If you don’t like spiders, we don’t recommend living in Alabama.

There are around 90 different species of spiders that call at least part of this state home. Some are spread throughout the whole state, while others are primarily contained to a tiny portion. Many are pretty standard, but there are a few rarer arachnids.

Identifying the spiders you come across is essential – or at least knowing how to ID the poisonous ones is.

Keeping reading below for a basic overview of the most common spiders in Alabama.

divider-spider

The 18 Spiders Found in Alabama

The 2 Poisonous Spiders in Alabama

1. Widow Spiders

Southern Black Widow Spider closeup
Image Credit: Liz Weber, Shutterstock
Species:Latrodectus
Longevity:1 – 3 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:No
Adult size:Around 10 mm (for females)
Diet:Insects

There are two subspecies of black widows that can occur in Alabama. Both of these are poisonous and quite similar in appearance. You should avoid both, as their venom can cause severe reactions in some cases.

Female black widows have the stereotypical red hourglass marking on their abdomen – while the rest of their body is entirely black. In some species, the two halves of the hourglass are somewhat separated. They are still black widows. Some widows may have red spots or white stripes as well.

The male is usually brown with lightly colored bands and spots. They are not as dangerous due to their smaller size.


2. Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse Spider close up_Pong Wira_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Pong Wira, Shutterstock
Species:Loxosceles reclusa
Longevity:1 – 2 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:No
Adult size:19 mm
Diet:Insects

The Brown Recluse is native to much of the southern United States – including Alabama. They are venomous but not as dangerous as other spiders. Their bite may lead to severe skin damage, though usually only in children and others with immune compromises.

The brown recluse is a tan color. Their most distinguished marking is the dark violin shape on the back of their head. This marking allows them to be easily identified. They look very long and lean.


The 16 Other Spiders in Alabama

3. Starbellied Orb Weaver

Star Bellied Orb Weaver sitting on a leaf
Image Credit: Matthew W. King, Shutterstock
Species:Acanthepeira Stellata
Longevity:About 12 months
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:15 mm
Diet:Beetles, moths, wasps, and flies

The Starbellied Orb Weaver is one of the most unique spiders out there. They have several spikes across their abdomen that given them a crown-like appearance.

This unusually shaped abdomen makes them very easy to tell apart from other spiders.


4. American Grass Spider

American Grass Spider
Image Credit: Deedster, Pixabay
Species:Agelenopsis
Longevity:1 – 2 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:Varies
Diet:Small insects

The American Grass Spider is a large genus found in the United States. There is a spider belong to this genus in every state.

As their name suggests, this species spends a lot of time in the grass. They don’t make webs like other spiders – and instead, run down their prey.

These spiders often have patterns running on their back, making them look a bit like a brown recluse. They are often improperly identified. Be sure to look for the distinctive violin shape of a brown recluse. Not just any stripe.


5. Green Lichen Orb Weaver

Large spider on tree branch, Giant Lichen Orb Weaver, select focus, isolated close up.
Image Credit: Cathleen Wake Gorbatenko, Shutterstock
Species:Araneus Bicentenarius
Longevity:1 year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:24 mm
Diet:Insects and wasps

Like many orb weaver spiders, the Green Lichen Orb Weaver may look imposing – but they are mainly harmless. This beautiful spider is quite colorful, with all sorts of patterns on its abdomen and legs. The exact patterns and coloration vary from individual to individual.

They make enormous webs – sometimes up to 8 feet in diameter. This particular species spends a lot of time on the edge of the web at night but hides during the day to avoid predators.


6. The European Garden Spider

european garden spider on cobweb
Image Credit: Erik Karits, Pixabay
Species:Araneus diadematus
Longevity:12 months
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:19 mm
Diet:Flying insects

Don’t let the name fool you: these spiders are native to much of the United States. These spiders build one of the most perfect webs out there – and they will often rebuild in the same spot each day. Strangely, the most they build the web, the worse it will get, however.

This spider is very bulbous and features spiky hairs. These aren’t harmful to people, though they can look quite uncomfortable.


7. Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black and yellow garden spider
Image Credit: Frank DiLorenzo, Pixabay
Species:Argiope Aurantia
Longevity:About one year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:25 mm
Diet:Flying insects

This species is very easy to identify. They look very different from other spiders, thanks to their overly long abdomen. They have a wide black patch in the center and yellow patches running along their sides. Their legs are thin and long.

This spider may look a bit odd, but its bite is entirely harmless to people. It may cause some localized itching for a day or so but clears up very quickly. Most are less reactive than mosquito bites.

Related Read: 11 Spiders Species Found in Indiana (With Pictures)


8. Banded Garden Spider

banded garden spider in its web
Image Credit: Eric_Karits, Pixabay
Species:Argiope Trifasciata
Longevity:One year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:25 mm
Diet:Insects

Initially, this spider was only found in North America, but it has since been introduced to much of the world. They are very similar to other sorts of garden spiders. However, their abdomen is extremely thin and covered in black and yellow bands.

They are entirely harmless. Their bites usually don’t cause any reaction at all.


9. Red-Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

Species:Castianeira Descripta
Longevity:Unknown
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:13 mm
Diet:Ants

This spider looks a lot like an ant – hence the name. They even mimic ant’s behaviors! This is all a ruse to get ants to come close to them, allowing them to attack and eat them easily.

This species is fascinating to watch due to its unique hunting behaviors. They don’t build webs like other spiders or even chase down their prey. In many cases, they will even walk around with their two front legs in the air – mimicking ant antenna.


