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Ground Spiders

Ground spiders (family Gnaphosidae) are reddish, brown, gray, striped, black spiders, and include nearly 2,000 described species in over 100 genera, distributed worldwide. This makes the family the seventh largest known. New species are still being discovered. They are closely related to Clubionidae. Common genera include Gnaphosa, Drassodes, Micaria, Cesonia, Zelotes and many others.

Generally, ground spiders are characterized by having barrel-shaped anterior spinnerets that are one spinneret diameter apart. The main exception to this rule is found in the ant-mimicking genus Micaria. Another characteristic is an indentation in the endites (paired mouthparts anterior and lateral to the labium, or lip). All ground spiders lack a prey-capture web and generally run prey down on the surface. They hunt at night and spend the day in a silken retreat. The thick-walled egg sacs are guarded by the mother until the spiderlings hatch. At present, no ground spiders are known to be seriously venomous to humans. Very few people even notice them. Information: Wikipedia

Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012
Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003
Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001  
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Fishing Spiders Funnel Web (Aus)
Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers Giant House Spider
Golden Orb Weavers Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders
Hacklemesh Weavers Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders
Jewelled Spiders Jumping Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Nursery Web Spiders
Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders Pseudoscorpion
Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders Redback Spiders
Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders Running Crab Spiders Scorpion Spiders
Segestria Florentina Solfugids/Camel Spiders Southern House Spiders
Spider Tats Spitting Spiders Steatoda
Tailless Whip Scorpions Tarantulas Tengellid Spiders
Trapdoor Spiders

Two Spined Spiders

Venusta Orchard Spiders
Wandering Spiders White Tailed Spiders Widow Spiders
Wolf Spiders Woodlouse Hunters Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders
Zoropsis spinimana    


14 June, 2014:
Hello, I went in to check on my 18 month old in his crib around 9:00pm yesterday and this spider was at the foot of crib and ran very fast to about 8 inches away from his face and stopped.... I yanked my kid out, grabbed my phone to take a picture (out of room for maybe 60 sec)... When I came back in I witnessed the spider do a small jump from crib railing to wall... It moved so fast up the wall.. It would spurt very quickly then come to a stop, move quickly, stop , over n over etc etc... Seemed to come "towards" movement as opposed to running "away" In it's spurts of running it is 2 1/2" in length and close to a inch in width leg to leg.... It's bottom body seemed puffy... I live in a town called Sylmar California which is in the San Fernando Valley California I am VERY worried as I have two young kids....


14 June, 2014:
Found him on my bedroom floor about 4:30am. I live in bakersfield California. It was very fast


14 June, 2014:
These pictures are of the same spider .I found it in my shed can you tell me off its a brown recluse or not I'm really concerned.please and thank you so much Chad


10 October, 2013:
Any idea?


10 October, 2013:
Any idea what this spider is? We found it in our apartment in Oakland, CA just last week. Thanks! -Kyle


Reply: Not really sure that this is a ground spider but the closest I could come up with. It is a male - glen

16 June, 2013:
Hi Glen, searched your site last year the first time I found one of these in my house. I live in Running Springs, So. California at 6,000 ft in the mountains. The first one had an overall size of a silver dollar. The pictures of the one shown here are one that woke me up crawling on my leg the other night. Thanks Gregg


15 June, 2013:
walking along my ceiling/wall in Ssn Francisco. I love spiders and am glad to have found your site! Christine

Reply: This one is a ground spider  - glen

15 June, 2013:
What type Spider is this? Please

Reply: This one is a ground spider  - glen

15 June, 2013:
Here is a better photo. I live in Rio Rancho� NM. I found it in my bathroom curtain. Do you think it's dangerous.? Sorry to bother, bit I'm afraid of spiders:(

Reply: This one is a ground spider I think, parson spiders have white markings on its abdomen - glen

13 April, 2013:
Hi Glen, Did I identify these spiders found in my home in Pretoria, South Africa, correctly? Regards, J-F

Reply: I think it's a ground spider - glen

6 March, 2013:
Hi, I did take this with a cell phone but I think its pretty clear. This one was on my blind in Northern Florida and I've been trying to figure out what it is. Any thoughts will be appreciated. ~Ray

