Spiders are not insects, but are in the Class Arachnida, part of the Phylum Arthropoda.
This article in BugGuide.net can help identify spiders.
This article in BugGuide.net has pointers about photography.
Family Agelenidae. Funnel Web spiders |
Family Araneidae. Orb weavers
Family Dysderidae Woodlouse hunters, sowbug-eating spiders
Family Thomisidae Crab spiders
Family Gnaphosidae Ground spiders
Family Lycosidae Wolf spiders
Family Miturgidae. Prowling spiders
Family Oxyopidae Lynx spiders
Family Philodromidae. Running crab spiders
Family Pholcidae Cellar spiders
Family Pisauridae Nursery Web Spiders
Family Salticidae. Jumping Spiders
Family Theridiidae. Tangle-web spiders
The families below are not spiders, but are still in the class Arachnida. |
Scorpions and Psuedoscorpions will also be listed here when pictures are obtained.
Family Hydracarina Water mites
Family Phalangiidae Harvestman
Tangle-web spiders (aka cobweb spiders and comb-footed spiders), family Theridiidae
|Black Widow spider.
The first picture was taken by Alyssa Erickson, and shows a nice view of the red hour-glass
pattern that marks the Black widow. This may be the species Latrodectus hesperus or Western Black Widow.
If this one bites you, it can make you pretty sick.
They are naturally shy, and will not bite unless they feel threatened.
The second picture is also an upside-down view, and since it is a little on the small side, plus there is no red hour-glass figure, so it may be just a young one.
The third and fourth pictures are of a large Black Widow captured 17 July, and photographed on 19 July 2009. By putting 3 large nails in a board, and keeping the spider in a jar which is inverted over the nails, the spider will spin a web between the nails. Then after a day or so, the jar can be removed, and the spider will stay for some picture taking.
The bright sunlight shining on the spider's abdomen in the third picture makes it look brown instead of black, but the fourth picture shows the red hour-glass figure.
|This is a male Western Black Widow. The female is all black, with the hour-glass figure on the bottom, but the male has this different color pattern on the abdomen. Males are harmless and have no venom. Females are venomous, and can even be dangerous. (Something like humans?) It was found on 5 September 2011 while digging up some ground to plant Irises in Colorado Springs.|
|A spider in the genus Steatoda.
Probably species Triangulosa or Borealis, but there are 122
species in this genus.
It is related to the Black Widow, same body shape and size,
but not nearly so venomous.
Jumping spiders, family Salticidae
According to Wikipedia, the spiders in this family can
jump several times their body length, and also run fast.
Their eyesight is much better than the other spiders and most, if not all, insects.
They will bite if threatened, but their venom is no worse than a bee. They are predators,
and jump from ambush onto their prey. They don't make cobwebs, but can produce single
strands, used for climbing.
This video of a Phidippus mystaceus (click here) shows the typical behavior of a jumping spider. Someone in Oklahoma named Opo Terser took this video and put it on www.youtube.com.
|This is a Jumping Spider, Genus Phidippus, and
the species P. Audax. It is usually called a Bold Jumper.
There are about 75 other species in this Genus.
It lives in the space between the gate and
the fence post by my back yard. About 3/8" long.
The second and third pictures are of another individual, probably the same species. These pictures were taken on 19 May 2008. This spider was about the same size, but was not quite as hairy. The iridescent green chelicerae is found in several species within the genus Phidippus.
|This is another Jumping Spider, Genus Phidippus, and
the species P. Audax. It was found on our kitchen ceiling on 10 April 2011.
The body length is about 1 cm.
|Another jumping spider.
This one is also a P. audax, but is called the bryantae variation.
This female was photographed on 17 June 2009 in Colorado Springs.
As usual, she was fairly tolerant of the camera.
During the picture taking, she noticed a small insect near it,
and promptly jumped on it and captured it, then went back to looking at me and
the camera. (second picture). This second picture also shows the green chelicerae
which covers the fangs, and is typical of the Phidippus genus. This one was large, about
1/2 inch long.
