Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

7 Spiders Found in Florida

Oliver Jones

The beautiful state of Florida is home to lots of creatures, including many arachnids such as spiders. There are some poisonous spiders in Florida as well as non-poisonous spiders.  All spiders have some sort of venom they use to kill their prey, but only five species of spiders exist in Florida that are poisonous to humans which include the brown recluse and four species of widow spiders. We’ve provided a list here of the most commonly found spiders in Florida so you’ll know what to look out for when visiting the Sunshine State.

divider-spiderTop 7 Spiders Found in Florida:

1. Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider_Nick626_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Nick626, Shutterstock
Species: L. reclusa
Characteristics: Non-hairy light brown body with a dark brown violin mark on the back
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 0.24” – 0.79”
Habitat: Dark, dry, undisturbed areas like woodpiles, sheds, and garages
Diet: Crickets, roaches, moths, flies, other spiders

The Brown Recluse Spider is a poisonous spider that can be found throughout the state of Florida. This spider is a nocturnal hunter that uses its web to ensnare its prey. It’s one of the most feared poisonous spiders in Florida because it has a venomous bite.

While most Brown Recluse bites heal without medical attention or scarring, some people have bad reactions, depending on how much venom the spider has injected into the victim. An adverse reaction of a Brown Recluse bite includes itching, fever, chills, nausea, sweating, and an overall feeling of sickness.

The Brown Recluse doesn’t typically bite unless it is disturbed or feels threatened. This spider is a loner that just wants to be left alone so it can hunt for its prey that consists of a variety of insects including crickets, cockroaches, moths, flies, and other spiders. The Brown Recluse plays an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control the population of various insects and by serving as prey for predators like birds, cats, and other sorts of spiders.


2. Southern Black Widow Spider

Southern Black Widow Spider closeup_Liz Weber_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Liz Weber, Shutterstock
Species: Latrodectus mactans
Characteristics: Non-hairy shiny black body with a red hourglass-shaped mark on the underside of the abdomen
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 0.30” – 0.50”
Habitat: Urban areas, forests, and woodlands
Diet: Fire ants, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, scorpions, and other spiders

The Southern Black Widow is one of the most feared poisonous spiders in Florida that can be found all across the state. This distinctive black spider has a red marking on its underside that is shaped like an hourglass.  The females of this species carry the most venom. If you’re bitten by a female Southern Black Widow, it will hurt! You may also experience redness, swelling, and even two fang marks on the site of the bite!

A Southern Black Widow makes a robust web it uses to trap its prey that includes a variety of insects. This spider prefers eating fire ants but will consume other insects as well as small animals like mice it can trap in its exceptionally strong web. The black widow is a predatory spider that also serves as prey for wasps, praying mantis, birds, and small mammals.

Southern Black Widows can often be found in dark areas like wood and rock piles, rodent burrows, and hollow tree stumps. An interesting fact about this spider is that it is typically a calm loner that won’t unleash its venomous bite until it has exhausted all other defense options like running away.


3. Funnel Weaver Spider

Species: Agelenopsis spp.
Characteristics: Hairy mottled brown body with two dark-colored stripes
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 0.16” – 0.79”
Habitat: Grassy areas, shrubs, bushes, evergreens, underneath boards and rocks, and around debris
Diet: A variety of insects, spiders, small crustaceans, and millipedes

The Funnel Weaver Spider often gets mistaken for the Brown Recluse because it looks similar. However, the Funnel Weaver has a hairy body that makes it look more like a Wolf Spider than anything else. This spider gets its name from the funnel-shaped web it weaves in tall grass to catch its prey. The Funnel Weaver, which is also called a Grass Spider, preys on a variety of insects, spiders, crustaceans, and millipedes. This web-dwelling spider prefers to eat flying insects due to the design of its web.

These spiders are located across Florida in tall grass, shrubs, bushes, evergreen trees, woodpiles, and other areas offering adequate protection. This spider has short fangs that cannot penetrate human skin well so its bite is comparable to a bee sting. A Funnel Weaver will only attack and bite something that it thinks is prey when its web is disturbed. This spider is eaten by birds, other spiders, and certain species of wasps.


4. Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider close up_Cornel Constantin
Image Credit: Cornel Constantin, Shutterstock
Species: Hogna aspersa
Characteristics: Hairy light brown body with a black, gray, or brown pattern on the back
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 1.25” – 1.5”
Habitat: Grassy areas outdoors and around doors, windows, inside closets, basements, and garages
Diet: A variety of insects and creepy crawlers including beetles, crickets, ants, grasshoppers, and small spiders

The Wolf Spider is another spider many people mistake for a Brown Recluse, even though it has a hairy body and is bigger. A Wolf Spider can scare the wits out of you if you spot one of these creatures inside your house because of the size of its hairy body. This spider has eyes that reflect at night when seen with a flashlight which can definitely give you a good scare!

