Spiders of the Midwest & North Woods


Links (Not necessarily specific to the Midwest)

American Arachnological Society

American Tarantula Society

BugGuide.net (used as reference)

Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme Website (used as reference)

Spider Eye Arrangements (BugGuide.net)

Spiders of Minnesota (iNaturalist)

Spiders of Minnesota (Minnesota Spider Checklist)

The Peckham Society (jumping spiders)

The Spider Myths Site

Tree of Life: Araneae

World Spider Catalog

Additional References

For ease of reading all references are listed here instead of on individual pages as citations. *References quoted in Howell & Jenkins (2004) are included here as well.

Berman, J. D. and H. W. Levi. 1971.* The orb weaver genus Neoscona in North America (Araneae: Araneidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 141:465-500.

Carico, J. E. 1973.* The Nearctic species of the genus Dolomedes (Araneae: Pisauridae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 114(7):435-488.

Comstock, J. H. 1912.* The Spider Book. (Revised edition, 1940). Comstock Publ. Associates, Ithaca, NY, 729 pp.

Howell, W. M. and R. L. Jenkins. 2004. Spiders of the Eastern United States: A Photographic Guide. Pearson Education, Inc., Boston, MA, 363 pp.

Jackman, J. A. 1997.* A Field Guide to the Spiders & Scorpions of Texas. Lone Star Books, A Division of Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, TX, 202 pp.

Kaston, B. J. 1978.* How to Know the Spiders. 3rd ed., Wm. C. Brown Co. Publishers, Dubuque, Iowa, 272 pp.

Levi, H. W., L. R. Levi, and H. S. Zim. 2002. Spiders and Their Kin. St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 160 pp.

Marshall, S. and G. B. Edwards. 2002. Florida's Fabulous Spiders. World Publications. Hawaiian Gardens, CA. 64 pp.

Weber, L. 2013. Spiders of the North Woods, 2nd addition. Kollath-Stensaas Publishing, Duluth, MN, 232 pp.

What is a spider?

Class Animalia: Animals.

Phylum Arthropoda: Animals with jointed appendages and chitinous exoskeletons. Arthropods must molt (shed their skins) to grow. Other arthropods include insects, crustaceans, millipedes, and centipedes.

Class Arachnida: Arthropods with two main body sections, eight legs, chelicerae (mouthparts) and book lungs (for respiration). Other arachnids include scorpions, mites and ticks, and daddy long legs.

Order Araneae: Spiders! Spiders have fangs (most have venom), pedipalps (appendages that look like miniature legs; used by males during mating), and spinnerets. Some spiders make webs to catch prey, while others are active hunters. Most spiders have eight eyes but some families have six.

Spiders are amazing critters that are often misunderstood. This is unfortunate, as spiders are important natural enemies of insects and most spiders are harmless to humans and pets. The purpose of this site is to show some of the spiders I’ve encountered during my excursions in the Midwest United States and in the North Woods of Minnesota and Ontario, Canada. These are the areas where I’ve done the most spider photography. Enjoy and feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or corrections!

Families of spiders

Click on a thumbnail to look at species from each family.

All photos on all pages of this site copyright © 2019 Emily G. Tenczar unless otherwise noted.

Close up of Philodromus sp.