The meal she caught looks like an earwig, maybe a Euborellia annulipes - Ringlegged Earwig.
|Another Phidippus Audax, of the Bryantae variation. This one was found on my front door on 6 June 2012. It was larger than most I have found, this female was about 1 inch in body length.|
|Another Phidippus, that I believe is also the audax species. Found on my kitchen counter on 29 October 2011.|
|This one may also be a bryantae variation of the Phidippus Audax, but not sure yet. It was found on 5 September 2011 in Colorado Springs. It was about 6mm long.|
|This one is also in the genus Phidippus, but this
one is the species carneus.
The pictures were taken on 9 September 2008, in Colorado Springs.
This is one of about 60 to 70 species in this genus, found mostly in North America.
This one is small, about 3mm in length.
It is probably a juvenile.
Spiders in the Phidippus genus seem to be more willing to pose for pictures than many other spiders.
| Phidippus apacheanus, another jumping spider in the
genus Phidippus. This small male was found in Colorado Springs
on 5 September 2011. It was about 4mm long.
|This small Jumping spider was waiting on the leaf of a Milkweed plant
near a blossom, waiting for any small insect that might be attracted to the blossom.
While I watched, the only insect that came by was a large Bumble Bee, and the spider
wisely waited for something smaller.
I found one matching photo on
that said this
is a Phidippus johnsoni, a Red-backed Jumping spider, 4th instar.
An male adult of this species would have an all red abdomen, and the female would
be red with a black stripe. This also looks like a picture of a P. clarus.
|Another Jumping spider in the Phidippus genus. It was found on a milkweed plant in the Fountain Creek Nature Center on 22 August 2009. I have not been able to identify the species. It was on the small side, so it may be an immature spider, which makes them harder to identify since often, the younger ones have different color patterns than adults.|
| A Zebra Jumper - Salticus scenicus. Small, about 3mm in size. So fast and
ready to jump that I had to cool him off with an hour or two in my refrigerator before
I could take pictures of him. Found 15 May 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Pictures 2, 3 and 4: Another Zebra jumper, this one photographed on 11 September 2009. This one was also about 3mm in size, and also needed some cooling off time in the refrigerator.
Family Oxyopidae, Lynx spiders.
|This male spider is in the Lynx family. They are hunting spiders,
and can run and jump quickly. The eye arrangement
and spiney legs, as well as the behavior, narrow it down to the Lynx family.
The experts at www.BubGuide.net say that the genus is Oxyopes, and
the species is the Western Lynx Spider. |
Found on 15 June 2010 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Family Dysderidae, Woodlouse hunters.
|I found two of these when I was digging out the roots of an old rose bush
on 29 April 2010 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The one in these pictures received an
injury during the root pulling process. They were about 1.4 cm in length, not counting legs.
They are Woodlouse hunters, and feed almost exclusively on wood lice AKA sow bugs. Their large fangs enable them to break through the tough shells of their meal. Typically, they hunt at night.
The second picture shows their very large fangs. There have been reports of humans being bitten. The venon does not do much more than some local skin irritation. They have six eyes, arranged in a small semi-circle.
|Another one, this one found walking across my garage floor on 20 September 2011.|
Orb Weavers, family Araneidae. These spiders weave webs in a spiral pattern.
According to Wikipedia, there are almost 3,000 species of Orb Weavers in over 170 genera worldwide, making this the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae).
|An Orb Weaver spider, identified by the eye pattern.
This particular spider is the European garden spider, very common in Western Europe,
and also found in parts of North America.
It is also called a Cross spider.
This one was found on 27 August 2009 in
Colorado Springs, CO.
|This appears to be the same species of Orb Weaver spider
that is in the picture above.
This one was found on 17 August 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO.
|Based on the eye arrangement, this is another Orb Weaver. Plus, it was constructing a large web at the time I captured it on 8 August 2011 in my back yard in Colorado Springs.|
|Based on the eye arrangement, I think this is another Orb Weaver. Further identification has not been made yet. It was found in Colorado Springs, CO, hanging from my open garage door, on 1 November 2009. It was about 4mm in length, not counting legs.|
|These were taken by Alyssa Erickson in October 2009,
in Colorado Springs, CO.