The fast-moving Wolf Spider actively hunts in the open during the night and it does not build a web to capture prey. Wolf Spiders feed on all types of insects and small spiders. Even though this is a fast and aggressive spider when hunting for prey, this venomous spider generally won’t bite a human unless trapped or provoked. Wolf Spiders serve as prey for birds, small mammals, scorpions, fish, and other spider species that are looking for a nice fat meal.


5. Green Lynx Spider

Green Lynx Spider on the leaf_Vijin Varghese_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Vijin Varghese, Shutterstock
Species: Peucetia viridans
Characteristics: Slender bright green body with small red spots and a red patch between the eyes
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: .087”
Habitat: Mostly varying species of green shrub-like plants
Diet: Honey bees, flies, moths, moth larvae, beetles, and other small insects living in low shrubs and herbaceous vegetation

As its name suggests, the Green Lynx Spider is a slender spider that’s bright green in color. It has a red patch between its eyes and small red spots on its body. This small spider is found across Florida living in grassy areas, shrubbery, and among herbaceous vegetation.

This spider is considered useful because it controls crop-damaging insects like certain species of moths and their larvae. However, the Green Lynx does enjoy making a meal of beneficial insects like honey bees which counteracts its usefulness.

While the Green Lynx eats pesky bugs like flies, moths, and beetles, this spider serves as prey for some large spider species, wasps, birds, lizards, and snakes.

The Green Lynx Spider doesn’t usually bite humans but when it does its venomous bite is not deadly although it can hurt. A surprising fact about this spider is that a Green Lynx mother spider will defend her eggs by squirting venom from her fang-like appendages.


6. Long-Jawed Orb Weaver Spider

Species: Tetragnatha spp.
Characteristics:

 

Long brown slender body with very long front legs and a large mouth part. The abdomen is bright silver
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 0.19”– 0.47”
Habitat: In areas near water in shrubbery or herbaceous plants
Diet: Flying insects including flies, moths, and leafhoppers

The Long-Jawed Orb Weaver is a common sight in Florida, and particularly in the southwestern portion of the state. This spider is often spotted with its front pairs of legs stretched before it, which is a posture not seen in many spider species. This spider weaves a small horizontal web between the stems of shrubs or plants. There is a hole in the center of the spiral web where the Long-Jawed Orb Weaver waits for prey which includes a variety of flying insects like flies, leafhoppers, and moths.

The Long-Jawed Orb Weaver makes a good meal for birds, small mammals, and other spiders. It is common in Florida to find these spiders near water. They build their webs during the night and spend the day resting on leaves until it’s time to wait for prey to become entangled in their web.

While technically Long-Jawed Orb Weavers are venomous because they inject their venom into prey, they are not poisonous to humans. The venom is simply not powerful enough to cause serious harm to a person, although a bite from one of these spiders can hurt!


7. Spiny Orb Weaver Spider

Species: Gasteracantha cancriformis
Characteristics:

 

White body with reddish-black spots and a white shell-like abdomen with six red spines protruding from the back of the abdomen
Good to own as a pet?: No
Adult size: 0.25”–0.50”
Habitat: In trees and shrubs, around houses, and in citrus groves.
Diet: Mosquitos, flies, beetles, moths

The Spiny Orb Weaver is also known as the Crab-Like Orb Weaver because its body is shaped like a crab. This is a very colorful, easily recognized spider in Florida that has a white abdomen with curved red spines protruding from it. The Spiny Orb Weaver is a venomous spider that’s harmless to humans. In fact, this spider is considered beneficial because it catches and eats insects seen as pests in Florida like mosquitos and flies.

This is a small spider that builds an orb-like web in citrus trees and shrubs across Florida. These spiders are the most active from October through January when they’re creating their egg sacs on the underside of leaves and man-made structures which are close to their web.

These spiders are a food source for many birds, insects, and other spiders. If you run across one of these spiders in Florida, it won’t bite you unless you provoke it. Even if you were bitten by a Spiny Orb Spider, it wouldn’t cause any serious symptoms except a little discomfort.

divider-spiderConclusion

There are both non-poisonous and poisonous spiders in Florida and lots of different species. The next time you’re out exploring the Sunshine State, keep your eyes open to see if you’re lucky enough to spot one of the state’s most common spiders. Even though they can be creepy to look at, spiders are beneficial predators that keep insect pest populations in check.


Featured Image Credit: Pong Wira, Shutterstock

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.