Common Types of Spiders Found in Missouri

Missouri is home to a diverse range of spiders, from venomous black widows and brown recluses to harmless orb weavers and jumping spiders. Spiders play an important role in the ecosystem, as they help to control the population of insects and other pests. However, some spiders can pose a risk to humans, especially those with venomous bites. In this article, we’ll explore five of the most common types of spiders found in Missouri and their significance.

1. Black Widow

The black widow is a venomous spider that is found throughout Missouri. Female black widows are easily recognizable by their shiny black bodies and red hourglass-shaped markings on their abdomen. Black widows prefer dark, secluded areas such as woodpiles, garages, and basements. Their bite can be very painful and can cause muscle cramps, spasms, and even paralysis in severe cases.

2. Brown Recluse

The brown recluse is another venomous spider that is found in Missouri. It is typically light to medium brown in color and has a distinctive violin-shaped marking on its head. Brown recluse spiders prefer warm, dry environments such as attics, closets, and crawl spaces. Their bite can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, chills, and severe pain. In some cases, the bite can cause tissue death and require medical attention.

3. Wolf Spider

The wolf spider is a large, hairy spider that is found throughout Missouri. It is typically brown or gray in color and has distinctive eye patterns on its head. Wolf spiders are active hunters and do not spin webs. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, and even in homes. While wolf spider bites are not typically dangerous to humans, they can cause pain, redness, and swelling.

4. Orb Weaver

The orb weaver is a common spider found throughout Missouri. It is typically brown or gray in color and has a distinctive circular web. Orb weavers are not venomous and are considered harmless to humans. They play an important role in controlling insect populations and are often seen as beneficial to gardens.

5. Jumping Spider

The jumping spider is a small, colorful spider that is found throughout Missouri. They are typically brown or black in color and have distinctive eye patterns on their head. Jumping spiders are active hunters and can jump up to 50 times their body length. They are not venomous and are considered harmless to humans.

In conclusion, Missouri is home to a diverse range of spiders, from venomous black widows and brown recluses to harmless orb weavers and jumping spiders. By understanding the physical characteristics, habitats, and potential risks associated with each type of spider, individuals can take steps to avoid encounters and protect themselves from spider bites.