Araneae (Spiders) of Ohio

Click Family Names For Pictures
        Ohio has a moderately diverse spider fauna. There are over 580 species known from the state and the true number is probably close to 600 species. There are representatives of 39 families of spiders found in Ohio, the most important families (in proportion of species represented) are the orb weavers Araneidae (9.5 % of Ohio species), ground spiders Gnaphosidae (7 % of Ohio species), sheet web weavers Linyphiidae (16 % of Ohio species), wolf spiders Lycosidae (9 % of Ohio species), jumping spiders Salticidae (13 % of Ohio species), cobweb weavers Theridiidae (9 % of Ohio species), and crab spiders Thomisidae (8 % of Ohio species). Thus, these seven families comprise about 72 % of the Ohio list.

        Many of the species of the most diverse families, the sheet web weavers and jumping spiders are quite small and inconspicuous, adults being less than 3 mm (< 1/8 in) long. Most spider species in Ohio are clearly beneficial to humans because of the services they provide as predators on insect pests. Only a few species (widows, recluses) are potentially problematic (Spider Bites) but these species are not commonly encountered here. Little is known about many species of Ohio spiders, some are quite rarely encountered. No species found in Ohio have been legally designated as threatened or endangered.  For many, the very word "spider" conjures terrifying or repulsive images. In reality, most spiders are completely harmless to humans and many are very beneficial. To the naturalist, spiders are fascinating in their variety and wonderful for the beauty of their webs.

We invite you to explore some of the reasons why spiders are a crucial element in Ohio's natural environment.

What are Spiders?


to The Provisional List of Spiders for Ohio (as of 26 December 2013)

to How to Study Spiders

to Why Study Biodiversity?

to What are Spiders?

to Ohio Spider Survey

to Spiders in Ohio homepage


last revised 2 April 2002 / prepared by Clay Harris & Rich Bradley