Monday, April 2, 2012

What Kind of Spider is That?!

Today I broke out the lawn chair.

It hit 70 degrees and the sun was shining.

And we have a patio (as of last summer). Time for some relaxation!

I was happily enjoying some quality time with my laptop, when suddenly I noticed a fairly large, hairy black spider sitting next to me on my lounge chair.

I flicked it off my chair and onto the patio.

That's when I noticed it had a RED/ORANGE spot on its back!

Since my only association with red spots on spiders is the BLACK WIDOW SPIDER, I was a little concerned.

(See, doesn't that look suspicious.)

So I decided to do some investigating. Black Widows don't live in Minnesota, right? So what the heck kind of spider is that?

As a side note, I actually like spiders. They are my friends. Not my enemies. In fact, when I see a spider in the house, I usually capture it in a glass and put it outside.

Spiders aren't my scary thing. Like mice.

If there is a mouse in my house, I'm up on a chair faster than you can say, "Jiminy Cricket." And as for snakes. I can't even talk about it.

But spiders are A-OK.

So I started looking around. I found several websites, including the University of Minnesota Extension website with a very informative article on Minnesota spiders. But my spider wasn't there.

In the Potentially Dangerous spiders article, I found a Northern Widow spider that looked similar to mine.

The Northern Widow spider is uncommon and less deadly than the Black Widow. But, it still can make you pretty darn sick if it bites you.

But, still it wasn't quite right.

So, I called U of MN Extension. No answer.

But I was determined. So, I looked up the author of the spider article and called him.

I know, I know, maybe I shouldn't be bothering university professors at 4:45 pm on their own personal office number, but hey, I punched in his last name and the number showed up.

So, I called.

He answered.

I very politely asked about my spider.

He assured me that it was not poisonous. He said it could be a Cobweb spider.

I told him we had lots of Jumping Spiders and Wolf Spiders.

He said, "That sounds exciting!"

You've gotta love entomologists.

I thanked him and hung up.

See, no harm done. But still no positive identification of my spider.

Just then, Mr. (or Ms.) Spider showed up again, ON MY LEG!

This time I flicked him off and my husband got a picture.

After a closer look, I now think my spider is a good, old Wolf Spider.

(See how hairy and wolfy he is?)

Even though I think spiders are fine creatures, I don't want one sitting on my leg while I Pinterest and Blog.

I'm glad my spider visitor is gone. He/She crawled up under my house siding and is staying put. And that's just fine with me.

Now I can get back to my Pinteresting.

* * * * * * * * *

If anyone knows what kind of spider this is, please let me know. Is it a Wolf Spider after all? Or should I be wearing armor when I sit on my patio?


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  2. I don't know but I will put it out there that we in WA we have a couple dangerous spiders. They are usually not a problem unless a curious kid finds then or someone doing yard work accidentally grabs one but I have little ones so we spray for them twice a year. Yes it's probably overkill but we have black widows and brown recluse so I get to be a mommy about it. lol

  3. Crazy! I found your blog while looking to see what kind of spider I'd seen yesterday. I'm in Minnesota, too. Didn't get a picture, but that's what I saw, too! Thanks for helping me solve the mystery!

    1. That is crazy! I'm glad you found my blog. I guess Wolf Spiders are very common in Minnesota, so that's probably what you saw!

  4. i had i spider that was black with one or two orange spots on it back body but it was on my lag and it was not a wolf spider i did not get a picture of it can u help me find what type of spider it is?

  5. I just took a picture of a spider that was on my door today, and it looks a lot like this. I live in MI and am wondering what it is as well.

  6. WOW I have the same spider here in Columbus Ohio but I don't think it's a wolf spider, there are a ton of those here and they look nothing like that at all.

  7. looks like what my son and i saw today, your first pic is closer to what we have, more black, we are in california

  8. I just had the same kind of spider, can't seem to figure it out

  9. check out the links and you'll all have your answers! I caught this little bugger in a plastic bottle, and it had been living in my bedroom window between the glass and the screen. I too was wondering what type of spider this was.

    (note: the pictures were not taken by me but what I found online to confirm without a doubt that this is the spider we were all looking for)

    picture 1

    picture 2

    Info about this spider

  10. I was out cleaning up my summer garden and saw this type of spider (I think). Freaked me out because I thought it was a black widow. Thought it was my excuse to come back in the house and leave the garden for the fiance. Looks like i can get back out there. thanks for posting!!!