How to Identify Ohio Spiders

How to Identify Ohio Spiders
Ohio is home to a staggering array of more than 600 different species of spider. However, most of them belong to just 7 different families, and members of those families do have some common, distinguishing characteristics. Spider identification is often a process of elimination, and these common family characteristics make that process much easier.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Try to get a good look at the spider's eyes, if you can. Most varieties of spider have two rows of four eyes apiece. However, the 72 species of jumping spider and 42 species of wolf spider found in Ohio share a different eye arrangement, that always include two eyes that are much bigger than the others. Based on the eyes, you can rule the spider into or out of two big families.
Step 2
Look at the webbing, if you can find it. That can tell you a lot about a spider. For example, if you find a spider in the midst of cobwebs, it is most likely one of the 56 species of the Ohio cobweb weaver. The classic wheel-like orb web is spun by one of the three species of hackled orbweavers (Uloboridae), or one of the 57 types of common orbweaver (Araneidae).
Step 3
Observe any distinctive characteristics on the body that might help make an identification. For example, as there aren't any tarantulas in Ohio, any big and hairy spider is likely to be a wolf spider or nursery web spider.
Step 4
Take note of behavior. Most of the ground spiders in Ohio are nocturnal hunters, so if you find a spider busy during the day it is probably not one of those. The aforementioned nursery web spider has a limited ability to walk on water, so if you see a spider in Ohio doing this, chances are it's this type of spider.

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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