4 November, 2012:
Spider Expert, Please help me identify this spider. We have found several of these spiders in our apartment in the last week and a half. We have search hundreds of pages of pictures of spiders trying to identify it and could not find one that matched. We appreciate your help. I have more pictures of this spider on my computer and can edit them for you to see better if these are not good enough pictures. Thanks! Very Respectfully, Parents of a 10 month old baby

19 August, 2012:
I live in Seatac Washington about 15 min south of Seattle. I have been finding these about everyday now, they are very fast and are about the size of a nickel. I have seen larger ones maybe the size of a quarter. I have not seen these around before and have not had a spider problem before but these are starting to become a problem. Was worried they may be a Hobo spider, but they don't have the same markings. Seems to be very aggressive. Thanks! Leeann

22 July, 2012:
Hello Glen, my name is Sean, my wife and I live in Oregon and woke up this morning b/c this little bigger was in our bed. Could you please help me identify him/her? Feel free to use the picture(s) just put my name and state next to the picture(s) Thank you for your time. Sean

ID: Genus Sergiolus - a type of ground spider - Laura

22 June, 2012:

I found this spider in my house yesterday, I did a whole bunch pf researching on the internet and I just couldn't find anything on it. It looks like a Parsons Spider but the markings are all wrong on it. Could you help? -Dawn

Reply: This could be a variety of ground spider too but no need to evacuate - glen

24 May, 2012:
Another pic of the spider. Need I evacuate??? Thank you Brian  


ID from Laura - A type of ground spider

7 May, 2012:

I found this crawling on my living room floor, in the middle of the day. I live in N.E Washington State, the day I found it the weather was warm about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Also when I get close to it it puts its two front legs in the air. I think it might be a house spider or a mouse spider, any ideas? I have found many hobo and black widows inside and outside of my home, but have never seen one like this. Thank You! .

Reply: This could be a variety of ground spider - glen

15 April, 2012:
Hi, just want to say I'm a big fan of your website. I have a few spider pictures you may be interested in. I live in Cyprus, Paphos...all pics were taken here. Also there are many species here that have not been publicized. Thanks for your time, would appreciate it if my pictures were not distributed...showing them on your site would be greatly appreciated though :) Matt Smith  


Reply: It looks like a ground spider -  glen

14 January, 2012:
Dear spiderzrule, Wonder if you can Id this one? We live in England, though our neighbours are from Australia. The spider makes a web at the entrance to a hole in brick wall, sort of funnel shaped. It has very noticeable hooks at end of legs. Very black in Colour. Any clues welcome (even if only for a spider site in uk?) Thanks and Regards, John Atwill (and Owen age 4, who watches this spider).

23 December, 2011:
I am not sure if this is a clear enough photo for you to identify. Do you think it is a brown recluse or just an ordinary, not so dangerous a spider. He was in the bedroom and got away! Thanks! Nancy



Reply: This is a ground spider - glen

4 August, 2011:
Hi I was at home playing a video game when this little guy happens to pinch my side and I pushed it off of me right before freaking out.I like spiders but not on me! Lol and I'm no stranger to spiders my mom has had a few as pets, but I've never seen this one before. I live in southern Cali in the San Fernando valley. Do you happen to know what it is or might be and if it is venomous. -kiki - sfv California


Reply from Tim: I think you are correct. I think it is a Scotophaeus blackwalli. Thank you for the push in the right direction .
Note: Scotophaeus blackwalli. are also known as mouse spiders because of the grey mouse like fur on their abdomen. These are not the same as the myglamorphs listed on my site as mouse spiders which are a completely different species!! - glen

16 July, 2011:
Always been fascinated by spiders, and I saw this one in my house here in Seattle WA tonight and I'm stumped. For this region, the closest thing I can think of is a species of Callobius, but the spinnerets seem wrong for it to be a Callobius. And I don't think its Tegenaria, as it doesn't have the brown/black spots on the abdomen. The spider was about 1 to 1.25 inch in total length. Anyways, thanks for looking at it, and I'd love to hear if you know what it could be. -- - Tim


