My Digital Photography of
The following spiders were photographed in the Metro-Detroit area, unless otherwise noted. I have identified them by their scientific names, if known. If you know the name of any unidentified spiders, please e-mail me at email@example.com. Photographs are sorted so that most recent photos are at the top of the page.
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Unknown Spider active in snow
Le Furge Nature Preserve, December 24, 2017.
This spider was active in 22 degrees Fahrenheit, building its web in the gentle breeze. I had to photograph it with my wide angle lens because it was snowing and I didn't want to change lenses, making it very difficult to identify. Still, it was an amazing sight!
6-spotted Fishing Spider, Dolomedes triton
Lake Erie Metropark, July 4, 2017
July 22, 2015. On butterfly bush stalk in the backyard. I think it may be a type of crab spider, but I'm not sure.
Spiderlings attached to mother Wolf Spider
My mom found this mother spider in her garden on June 13, 2014. One can see the empty egg sac in the last two rows of photos.
#11 Wolf Spider
This female wolf spider is carrying around a huge egg sac. She was photographed on July 5, 2008. Click here to see a different wolf spider with baby spiderlings on her back.
#7 Spiderlings attached to mother Wolf Spider
This mama has a whole bunch of babies on her back hanging on for dear life! I found her in some soil I was using to transplant some flowers on June 24, 2007. She was very fast, but once in a while, she would pause long enough for me to get some good shots. One thing that I found interesting is that the baby spiders' eyes are very large and dark in proportion to the rest of their bodies.
#17 Unknown Spider
This spider, found at Highland State Park on June 29, 2014, close to the edge of a wooded trail, was huge, about 2 inches long. It had an egg sac underneath it.
#16 Castianeira longipalpa (Family Corinnidae)
(special thanks to James Buchkovich for helping with its identification)
This strange spider was near the bottom of the doorwall and I thought it was an ant at first. Then I realized it was a spider with three missing legs. It was of a type I'd never seen before. I discovered there are such a thing as ant-mimic spiders, which appears to be what this one is doing. Even without the legs, it was still rather fast and I couldn't get the best photos of it. These photos of the spider were taken on one of my Tom Gaskins cypress knees.
Update 12-11-10: I have been keeping this spider and it grew the legs back the next time it shed!!! It had little tiny stubby ones that grew over time. Unfortunately, I was too busy when this happened and didn't have a chance to document it before the legs were full grown again.
#15 Parson Spider, Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (formerly known as Herpyllus vasifer).
(special thanks to James Buchkovich for helping with its identification)
I had never seen this type of spider in my life until I moved into my new house. I found two in my bedroom as I was moving in. They were hiding in the curtains and I disturbed them when I was cleaning the carpet. I wasn't able to catch them fast enough to release them outside. Since then, I have seen a few more over the years. I started calling them the "fastest spider in the world" because they are usually too fast to catch. I finally caught one and got a few shots of it inside of a cup. They aren't very good photos, but it was the best I could do because it was too fast. They were taken on July 15, 2010.
Egg Sacs of unknown spider, maybe a Cobweb Spider
I found these attached to a stuffed animal I had out on display in my basement. I removed them and put them on a sprig of butterfly bush instead for the photo shoot. There were three different sacs here---One with babies that had left their eggs behind (you can see the "shells"). The other two had more fresh looking eggs. These were taken on July 7, 2010.
#14 Woodlouse Spider, Dysdera crocata
Here is a really plump woodlouse spider, photographed on August 6, 2008. Compare with the previous woodlouse spider. Unfortunately, these are too fast to do anything but try to capture a shot as they are scurrying out of a cup. And this must be done over and over and over again. Most shots don't work out. I guess that's why I like my jumping spiders so much. They stay still long enough to get good pictures.
#13 Spider Mite
This spider mite ended up in a photo I was taking of a Platycryptus undatus jumping spider on July 30, 2008.
