Spiders

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Spiders have been the subject of negative publicity for years. Their secretive nature, way of moving, and predatory nature make them common villains in folklore and popular media. Fear of a few highly venomous spiders, such as black widow and brown recluse spiders, has expanded to include all spiders. Fortunately, black widows (Southern Black Widows) and brown recluse spiders are not native to Maine. Spiders can be considered to be beneficial when they feed on household and garden insect pests. It is unfortunate that many incidents of unknown skin irritation are attributed to spider bites. People do sometimes get bitten, however, and the sensitivity to a spider bite varies from person to person. In rare cases, some individuals with highly sensitive or weakened immune systems may have a significant or even severe reaction to a bite from an otherwise harmless spider, and there are many spiders that people mistakenly suspect to be the Brown Recluse. Misdiagnoses are thus very common. See also: University of California Riverside’s Causes of Necrotic Wounds other than Brown Recluse Spider Bites

Additional Information:

  • Spiders (UMaine Extension)
  • Spiders (Penn State Extension)
  • Spiders (Joint publication between Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa)
  • Information about Spider Bites from the Mayo Clinic

Photos of Many Different kinds of Spiders that are found in Maine:

One can find additional spider images at BugGuide.net

Additional Information Regarding Specific Spiders:

Not Native To Maine or Rarely Found In Maine:

  • a Black Widow spiderBlack Widow / Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans) (Cornell) — Non-native, but sometimes hitches a ride into Maine via packages, cargo, etc.–most often via shipments of produce from out-of-state; See also: False Black Widow Spidera genus of spiders that we do have in Maine! (Penn State)
  • Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus variolus) — This spider may be an infrequent inhabitant as far north as central Maine and southern portions of Canada. The red hourglass pattern on the Northern Black Widow has a gap between the top and bottom halves of the hourglass.
  • Brown Recluse (Penn State) (Non-native, and thus extremely rare in Maine–an encounter is only possible if a specimen is brought in from out-of-state) (US Distribution Map for Brown Recluse)
  • Hobo Spider (also known as the Aggressive House Spider) (UC-Davis)