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6 Types of Tarantulas in Louisiana (Pictures)

For anyone wanting to know if there are tarantulas in Louisiana, you may be disappointed, or relieved depending on how you feel about spiders, to learn that this state isn’t home to many tarantulas. In fact, there is only one species of tarantula found in Louisiana. Keep reading to learn more about this lone species of tarantula in Louisiana.

6 Tarantulas in Louisiana

For arachnid enthusiasts, the thought of tarantulas in Louisiana can be exciting. Unfortunately, there is only one true tarantula species found in Louisiana, though there are some other types of spiders that look similar or share characteristics of tarantulas.

1. Louisiana Tarantula

Louisiana tarantula crawling
Louisiana tarantula crawling | image by xpda via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi

The Louisiana tarantula goes by various names, including the Mississippi tarantula and the Texas tarantula. No matter what you call it, this species is the only tarantula found in Louisiana.

In fact, it is one of the biggest spiders found in the state and can measure almost 5 inches in length. They are brown in color, large, and hairy with a bulbous appearance.

Louisiana tarantulas are typically found in tall vegetation, fallen trees, and even under rocks. Thankfully, this tarantula isn’t deadly to humans but its bite can be painful and result in swelling, itching, and inflammation at the puncture sight.

2. Wolf Spider

Spider wolf on wood
Spider wolf on wood | Image by Magalie st-hilaire poulin from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Lycosidae spp.

While wolf spiders are not tarantulas, some people confuse the two. This is because of the sheer size and appearance of wolf spiders. Wolf spiders are large arachnids that have thick, dark colored bodies.

They are hairy, fast, and can look extremely intimidating. Wolf spiders are often seen outside, where they hunt and stalk their prey. They are well-known as the spiders that carry hundreds of babies on their backs.

Despite their menacing appearance, wolf spiders are not harmful to humans and they are not generally aggressive. They can and will bite, however, if they feel threatened.

3. Nursery Spider

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

Scientific Name: Pisauridae spp.

The nursery spider is named after the nursery web that the females make for their young. The adult nursery web spider is large and hairy, which often causes people to confuse it for a tarantula.

The body of the nursery web spider can measure up to an inch long and its leg span can reach three inches or more. They can have a varying degree of body colors, but tan, brown, beige, and gray are the most common colors associated with nursery web spiders. They may also have dark brown markings, such as stripes, on their bodies.

Nursery web spiders are found throughout Louisiana in tall grass, bushes, and shrubs. While their venom isn’t deadly to humans, their bite can be painful and cause swelling and inflammation near the bite sight.

What types of spiders are found in Louisiana?

Even though there is only one species of tarantula found in Louisiana, that doesn’t mean this state isn’t home to a wide array of other types of spiders. In fact, Louisiana is home to over 30 to 40 species of spiders. While these spiders are spread all across the state, most of them are found in the southeastern portion.

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Some spiders you are likely to find in Louisiana include:

  • American grass spider
  • Orb weavers
  • Garden spiders
  • Shamrock spiders
  • Jumping spiders
  • Common house spiders
  • Fishing spiders
  • Cobweb spiders
  • Cellar spiders
  • Sac spiders

Are there any venomous spiders in Louisiana?

There are four different species of highly venomous spiders found in Louisiana. Southern black window, northern black widow, brown widow, and the brown recluse.

All four of these spiders are considered dangerous and should not be messed with. Their bite is highly painful and can lead to serious health complications.

1. Black Widow Spiders

Crawling black widow spider
Crawling black widow spider

Scientific Name: Latrodectus spp.

Louisiana is home to the southern and northern black widow spider. Both of these species are venomous and dangerous to humans.

Both species have an extremely similar appearance, which is one of the most recognized spider silhouettes in the world. Their bodies are black and shiny and they have a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen.

2. Brown Widow Spiders

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

Scientific Name: Latrodectus geometricus

The brown window shares the same shape and appearance as the black widow, but with a brown-colored body. They also have the infamous hourglass marking on the underside of their abdomen, although theirs is yellow or orange in color.

3. Brown Recluse Spiders

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

Scientific Name: Loxosceles reclusa

At one point, the black widow was thought of as the most dangerous spider in the United States. In recent years, however, the brown recluse has taken over that moniker. They are not overly large spiders, and measure less than an inch in length.

They have a light brown body with hues of dark gray, brown, and white. The easiest way to identify the brown recluse is by the violin-shaped pattern on the spider’s cephalothorax. They thrive in dark and dry areas, such as garages, closets, woodpiles, and sheds.

This spider has hemotoxic venom that can cause mild to severe symptoms. Despite their bad rap, brown recluse spiders are not aggressive and would rather be left alone. They typically don’t bite unless they are disturbed or provoked.

With that said, however, you should still try to stay away from these venomous spiders. Death from their bite is rare but not unheard of.

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