How to Identify Spiders of New York

How to Identify Spiders of New YorkWhile there are no deadly spiders native to New York, there are plenty with venomous bites that can prove painful. On the other hand, some spiders in fields and forests can weave webs of great beauty. Basic spider identification skills can therefore come in handy, and they begin with knowing what to eliminate. (Garden Spider in a front yard in the Hudson Valley, NY)


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Observe the spider's habitat to distinguish a web-spinner from a non-web spinner. Further examination, of either the web or habitat, will reveal other details. For example, the famed wheel-like spiderweb is made by an orb-weaving species, such as marbled orb-weavers or the garden spiders that are common to New York. Meanwhile, a spider found in a burrow might be a wolf spider.
Step 2
Look at the eyes and make both an overall count and notice how the eyes are distributed. Most spiders have two rows of four eyes, so anything other that can eliminate many species from consideration. The wolfs and jumpers of New York state, for example, have one eye each on the top left and top right, two in the top middle, and four in a row at the bottom.
Step 3
Take note of colors. For instance, New York's marbled orb weavers comes in many varieties and many bright colors, but the abdomen always has a marbled pattern to it (hence the name).
Step 4
Measure or guess at the size of the spider, but be aware that there are substantial size differences between males and females. Use the body to form the measurement, since it is easier to gauge accurately than the legs. While most wolf spiders in New York are about an inch long, daddy-long-legs have bodies between 0.07 and 0.4 inches long, depending on its sex.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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