Iowa is a great place for spiders. Many different types of spiders can be found in Iowa, including orb weavers, jumping spiders, and wolf spiders.
Wolf spiders are the most common type of spider in Iowa. They are typically brown or black, and they have long legs and a large body. Wolf spiders are not aggressive, but they can bite if they feel threatened.
Jumping spiders are another common type of spider in Iowa. They are small, and they get their name from their ability to jump long distances. Jumping spiders are not dangerous to humans, and they help to control the populations of other insects.
Orb weavers are the third type of spider that is common in Iowa. They are usually brightly colored, and they build webs to catch their prey. Orb weavers are not dangerous to humans, but their bites can be painful.
Many other types of spiders can be found in Iowa, but these are the three that are most common.
List of Spiders in Iowa
“Grass Spiders” are represented by 13 species collectively found throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada, and northern Mexico. Like all members of the funnel weaver family Agelenidae, they spin dense, non-sticky, sheet-like webs with a funnel-like retreat where the spider hides.
(BLACK AND YELLOW GARDEN SPIDER)
Mature females are enormous, their bold black-and-yellow pattern adding to their intimidating appearance. Common in gardens, orchards, forest edges, old fields, and farms, they spin a classic round orb web which is usually decorated with a bold, zigzag band of silk called a stabilimentum.
(DARK FISHING SPIDER)
These very large, sprawling arachnids are most often found on vertical surfaces: tree trunks, fence posts, bridge pilings, or the exterior walls of buildings, usually at night. There, they wait in ambush for large insects to come within striking distance. They do not spin webs to catch prey, but simply overpower their victims.
Native to Europe, and now widespread across the globe, this brightly colored spider is hard to miss. The long jaws and fangs are used to stab or turn over its prey: land isopods like sowbugs and roly-polies. This species does not spin a web, but hunts “on foot,” sometimes straying indoors.
(CAROLINA WOLF SPIDER)
This species is the largest “wolf spider” in North America. Females reach 22-35 millimeters in body length. Their leg span is greater still. This spider may hunt actively at night, or wait in ambush at the mouth of its burrow, where it hides during the day. Adult males may wander indoors during mating season.
(COMMON HOUSE SPIDER)
This species is abundant and widespread across the entire world, and is closely associated with buildings and other man-made structures. The teardrop-shaped, papery brown egg sacs can aid in their identification. The spider’s color and body shape cause them to be mistaken for “brown widows” on occasion.
The “Bold Jumper” is one of the largest and most common species of jumping spider in North America. The spider is mostly black with a conspicuous white, orange, or red triangular patch in the center of its abdomen. Take a close look at this spider’s chelicerae (jaws), as they have a gorgeous, iridescent sheen to them and come in a variety of colors!