5 Common Northern California Spiders and What You Need to Know About Them
Spiders can travel anywhere. Some species usually found in one location can be “taken,” unintentionally, by people in luggage, cars, moving boxes, and others. So the one constant thing you need to remember about spiders is that their territories can change. And not all have the toxic bite of the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse—some spiders found in California are even cared for like pets.
Here are five common northern California spiders you might want to learn more about.
- Southern House Spider (Kukulcania hibernalis)
This species is often found in homes; the Southern House Spider likes to make its web from cracks and holes on the exterior of properties, including barns. But you can also find them in trees and logs, under stones, and in yucca plants.
The males are usually mistaken for the deadly Brown Recluse, probably because of their color. But this species has a different eye arrangement. The females, meanwhile, like to stick to their webs as the males go out looking for prey. Both the male and female are covered by hair. And they are sometimes kept as pets because they are harmless.
- Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)
Like most spiders, the Green Lynx Spider has eight eyes. This species is thin and long, with males having longer bodies. Their legs are green spotted with yellowish-orange rings at some of the joints. But the Green Lynx can change its colors, depending on its habitat.
The Green Lynx is commonly found in woody shrubs, low bushes, and agricultural fields because they can eat any insect and even some spiders. As a defense mechanism, this spider can spit venom up to 8 inches—but only to protect eggs sacs, not to subdue prey. As for its bite, reported cases have mostly been benign.
- Common House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorium)
While usually found in homes and buildings, the Common House Spider also makes its web outdoors, in tree holes, woodpiles, and rock walls. It should be easy to spot since they make extensive, three-dimensional cobweb traps. The web is designed to capture prey at any point, from the ground to the body.
- Longbodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)
Its legs are long and delicately thin. It lives in cellars but the Longbodied Cellar Spider can also be found in other parts of your home and outdoors, in caves. Basically, anywhere with low light conditions.
They have disorganized webs, with no definite pattern, and they like to hang upside down from their web. It may sound like this species is a slacker spider, but when threatened, it moves so fast it becomes a blur.
- Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)
One of the most popular species of spider, the Cross Orbweaver is commonly found in urban and suburban areas, in yards, orchards, farms, and outside of skyscrapers. They create large, orb-shaped webs, and they will use any framework for it. When threatened, the Cross Orbweaver will bounce up and down so that it looks larger than it actually is.
To learn more about other common Northern California spiders like the Black Widow, CLICK HERE.
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