melissa McMasters via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira

Nursery web spiders have all kinds of unusual habits. After mating, male spiders will tie up their partners so that they can avoid being eaten. Female spiders carry egg sacs with them until they’re ready to hatch, and protects young spiders until they molt.

These spiders are usually light brown and are among the largest spiders in Maryland, with a leg-spread up to 3 inches. While nursery web spiders do spin silk, they actively hunt for prey. Although they engage in cannibalism, they usually feed on smaller insects.

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11. Triangulate Cobweb Spiders

Triangulate cobweb spider
Triangulate cobweb spider | image by u278 via Flickr

Scientific Name: Steatoda triangulosa

The triangulate cobweb spider is a common house spider that is drawn to windows and dark spaces. It has a round, shiny abdomen with a triangle-like pattern and long, spindly legs. This spider has very poor eyesight and relies on vibrations from its web to tell them when prey is near.

It’s an avid eater that feeds on all kinds of arthropods, including ants, ticks, and other spiders. While it spends a large portion of its day eating, it also spends hours spinning and repairing its web.

12. Joro Spiders

Joro spider
Joro spider | image by Daniel Ramirez via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Trichonephila clavata

This massive, palm-shaped spider is native to Asia, but has recently been spotted in Maryland. The joro spider is big and colorful, with a leg span up to 3 inches. Female spiders usually have yellow and red markings, but males are smaller and less colorful.

Even though the joro spider is an invasive species, it isn’t considered to be dangerous. However, it can be a nuisance because of its massive webs. These wheel-shaped webs can be as large as 10 feet.