10. Northern Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow sack spider, Cheiracanthium mildei, Satara, Maharashtra, India
Image Credit: RealityImages, Shutterstock
Species:Cheiracanthium Mildei
Longevity:One year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:16 mm
Diet:Other spiders

The Northern Yellow Sac Spider can be found throughout much of the United States. As the name suggests, they are a green-yellow color with a darker stripe running halfway down their abdomen.

These nocturnal hunters do not make webs. Instead, they make a sac to hide in and then hunt prey from there.

They are not technically venomous, but their bites can be extremely painful. They are sometimes mistaken as Brown Recluse bites – causing heavy swelling and open sores.

They do have a different venom than a Brown Recluse – most people just tend to have similar reactions to both.


11. Leaf-Curling Sac Spider

Species:Clubiona
Longevity:Unknown
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:Varies
Diet:Small insects

This genus can be found throughout much of the world – including Alabama.

They have light brown legs and a slightly darker abdomen. It isn’t uncommon for their legs and head to appear transparent due to their very light coloration.

Their bite may cause slight pain and irritation, but it is typically not very serious at all.


12. Fishing Spiders

Fishing Spider
Image Credit: Kariakin Aleksandr, Shutterstock
Species:Dolomedes
Longevity:1 – 2 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:4 inches
Diet:Aquatic insects and small fish

Fishing spiders are semi-aquatic and happen to be one of the largest spiders in the United States. They spend much of their life around the water, where many of their prey live. They will even place their legs on the water’s surface to detect the vibrations of small fish and insects.

There are several different species – many of which are native to Alabama. They are all relatively similar and can be challenging to tell apart.

Luckily, they are all completely harmless.

Related Read: 12 Spiders Found in Virginia


13. Woodlouse Spider

Woodlouse spider
Image Credit: Ian Lindsay, Pixabay
Species:Dysdera Crocata
Longevity:3 – 4 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:15 mm
Diet:Woodlice

The Woodlouse spider primarily preys on woodlice – hence its name. While this spider has an extensive range, it is mainly found in the eastern United States until the Mississippi River.

This species hunts with its large fangs and legs. They may look scary, but their large fangs are harmless to people. A bite won’t be any worse than your average bug bite. Their fangs are mostly around to help them puncture the exoskeleton of more formidable insects.


14. Bowl and Doily Spider

Bowl and Doily Spider - Frontinella pyramitela ♀
Bowl and Doily Spider – Frontinella pyramitela ♀ (Image Credit: Christina Butler, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic)
Species:Frontinella Pyramitela
Longevity:Up to one year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:4 mm
Diet:Small insects

The small Bowl and Doily spider gets its unique name due to the shape of its web – which is usually bowl-shaped and a “sheet” beneath it.

These spiders are spotted mainly in the summer between July and August. They only live for about a year, typically not surviving the winter months.

They have a large and shiny abdomen with vertical lines on each side. Many people describe their markings as looking like commas.


15. Shinybacked Orb Weaver

Species:Gasteracantha Cancriformis
Longevity:About one year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:14 mm
Diet:Small insects

Like many orb weavers, these spiders make extremely long webs. Their abdomen is broader than it is long – a rare trait amongst spiders. They have six spines that sit out from their sides and back, allowing them to be identified easily.

These spiders may look a bit scary, but their bite is entirely harmless. They are pretty docile.


16. Magnolia Green Jumper

Magnolia Green Jumper - Lyssomanes viridis, Meadowood Farm SRMA, Mason Neck, Virginia
Magnolia Green Jumper – Lyssomanes viridis, Meadowood Farm SRMA, Mason Neck, Virginia (Image Credit: Judy Gallagher, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic)
Species:Lyssomanes Viridis
Longevity:About one year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:8 mm
Diet:Small insects

The Magnolia Green Jumper is exceptionally tiny – even when compared to other small spiders. This spider is very light green – even to the point of being translucent. Like jumping spiders, they hunt their prey instead of building webs.

These spiders are fast and shy, so they typically attempt to escape before biting. Their bite isn’t severe and typically isn’t worse than a bug bite.


17. Lined Orbweaver

Lined Orbweaver - Mangora gibberosa, Idylwild Wildlife Management Area, Federalsburg, Maryland
Lined Orbweaver – Mangora gibberosa, Idylwild Wildlife Management Area, Federalsburg, Maryland (Image Credit: Judy Gallagher, Flickr CC 2.0 Generic)
Species:Mangora gibberosa
Longevity:About one year
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:5 – 6 mm
Diet:Small insects

These spiders range from white to light brown. They may also have a green tint. Their legs are skinny and often appear translucent. Their large abdomen is white with green and yellow markings across the side.

They are a highly patterned species and arguably one of the most beautiful orbweavers out there.


18. Flower Crab Spider

Flower Crab Spider
Image Credit: jggrz, Pixabay
Species:Misumena
Longevity:1 – 2 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:6 mm
Diet:Insects

The Flower Crab spider gets its name from two different features. First, they look a lot like crabs. Secondly, they hide in flowers and similar vegetation – attempting to catch bees when they come in.

There are many different subspecies – some of which are native to Alabama.

These spiders can change their color slightly to match whatever flower they are waiting in. Their concise color range only includes whites and yellows, though. This process also takes 10 to 25 days. It isn’t instant.

new spider divider

Conclusion

There are countless species of spiders in Alabama. Many of these are entirely harmless, but there are a few that are poisonous.

Identification can be essential to ensure that you don’t come into contact with a venomous spider. Of course, your best bet when you run into any spider is to leave it alone. Venomous spiders may cause problems in your home, though other spiders can safely be left alone.

Spiders are a vital part of the ecosystem, though they may be a bit icky.


Featured Image Credit: krzysztofniewolny, Pixabay