Today we’re talking about spiders. Even, better? Those that don’t make webs! Whether you’re familiar with spiders, like them or not, we’ve got a list of cool spider species that don’t make webs and thus, can’t camp out in the top right corner of your room!
In truth, only half of all discovered spider species actually create web-like structures to catch their prey. Some of the spider species that don’t make webs include jumping spiders, wolf spiders, fishing spiders, and tarantulas – all of which catch prey without the need for webs.
Read on to learn about the full list of 13 spider species that don’t make webs. You’d be surprised at which ones don’t!
1. Zebra Jumping Spider, Salticus scenicus
Zebra jumping spiders, Salticus scenicus, are spiders that are found throughout most of North America. These spiders hunt their prey rather than spin a web to trap their prey.
They hunt prey that they can overpower whether it’s insects or other spider species. Zebra Jumping spiders belong to the broader family of jumping spiders and can be recognized by their white and black striping across their body.
They are also recognizable by their large eyes that some would say are cute! These large eyes on the front of their head are used to locate, stalk, and catch their prey. Zebra jumping spiders have keen eyesight, which allows them to detect the exact distance to accurately attack their prey.
2. Bold Jumping Spider, Phidippus audax
The bold jumping spider, Phidippus audax, is found throughout the United States, southern Canada, and parts of northern Mexico. Their stereoscopic eyesight allows them to see different angles, like directly in front of them and to either side of them.
Like other jumping spiders, bold jumping spiders do not build webs and stalk their prey to attack. They use webs only to lay eggs or to hide from predators, but do not build webs to trap and feed on their prey.
These spiders can be identified by their black body, large eyes, colored spots, and sometimes stripes on their head and abdomen. Interesting fact – this is the state spider of New Hampshire! Who knew there were even state spiders?!
3. Apache Jumping Spider, Phidippus apacheanus
Apache jumping spiders, Phidippus apacheanus, are widely found throughout the United States, namely the southwestern states. However, they are usually found in the northeast or the far west of the United States.
Like other jumping spiders, the Apache jumping spider is found in dry desert areas. They are found in open areas like grasslands and fields in desert areas including the high desert. These spiders are commonly found on cacti and shrubs but do not build webs.
Their four sets of eyes allow them to accurately catch prey. The size of their prey is directly dependent on the size of the spider itself, but they are known to go after butterflies, moths, beetles, and other larger insects.
4. Bronze Jumping Spider, Eris militaris
The bronze jumping spider, Eris militaris, is found throughout the United States and Canada. Their bronze color enables them to blend in on blackberry bushes, in fields, and in the woods.
Like other jumping spiders, the bronze jumper is sexually dimorphic, meaning the males and females are easily distinguishable from one another. In the evening and during severe weather, the bronze jumper will build a little house out of leaves using its silk. The sticky nature of the silk will bind leaves together, creating a tiny spider shelter. Picket fence not included.
Before hunting, the bronze jumping spider will actively look around at their surroundings to determine the best route to find prey; once found, they carefully and accurately target their prey and pounce on it.
5. Tan Jumping Spider, Platycryptus undatus
In terms of scariness, the tan jumping spider may look the most dangerous, but like all jumping spiders, they’re pretty harmless. They’ve even been described as friendly and curious toward humans.
The tan jumping spider, Platycryptus undatus, is found throughout the United States as well as in Central America. This spider is tan and brown in color, with chevron-like patterns along its back to blend in better with its surroundings.
You’ll typically see these fellas on vertical surfaces like walls, fence posts, and tree trunks. Like other jumping spiders, they have four sets of eyes, which allows them to see nearly 360 degrees with all eight eyes.
Talk about eyes in the back of their head!
Because all jumping spiders have excellent vision, they communicate with one another through movement. Surprisingly, these spiders can live up to one year!
6. Carolina Wolf Spider, Hogna carolinensis
Another species of spider that doesn’t make webs is the Carolina wolf spider, Hogna carolinensis. This creepy crawler is the largest wolf spider in North America. Eek! Like the jumping spider family, wolf spiders actively hunt for their food instead of building webs.
Carolina Wolf Spiders are the sit-and-wait kind of hunter. They build burrows with their silk and wait in there like maniacal geniuses waiting for the prey to come to them. When something happens across the burrow, they attack and either eat their dinner there or drag it back to home base.
