Spiders are not usually in the running for the most “beautiful animal” or “cutest creature” in the world. In fact, there are many people who fear spiders and struggle to even look at them. Spiders are often seen as “ugly” pests, dull and unremarkable creatures. However, spiders are essential to ecosystems, keeping bugs and insect populations in check. But beyond their utility, many spiders are actually quite beautiful, with spectacular colors and designs. Believe it or not, there are even some pretty cute spiders out there! Let’s take a look at the 15 most colorful spiders in the world.
15. Orchard Spider
Orchard Spiders have beautiful colors and patterns reminiscent of springtime. Even these spiders’ abdomens are shaped like an elongated white or silver easter egg, with intricate brown, black, green, orange, yellow, or pink crystal-like designs. The rest of the spider is leaf green, with long skinny legs that look like fresh plant shoots. The orchard spider is an orb weaving spider that lives in the eastern United States, Central America, and Canada.
14. Golden Silk Spider
The Golden Silk Spider is found in the southern United States, Mexico, Panama, and Argentina. These spiders have elongated orange or brown abdomens, and long slender legs patterned with yellow, brown, red, and black stripes. This striking multicolored spider produces seven different kinds of spider silk and weaves a golden asymmetrical web.
13. Spiny Orb-Weaver
The small but striking Spiny Orb-Weaver is quite the unique spider. This spider has a large abdomen shaped like a large crab shell and covered in red spines. Many of these spiders have black abdomens with red spines, while others are yellow with black spines. The spiny orb-weaver may only be ½ inch long at most, but with such a dazzling crown-like derriere, it deserves a place among royalty.
12. Eight Spotted Crab Spider
The Eight Spotted Crab Spider is such a cheerful lemon color that it almost looks more like a piece of candy rather than an arachnid. Like its name, this vivid yellow spider is spotted, although not necessarily with eight spots. In fact, the number of black spots on the spider’s abdomen changes as it ages. Young spiders begin with only two, acquiring more spots as they grow and lay eggs.
11. Ladybird Spider
The Ladybird Spider gets its name from the male spider’s appearance. Males are around ¼ inch, with a vivid red or orange abdomen and bold black spots, like the ladybird beetle (or ladybug). The rest of their body is black, although they have contrasting white stripes along their legs. Female ladybird spiders are completely black and slightly larger than the males, around ½ inch in size. These bold colored spiders live in regions of northern and central Europe where they build burrows and canopies lined with silk.
The ladybird spider is protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, and the British Red Data Book classifies it as an endangered species due to habitat loss. However, conservation programs are working to help reestablish the ladybird spider in Britain. In fact, in just 10 years or so this spider increased from only fifty spiders remaining in Britain to over six hundred!
10. Ladybird Mimic Spider
Like the previously mentioned ladybird spider, the Ladybird Mimic Spider has colors and patterns like a ladybird beetle (or ladybug). This spider, however, is not just similar in coloring—it is easy to mistake this spider for an actual ladybird beetle! Animals usually avoid eating ladybird beetles since doing so makes them sick. So, to avoid predators, the ladybird mimic spider mimics the ladybird beetle. The ladybird mimic spider is one-fifth of an inch in size with a red, umbrella-shaped abdomen with contrasting black spots. The spider curls its small head and petite legs under its large abdomen, making it truly look like a ladybird beetle to nearby predators.
9. Wasp Spider
The Wasp Spider is an excellent mimic. Like its name, this spider’s colorful defense mimics the pattern of a wasp to keep away potential predators. Its long, rounded abdomen and delicate long legs are lined with bold black, yellow, and white stripes, making it look just like a wasp. The wasp spider is found in many areas of Europe and Asia where it builds large orb webs. The web of a wasp spider is distinct, with a decorative zigzag spiral woven down the middle.
8. Bold Jumping Spider
The Bold Jumping Spider has an adorable face with large sparkling eyes, making it a popular image in TV shows, cartoons, and even plush toys. This small spider has a compact, black furry body, with metallic green-blue or green-yellow chelicerae (Chelicerae are the mouthparts of certain spiders. They often look like round, pudgy fangs). They also have small furry white stripes on their legs, as well as white marks on their abdomen. Although the bold jumping spider usually moves slow, it can jump up to fifty times its own body length!
7. Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider
The seemingly cheerful Hawaiian Happy-Faced Spider lives on the islands of Hawaii. Like its name, the black, red, or white markings on this spider’s abdomen look like a happy face. These spiders are often a translucent yellow and have long, thin legs. Depending on what they eat each day, their color can change from yellow to green, or even orange.
6. Gooty Sapphire Tarantula
The Gooty Sapphire Tarantula is quite large, with a leg span of 6-8 inches. However, it is not so much its size but its marvelous coloring that sets this spider apart—the Gooty sapphire tarantula is bright blue like a sapphire! Often referred to as the Metallic or Peacock Tarantula, this spider’s bright blue color comes from nanostructures in its hair that reflect and bend light into intense, iridescent colors. This spider lives in the forests of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it builds funnel-shaped webs up in the trees. Its range is quite limited, and because of firewood harvesting and logging, much of its habitat has been lost. Additionally, this spider’s beautiful and colorful appearance makes it popular in the exotic pet trade. As such, the Gooty sapphire tarantula is a Critically Endangered Species.
5. Bagheera Kiplingi
The Bagheera Kiplingi spider gets its name from the author, Rudyard Kipling, and the panther Bagheera in his 1894 story collection, The Jungle Book. This spider is extremely unique in the world of arachnids because of its diet. While most spiders are primarily carnivorous, the Bagheera Kiplingi is actually an herbivore! Living in Central America, these spiders feast on select parts of acacia tree leaves they steal from ants guarding the trees. These kleptomaniac spiders are not only clever, but beautifully vibrant with metallic, iridescent colors. The spider’s cephalothorax, or main body, is a dark emerald green, while its abdomen is red with gleaming green and white stripes like a candy cane.
4. Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula
The Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula, also known as the Martinique Red Tree Spider, is a beautiful tarantula spider native to Martinque, a French island in the Caribbean. This beautiful spider is 5-6 inches long, with rich gemstone colors that change as it ages. Young pinktoe tarantulas are blue, while adult spiders have an iridescent green carapace or midsection, a ruby red abdomen and green legs covered in pink and purple hair. In the wild, Antilles pinktoe tarantulas live together in colonies, building funnel webs in the trees. These spiders are not only stunning to look at, but they are also quick and agile, with a quiet disposition.
3. Sequined Spider or Mirror Spider
The Sequined Spider, also known as the Mirror Spider, is a sparkling addition to this list. Found in Australia, the mirror spider is only 1/10 of an inch. However, what this spider lacks in size it makes up for in its colorful and radiant appearance. The mirror spider is a translucent yellow with a large, teardrop-shaped abdomen and long spindly legs. Its abdomen, however, is the star of the show, covered in tiny mirrors-like patterns that reflect the light around it like a miniature disco ball. Mirror spiders can alter their unique iridescent coloring depending on the environment and nearby threats.
2. Elegant Golden Jumping Spider
The male Elegant Golden Jumping Spider is one of a kind. This spider truly looks like a psychedelic rainbow with metallic blue, red, pink, yellow, aquamarine, and gold shimmering all across its slender body. It has an elongated, narrow scutum (a hardened plate on its abdomen) covered in golden hair, reflecting the light into rainbow, iridescent colors.
1. Peacock Spider
Like its name, the male Peacock Spider has a rainbow of colors that shine iridescently in the light. This spider’s abdomen resembles a peacock feather, colored with blue, aquamarine, turquoise, green and orange stripes. Its bright colors come from microscopic scales covering its body. There are at least ninety-two species of peacock spider recorded, and all but one live in Australia (one lives in China).
Not only are they stunningly colorful and beautiful, peacock spiders also have incredibly unique and elaborate mating dances. To impress a female spider, the male spider flattens out a section of his colorful abdomen like a large fan, raising his hind legs above him and waving them side to side. This dance could last up to an hour before the female decides if he is worthy—and if she remains unimpressed, she has the option to eat him.
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