New York may be known as the home of the Big Apple, but it is also the home of over 50 different spider species. Thankfully, most of the common spiders in New York don’t pose much of a risk to humans and are more afraid of us than we are of them. In this article we’ll explore 7 of these arachnids and look at some pictures of them. Enjoy!
7 Common Spiders in New York
New York is a diverse state that boosts large cities and even larger mountainous areas. No matter what portion of the state you are in, however, you are sure to encounter a spider or two.
While spiders are not everyone’s favorite insects, most of them are not dangerous. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t familiarize yourself with the most common spiders in New York. Let’s take a look at the spiders you are most likely to see in New York.
1. Yellow Sac Spider
Scientific Name: Cheiracanthium
The Yellow sac spiders are light in color and they create small silk sacs under loose rocks and bark. These spiders do not create traditional webs to catch their prey, and instead hunt for their food. They will crawl along the ground and sometimes find their way into homes looking for prey.
Yellow sac spiders are considered mildly toxic to humans, and their bite can cause pain, itching, and even have neurotoxic effects. Their bites are also slow to heal, which can increase the chance of secondary infections. In some cases, the bite of a yellow sac spider will require medical treatment.
2. Grass Spiders
Scientific Name: Agelenidae
Sometimes called funnel web spiders, grass spiders are a common arachnid found in New York. They measure about ¾ to 1 inch long and are often brown, but can also have a tan-colored body.
They create funnels in the grass which catch their prey. Once the insect touches the silken web, the grass spider pounces out of its funnel to subdue the unlucky insect.
Grass spiders are most often found in grassy areas, as well as on shrubs and plants. They are sometimes spotted crawling up the exterior of buildings and homes.
3. American House Spider
Scientific Name: Achaearanea tepidariorum
The American house spider is one of the most commonly found spiders in homes. They have a large, round abdomen with thin legs and are usually light brown. They like to hang upside down from their cobwebs, and are most often seen in homes and not outdoors, since they don’t survive well outside.
The American house spider is a cobweb spider, which is the same type of spider as the venomous black widow. Thankfully, the American house spider isn’t venomous and the black widow isn’t a common spider in New York.
4. Cellar Spiders
Scientific Name: Pholcidae
Cellar spiders are a common sight in basements all throughout New York and can grow up to 2 inches long, including their legs, which are long and slender. It’s these legs that cause people to confuse this spider with a daddy leg long. Cellar spiders have a translucent body that is tinged with a brown to grayish color and dark markings.
As their name suggests, the cellar spider is commonly found in cellars and basements, but they can actually make their way into all areas of your home. They can be found in garages and crawl spaces as well. In the great outdoors, the cellar spider will make their home in a protected area, such as rock piles and caves.
5. Crab Spiders
Scientific Name: Salticidae
The crab spider is easy to identify because of the crab-like way it walks and holds its legs. The first pair of legs are larger than the other, which only adds to its crab-like appearance.
Crab spiders come in various colors, though yellow and white are the two most common. They can live in a wide array of habitats, though they are not usually found in extremely cold mountains or deserts. In New York, these spiders are most likely to be found in gardens, grassy areas, woodlands, and meadows.
6. Wolf Spiders
Scientific Name: Lycosidae
Wolf spiders may be one of the scariest spiders that you can find in New York, but they are not dangerous at all. While they are one of the most common spiders in New York, they pose no threat to humans. That doesn’t keep people from fearing these large arachnids that can reach 2 to 4 inches long.
7. Orb Weaving Spiders
Scientific Name: Araneidae
The Orb weavers consist of a rather large group of over 4,000 species, and most orb-weaving spiders are brown, but some can also have a tan, gray, or reddish color with varying patterns on their abdomen. The ones most commonly found in New York, however, are the marbled orb weaver and the cross orb weaver.
Both of these are most active during the night and prefer to live outdoors in fields and wooded areas than in homes. Like other orb weavers, the ones found in New York create the large, stunning circular webs that are considered the traditional spider web.