The coolest fact about the Carolina wolf spider is that they can thermoregulate super well, which means they can adjust easily to drastic temperature changes you might see in the desert. This is done by increasing their oxygen intake and adjusting it based on the surrounding temperature.
Check out our article 7 Spider Species That Can Jump to learn more about the wolf spider!
7. Six Spotted Fishing Spider, Dolomedes triton
The six-spotted fishing spider, Dolomedes triton, is commonly referred to as the dock spider. These spiders are semi-aquatic and can be found on ponds, lakes, streams, and wetland habitats.
The six-spotted fishing spider got its Latin name from the Greek god, Triton. Triton was not only a messenger of the oceans but also of his father, Posideon, which makes sense since these spiders are found around the water. Scientists are clever like that…
These aquatic spiders can be found east of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, some northern areas of the United States, and occasionally in Canada.
This fishing spider, like the jumping spiders, has eight eyes and fantastic eyesight. They use the motion on the water to their advantage when hunting. They can feel the motion on the surface of the water, as well as use their eyesight to track and ambush their prey.
Another incredible fact about these spiders is that they can attack fish, tadpoles, and toads up to five times their size! How do they do that? Their venom immobilizes its prey so they can feed on it. Gross.
8. White-Banded Fishing Spider, Dolomedes albineus
The white-banded fishing spider, Dolomedes albineus, can be distinguished from other fishing spiders by the white band found across the front of its face. The color of its body is generally greyish-brown but can vary from spider to spider.
These rather large spiders can be found on trees, in swamps, or in other wetland habitats, where it blends into the bark of trees and into docks. They especially like cypress swamps.
The White-banded fishing spider has a clever aquatic adaptation that helps it hunt. They have hairs along their body that repel water, allowing them to walk on water! While they do this miraculous stunt, they’ll hunt for tadpoles, insects, and even small fish.
Another clever technique they use is to trap an air bubble onto their abdomens. This allows the spider to dive and swim underwater for long periods to catch prey.
9. Dark Fishing Spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus
The dark fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, is commonly found in southern Canada and the United States. It’s found as far west as North Dakota and as far south as Texas.
The dark fishing spider can be distinguished from other fishing spiders by three black ‘W’ shapes on its abdomen.
These aquatic arachnids are opportunistic feeders, preying on whatever they can find, including slugs. Delicious. Like the white-banded fishing spiders, dark fishing spiders can walk on water using water-repelling hairs and can dive and swim.
Can you picture a swimming spider? Us either.
These spiders can be found in wetland and swampy areas but are also commonly seen in drier wooded areas. The dark fishing spider hides in dark places such as beneath piles of rocks, tree trunks, and crevices.
10. Rabid Wolf Spider, Rabidosa rabida
Don’t worry, you cannot catch rabies from the rabid wolf spider. The scientist who named this arachnid had a strange sense of humor. The name ‘rabid’ comes from its erratic movements and behavior. Of course, the wolf part of their name refers to their hunting tactics of stalking their prey like wolves.
The rabid wolf spider is found along the east and the west coast of the United States and is one of the most common spiders found in the United States.
Although the wolf spider puts up a tough front and can seem aggressive, they would much rather run from any danger or potential threat. Rabid wolf spiders do not spin webs. Instead, they chase down prey or wait for something edible to cross in front of them, which is their main strategy to catch prey.
A creepy yet cool fact about the rabid wolf spider is that they do not eat solid materials, so they suck the liquids and nutrients out of their prey.
Um, maybe they should have named it the vampire wolf spider?
The rabid wolf spider is nomadic and is always on the go. They inhabit brush and low ground cover areas, which allows them to go unnoticed by predators. Like most spiders, the female is larger than the male.
The rabid wolf spider is mainly light brown in color with two dark stripes running down its back. One way to spot these spiders is by shining a flashlight in your yard and other dark areas at night. Unlike other spiders, the rabid wolf spider’s eyes light up like a cat’s. Creepy.
If you have these bad boys in your home, check out our guide to 8 Scents That Spiders Hate (And How To Use Them)!
11. Dotted Wolf Spider, Rabidosa punctulata
The dotted wolf spider, Rabidosa punctulata, is found along the east coast and west to Kansas, and all the way down to Texas. They’re pretty hard to tell apart from rabid wolf spiders, but one distinguishable aspect is the dots on the dotted wolf spider’s belly.