A female Banded Garden Spider, Argiope trifasciata. These are found
all over the world, except in Europe.
|This one is called a Black & Yellow Garden Spider. It was found
and photographed in October 2010 by Alyssa Erickson, in the same flower bed as the Banded Garden Spider
that she found last year. It is a close relative of the Banded Garden Spider.
|This female Arabesque Orb weaver was found early in the morning of 19 July 2010 at the
Fountain Creek Nature Center. It had constructed a beautiful web the day before,
and now was consuming it. When I found it,
half of the web was gone, and within 1 more minute it was all gone.
The web was typical of an orb weaver.
|When I found this one on 9 October 2010 in my garage, I thought it was a Wolf Spider.
But when the photos were enlarged, the eye arrangment identified it as an Orb Weaver.
It was a large spider, 1.5 cm body length. I have not been able to identify this one down to
genera and species yet.
Funnel-Web spiders, family Agelenidae
All spiders are venemous, but only two species of Funnel-Web spiders
are dangerously so, and both of them live in Australia.
|This is probably some species of a Grass Spider.
I could not get a good picture of it while it
was crouched back in the shadows, behind a messy looking web. This is the kind of web
that a grass spider usually weaves, a flat one with a tunnel-like place on one side to hide in.
This picture was taken 20 September 2008 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
|This is probably some version of a Funnel Web spider. It was on the ouside of
my garage, with it's web built near a small light bulb which burns 24/7. The web looks
like the webs that Funnel Web spiders build. These pictures were taken in Colorado Springs on 18 November 2008.
Some species within this genera have bites that are considered medically significant, but I don't know
which species this one is.
|This male is probably in the genus Agelenid, in the family of Funnel Web Spiders.
It was captured on the floor of our den on 7 December 2008. It is 1 cm long, not
counting legs. One leg was lost in the capture process.
|The experts on
bugguide.net/node/view/452519/bgimage say this is a grass spider.
It was found on 6 September 2010 in Colorado Springs, on our kitchen floor.
The body length was 1.5cm. There are at least 13 species within this genus.
There are some puzzling details, especially in the second and third photos. The front appendages appear to be holding some coiled structures. Also, the rear end has two pointed structures.
|A male spider of unknown species. This was found in my garage on 1 October 2008, on the floor. It was hard to get a good picture, since when I let it out of the jar, it would run, not walk or crawl. It is a medium sized spider.|
|This one is a House Spider in the genus Tegenaria, specifically
a Tegenaria domestica, called the "Lesser European House Spider".
It was found in a downstairs shower on 13 August 2009, in Colorado Springs.
The first photo shows young spiders clinging to the body of
this adult. It is about 7 mm in length, not counting legs.
The photo of the eye pattern shown in the fifth photo, taken through a microscope, was not very conclusive. I thought it was an Anyphaena maculata, but the people at www.BugGuide.net thought otherwise.
Nursery Web Spiders, family Pisauridae
|This one was found on 14 September 2009 at the Fountain Creek Nature Center,
on a Milkweed plant. The body shape looks like a fishing spider, but the identification has not
been made yet. In the meantime, I will assume it is a fishing spider. There are over a hundred
Ground spiders, family Gnaphosidae
|This is a Parson spider. It is about 1/2" long, and was on the
edge of a door in my garage on 21 April 2008. This spider is not considered poisonous, but
some people may have allergic reactions to it's bite.
Normally active at night, and tries to hide during the day. Often found indoors.
The second picture is another Parson spider, picture taken 25 July 2008, same place.
|Another Parson spider, found on 14 September 2011, same place as the above.|
Prowling spiders, family Miturgidae
|This is a Yellow Sac spider, aka a Black-footed spider. a small pale green spider,
about 1/2" long including the legs. This male is missing one hind leg. One characteristic of
this spider is that the front legs are considerably longer than the other legs.
They are venomous, but not as serious as a Brown Recluse.
Pictures taken 26 May 2008 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Wolf spiders, family Lycosidae
|Wolf spiders. There are many genera in this family, and many species in each genera.
The first four pictures were taken on 21 June 2008. The spider was found in our downstairs shower.
These spiders do not build webs, but rather just hunt their food. They will bite if
provoked, and they are poisonous, but not medically significant to humans.
The fifth picture is another individual, taken on 15 July 2008.
The sixth picture was taken on 1 September 2009. This is a Wolf spider that is carrying around a sack of eggs.
Crab spiders, family Thomisidae. There are 67 genera within this family, and many species.
|This is a Crab spider,
an adult male member of the Thomisidae family.