12 July, 2011:
Hello Glen, Thanks for hosting all of the great photos. Can you tell me what kind of spider is in the attached photos. It was crawling on a wall inside my house. It was seemed rather docile when I first trapped in in the afternoon, then it was much more active late in the evening when I went to set it free. It also started to spin a lot of silk in the evening when I disturbed the glass to let it go. I think it is a ground spider, but I wanted to confirm. I hope I will not regret letting it go. Thanks, Clay


Reply: It is a ground spider - glen


11 July, 2011:
Help! These are invading my house and I have a toddler and a newborn, so I am wondering if they are poisonous! Thanks!!!! ~Brooke

Reply: No I'd say this is a ground spider - glen
8 June, 2011:

Hi Glen! Could you please help me identify this spider that I found in my bedroom. Itís in Houston, Texas. I am worried whether this may be the infamous brown recluse. Thanks a lot, youíve done a great job with the website! Very interesting and helpful! Sergey.


Reply: I think this is a ground spider - glen
10 September, 2010:
I found this spider in Eugene Oregon, US, and i haven't been able to find out what kind of spider this is. it has a brown abdomen with no pattern and a clearish red /brown cephalothorax. It was about 15mm long


Reply: It is a ground spider - glen

10 September, 2010:
Hi Glen, I saw your website and I'm looking for some help in identifying this spider.† I've found 5 of them in my house this week and I've seen a few before, but I'd like to know if they are harmful. Thanks, -Steve

Click for a closeup


Reply: It is a ground spider - glen

10 September, 2010:
I find these all over my house and I got bit by somethiing in my sleep the other night maybe one of these? They are all different sizes from 1cm up to 3/4 inch. I live in gilroy ca. Can you tell me what it is?


15 August, 2010:
Hi Glen, I'm beginning to think our backyard and house have become a nice spider haven. I just emailed you earlier this week about a wolf spider. Please tell me this isn't a brown recluse that we found this morning! I don't mind spiders but I do mind ones that can be potentially dangerous. We live in south Fl. Thanks again Glen! Hope you are having a nice weekend! Tiffany


Reply: It looks like a ground spider - glen
19 July, 2010:
This spider was in my house tonight. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Reply: It is a ground spider - glen

5 April, 2010:
Hi, I found this spider in my living room wall. I am from San Francisco Bay Area. I assume it is some type of sac spider. Can you identify it for me. Thanks.


Reply: This is very hard to ID due to the lack of detail in the pic but could be one of the ground spider species - glen

23 February, 2010:
Hi, First -- thank you for any help you can provide! Last Thursday I woke up in the middle of the night with a welt on my neck and one on my collarbone - in the morning there was an additional one on my arm (same side as neck & collarbone). These wound up swelling such that almost 1/3 of my entire arm & about half of my entire neck were swollen (I couldnt turn my head without pain), both areas were reddened, insanely itchy and very hot to touch. There was some sort of bite mark in the middle of each, which sometimes oozed a clear liquid. I didn't feel well and was exhausted until mid-day Sunday. My whole body itched at times. The itching and swelling started to go d own Sunday afternoon, and now, Tuesday morning, there is a faint red area at each bite. I found this spider crawling in my comforter yesterday. I haven't been able to find any other spiders (or spider webs) in, under, or near my bed. I've attached a few pics - one for an idea of scale and the others for, hopefully, identification. Thank you so, so much!! Melissa
PS The spider looks black to the naked eye - I don't think we had great light on it -- we had to photograph it at night.

5 August,  2008:
Hi Glen, I don't know what kind of spider this was. The tiny thing scurried out from under some potting soil on my carport the other day. I assume it's some kind of spider that likes dirt. If you have any ideas, let me know. Feel free to use the pictures if you want. --Damy

16 June, 2008:
Hi, I live in Cape Coral, Florida, USA and found this spider on my kitchen counter. Could you help me find identify what kind of spider it is? Thanks!

13 September, 2006:
I discovered this spider on the floor and I live in southern Ca. near the ocean. I wanted to know it harmless or not. Thank-You Renee

Click for a larger view.