This speckled spider is nocturnal, which is a little unusual as most other creepy crawlers on our list hunt during the day when lighting is best. You can find dotted wolf spiders in tall grasses and mainly in prairie habitats.
Like all wolf spiders, the dotted wolf spider does not build a web. Instead, it hunts its prey by stalking it and using its excellent vision to sense movement and determine the distance and direction of the prey.
Surprisingly, the dotted wolf spider is also an excellent mother. When the spiderlings hatch, the mother spider will carry them on her back until they reach maturity and become independent.
12. Texas Brown Tarantula, Aphonopelma hentzi
The Texas brown tarantula, Aphonopelma hentzi, is one of the most commonly found species of tarantula in the southwest United States.
They are very docile and not aggressive despite having large fangs. Their body color ranges in shades of brown and dark brown, which vary amongst each tarantula.
This species of tarantula inhabits grasslands and burrows underground. They’ll also utilize rocks, logs, and abandoned animal dens for their homes. Yea, if a tarantula approached my burrow, I think I’d abandon it too…
Even though the Texas brown tarantula can reach sizes of up to and over 4 inches, their burrows are typically only the size of a nickel. Say what? They can scrunch and squeeze up tight to fit nice and snug in their burrows.
The Texas brown tarantula’s diet consists of small- to medium-sized bugs. They do not weave webs to capture their prey, but they will use some webbing in front of their shelter to detect prey nearby, like setting up a doorbell cam. They’ll wait until their prey is nice and close before attacking.
The Texas brown tarantula can live for an astoundingly long time. The females can live up to 30 years and the males range anywhere from 8-12 years!
13. Yellow Sac Spider, Cheiracanthium inclusum
The yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium inclusum, is found throughout the United States. However, it is most commonly found in the tristate area of the United States.
Their color ranges anywhere from a light yellow or cream to a yellow or yellow-green, which is where they get their name from. The yellow sac spider is commonly found in gardens and forests in trees among the green and yellow foliage. However, scientists have discovered that their body color will have the hue that corresponds to whatever prey they just ate.
This spider is an active, nocturnal predator. The yellow sac spider does not create a web but creates a webbing nest or sac, which they shelter in during the day.
The yellow sac spider is always actively searching for prey, which results in them being found in homes. The coolest thing about these spiders is that they use a vertical silk strand to catch flying prey and to stay out of reach of predators. Generally, they will eat small insects, but they’ll also consume spiders that are larger in size.
That’s All For Now!
That’s all we have on the spider species that don’t make webs. In general, spiders that do not use webs will actively hunt their prey or do the ‘sit-and-wait’ method.
Even though all spiders can produce silk, only about half of all the known spiders use webs to catch prey. And stuck in the middle are those spiders that actively hunt but also build webs to hide from predators.
To recap, here are the 13 spider species that don’t build webs:
- Zebra Jumping Spider
- Bold Jumping Spider
- Apache Jumping Spider
- Bronze Jumping Spider
- Tan Jumping Spider
- Carolina Wolf Spider
- Six-Spotted Fishing Spider
- White-Banded Fishing Spider
- Dark Fishing Spider
- Rabid Wolf Spider
- Dotted Wolf Spider
- Texas Brown Tarantula
- Yellow Sac Spider
If you’re finding webs in your home, you can cross these spiders off your list! They do not build webs, instead using stealth and athleticism to catch their prey.
Hill, David Edwin. “The Behavior of Eris Militaris (Araneae: Salticidae).” Peckhamia, no. 24.2, 15 Aug. 2008.
Jackson, R R, and S D Pollard. “Predatory Behavior of Jumping Spiders.” Annual Reviews Entomology , 1996.
Nyffeler, M., and G. Benz. “Feeding Ecology and Predatory Importance of Wolf Spiders (Pardosa Spp.) (Araneae, Lycosidae) in Winter Wheat Fields.” Journal of Applied Entomology, vol. 106, no. 1-5, 1988, pp. 123–134.
Tahir, Hafiz Muhammad, and Abida Butt. “Predatory Potential of Three Hunting Spiders Inhabiting the Rice Ecosystems.” Journal of Pest Science, vol. 82, no. 3, 2009, pp. 217–225.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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