The experts at
were able to narrow it down to the species.
It is 3/8" long, 5/8" wide. According to
Wikipedia, they are also commonly called "flower spiders" because they are most
often found on flowers, lying in ambush for prey.
Crab spiders do not build webs to trap prey, but are active hunters
much like the jumping spiders.
You can recognize them as crab spiders since the front pair of legs, and maybe even the front two pair of legs, are considerably longer than the other legs. Some of them even move sideways like a crab. If you find them around your house, don't worry. They eat cockroaches and termites, and things that you don't want, so they are beneficial.
The pictures were taken on 1 May 2008, in El Paso Co., Colorado.
|This is another crab spider. This one is a small male,
found on 9 October 2008 on my garage door in Colorado Springs.
It is about 4mm in length.
It is probably a juvenile version of the crab spider above, since
the markings are very similar.
| Another Crab spider. 17 May 2009 in El Paso Co., CO. About 5mm in size.
The first picture shows the eye arrangment, confirming that it is a crab spider,
and the second picture shows the color markings. Further identification has not been
|Another Crab Spider, this one a female Goldenrod crab spider.
Alyssa Erickson took this photo.
The spider is waiting on the flower for any insect to be attracted to
the flower. They do not spin webs; they just wait in ambush for their meals.
|Another Crab spider, probably another Goldenrod spider. Found on 23 July 2009
in Colorado Springs, sitting on a Sunflower plant near the blossom in my flower garden. It was small,
|Another Crab spider, species unknown. Caught 10 May 2009 in Colorado Springs, CO.
Released on 11 May 2009. It is probably in the genus Xysticus, Ground crab spider,
but that genus is usually found in trees and bushes. This one was in a house in the
downstairs bathroom. But the color patterns fit in with the genus Xysticus better than
some of the other genus. It was about 4mm in size.
Running Crab spiders, family Philodromidae
|Another Crab spider, this one called a Slender Crab Spider.
The body is just under 1/2" long.
It is on the frame of my back garage door, close to a light fixture which is on 24/7 (with a low power light).
It looks like a female, and seems to be missing one leg. Picture taken 5 September 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The second picture was taken on 4 August 2009 in Colorado Springs. It was on my neighbor's Virginia Creeper plant.
|Another Crab Spider, this one probably in the Family
Philodromidae, due to the second leg pair being considerably longer than the other leg pairs.
There are about 500 species within this family. This picture was taken 25 July 2008
in Colorado Springs. The identification is not for sure.
Cellar spiders, family Pholcidae
|This is a Cellar spider.
This one is a male, very small, about 1/8", with very long legs.
It is also called Grand-daddy longlegs, Daddy-longlegs, Vibrating spider, and house spider. It weaves a rather
messy web, usually in damp, dark places. The third picture was taken on 5 October 2008
in Colorado Springs.
Harvestmen, family Phalangiidae. These are not spiders.
|This is not a spider, but a Harvestman. It has 8 legs, so it is still an Arachnida.
A spider has a head and abdomen that are clearly separate, but the Harvestmen has a one piece body.
They are sometimes called "Daddy longlegs", but that term is also used for the Crane fly, and
for the Cellar spider. There are at least 6,000 species within this order, and maybe more
They have been found in the fossil record as far back as 410 million years, almost the same as today.
The first two pictures are of an immature Phalangiidae.
The third picture is of another harvestman that was captured on 6 November 2008 in Colorado Springs. It lost a leg in the capture process. It is probably the same species, but the markings are clearer.
The fourth picture was taken on 29 May 2009 in Colorado Springs, and is a larger version, probably adult, but the same markings as the others that I have found.
|Another Harvestman, larger than most, found in Colorado Springs on 9 June 2010.|
|Another Harvestman, found in Colorado Springs on 3 September 2011. The markings are much fainter than those found earlier, but it looks like the same markings, so probably the same species.||
Water mites, family Hydracarina.
|Here is another creature with eight legs, so it is an Arachnida.
But it is not a spider, and not a Harvestman. It is a Water mite. It is
less than 1mm in size, so it is seen here through a microscope. It was
captured on 12 May 2009 at one of the ponds at the Founain Creek Nature Center.
No one knows how many species of mites there are, but it is a large number.