New Jersey

Discover 5 Black Spiders in New Jersey

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Although fascinating and vital to the environment, spiders give many humans heebie-jeebies. These creepy critters have a lifetime, sometimes actively hunting and sometimes weaving webs to catch prey. Some of them are large, some are tiny, and some are brightly colored while others blend in. There are several species of spiders that you can find in New Jersey, but in this article, we’re only focusing on black spiders!

Discover 5 black spiders in New Jersey1. Black Widow

Scientific name: Latrodectus

There’s nothing quite like the dreaded black widow spider. It is native to North America and exists in every state except Alaska. Most people fear these spiders because of their venom. A bite may require medical attention and can be fatal to children if not treated immediately. Fortunately, these spiders are not aggressive and only bite in response to a threat. The female spider is characterized by its bulbous abdomen, shiny black color and red-marked belly. Usually the shape is that of a small hourglass and the color is often red, although it may be lighter, appearing orange or yellowish. Male spiders have different appearances. Not only are they much smaller (about half the size of the female), but they also have longer legs. Their colorations deviate from the all-black appearance of the female. They are more brown or gray and they also have tiny red spots.

The female black widow is characterized by its bulbous abdomen, shiny black color, and red-marked belly.

©Jay Ondreicka/

2. Bold Jumping Spider

Scientific name: Phidippus audax

True to their name, these spiders can jump long distances! They are active hunters, so they need this skill when going out to catch their prey. They don’t weave webs to help them trap their prey, instead they use their small legs to hoist them up to 50 times their body length to pounce on their prey. They also plan ahead, throwing a thread before making that fateful leap in case they miss the target, they have a backup to snatch their prey. As is the case in the world of arachnids, the female bold jumping spider is larger than its male counterpart. Their coloration is mostly black, but they also have cool hues decorating their bodies, usually a metallic shade of bluish green. Although tiny (with females only 1.5cm long), these spiders are capable of biting! Although the bite is painful, you don’t have to worry as they are not poisonous.

Bold jumping spiders will watch for their prey, then pounce on their victim when the time is right.

©Miles Boyer/

3. Wolf Spider

Scientific name: Lycosidae

The wolf spider has both an intimidating name and an intimidating appearance. They got their common name from their abilities as hunters to pounce on their insect prey like wolves pounce on their chosen prey. Females are the largest of the two sexes and measure up to 1 3/8 inches long. Their colorations serve to camouflage them and can be any iteration of black and brown. These spiders are surprising, but the best way to tell them apart is to check their eyes. They have a total of eight eyes, and they’re spaced out in an interesting way. The top row has two medium-sized eyes, the middle row has two large eyes, and the bottom row has four smaller eyes. These spiders like to dwell in protected areas such as under firewood and between boards – in these spaces they construct small tunnels into which they retreat when not actively hunting. These spiders are not naturally aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened. Healthy adults recover quickly although the bite can be painful.

New Jersey wolf spiders can be any iteration of black and brown that helps camouflage them.

©Marshal Hedin / Creative Commons – License

4. Parson Spider

Scientific name: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus

The primary colors of the Parson spider are black, brown, gray, and tan. They are most often spotted during the month of May, but they make appearances during other months of the year. These spiders move quickly and have distinctive markings on their abdomens that resemble a scarf. They are hairy, with gray hairs on their abdomens and black hairs on their cephalothoraxes. Just above their spinnerets is an additional white mark. They use their silk to line their retreat areas where they rest during the day. Under cover of night, they emerge to hunt. These spiders bite, but most of the time this happens when a spider is stuck between the skin and clothing or blankets. The bite is painful but not medically significant (unless you have an allergic reaction).

The Parson spider is black, brown, gray and tan with distinctive markings on the abdomen that resemble a scarf.

©Kerry Hargrove/

5. Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific name: Argiope aurantia

This spider has a look all its own. He is black and yellow, with distinctive markings on his abdomen. It has eight legs and females grow larger than males, reaching up to 1.10 inches long. They avoid the wind when they build their webs but they like to settle in the open air. Their webs are circular up to two feet in diameter and they create a dense medium with zig-zag shapes. The bite of the yellow garden spider is not venomous to humans (unless you are allergic), so generally it is not medically significant. The bite has been compared to the pain of a bee sting.

The yellow garden spider is black and yellow with distinctive markings.




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