#12 Unknown Spider
This very large spider (about an inch in diameter to the tips of the legs when naturally standing) lives on my windowsill outside. It was photographed on July 27, 2008. I find it interesting that the eyes are arranged in a way that is different than any of the other spiders on this page---at first, I thought it might be a wolf or grass spider until I noticed the eyes.
#10 Cobweb spider, possibly Steatoda triangulosa (formerly named Teutana triangulosa)
This female cobweb spider has lived at the corner molding around the bottom of my kitchen window for about two years now. At first, I thought it was an Achaearanea tepidariorum like I photographed below, but I was informed by James Buchkovich that Achaearanea tepidariorum tends to place its webs in the upper corners of windows while Steatoda triangulosa tends to place its webs in the lower corners, which is where she was living. I let her stay in this location and she became known as the "sink spider". She was there to catch all the insects that would otherwise be crawling and flying around the house. It's funny to see a certain insect in the house and then later see it in her web. Sometimes I will drop a surprise in her web for her to eat. On June 24, 2008, I gave her this beetle. After looking at these pictures, I realized that I should really clean up her corner once in a while (I hate to make her redo her web though). Luckily one doesn't see all that dirt so much from farther away.
#9 Grass Spider, Genus Agelenopsis
This silly grass spider made its web overnight in the door latch area of my side door. If it were to crawl just a 1/2 inch or so the wrong direction, it would be smashed by the door latch as it closes. Luckily, after I photographed it on June 21, 2008, and the door slammed a few times from use, the spider decided it wasn't too safe of a place and left.
#8 Woodlouse Spider, Dysdera crocata
I found this crazy-looking spider while sweeping up the cracks next to the house on June 16, 2008. At first I thought it was one of those red centipedes from the color, but then I realized it was a spider. I have never seen a spider like this in my whole life. I didn't know what it was and had to google it. Once I found out, I remembered that genus name from somewhere---turns out it is related to the sowbug killer spider, Dysdera crocota, which I thought it kind of resembled because of the different colored abdomen and the shape in general. Click here to see my photos of a sowbug killer to compare features. This spider was very difficult to photograph. It ran amazingly fast---by the time I could get it in focus, it was gone. Some photos are a bit blurry, but they still show the anatomy, so I decided to post them. I let it go after the photo session.
#6 Unknown tiny spider
This tiny spider was on the side door on May 26, 2007. It was only about 1/8" long, so the photographs I obtained are lacking detail for this reason. It was also pretty fast and would never look directly at the camera, so I couldn't get any full face shots.
#5 Unknown Spider
This spider was photographed on 4-21-07. I'm not sure of the species. It was fast-moving and difficult to photograph. It was about 1/4" long from head to spinnerettes.
#4 Cobweb spider, Achaearanea tepidariorum
This spider was found in my house on June 1, 2006. It is from the family Theridiidae. I enjoyed seeing the patterns on its abdomen magnified by the camera lens. It has almost no facial features though. Not the most attractive of backgrounds, but this spider was very fast.
#3 Spitting Spider, Scytodes thoracica
I photographed this interesting little spider on April 30, 2006.
#2 Sowbug Killer, Dysdera crocota
This sowbug killer looks scary, but it is harmless to humans. They are one of the few spiders that eat sowbugs. This one was hanging out in my basement on September 24, 2005. This spider can cling to vertical surfaces, as seen in the last picture.
#1 Grass Spider (male), Agelensopsis aperta
I found what I thought to be a wolf spider on September 10, 2005 in my basement. Upon further inspection, I now think that it is a male grass spider, a type of funnel-weaving spider of the order Araneae. This one was not found in a web though, so I am identifying it by its large pedipalps that look like boxing gloves, as it was described on whatsthatbug.com. I decided to photograph it before releasing it outside. I discovered that if provoked, they tend to play dead rather than bite or run away. The second picture is the crumpled "playing dead" look. With its legs extended, it was probably close to two inches in diameter. This was one big spider.
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