One of the most common fears or phobias is arachnophobia — the fear of spiders. But believe it or not, there are plenty of tiny and adorable spiders out there that you might find surprisingly cute!
There are even spiders that behave more like cats and dogs and have cute googly eyes that can make your heart melt! Their unique features and dainty movements make them hard not to love — even for those with a fear of spiders. Whether it’s their colorful markings, energetic dances, or their wide eyes full of wonder and awe, there is something special about these adorable arachnids that make them undeniably cute. So, let’s take a closer look at 10 of the cutest spiders in the world!
1. Purple-Gold Jumping Spider (Irura bidenticulata)
This adorably cute spider is only 0.20 to 0.25 inches long but it is easily recognized by its shimmering reddish-purple and gold-colored body. Females are less flamboyant in appearance, with bodies that are almost entirely gold or a muted golden brown color.
Male spiders, on the other hand, flaunt their rich jeweled hues proudly. They have a glittering purple pattern on their abdomen that is surrounded by shimmering gold markings. They also have unique trichobothria (elongated setae or hairs) with a reflective gold sheen that makes them sparkle in the sun. Purple-gold jumping spiders are some of the cutest spiders in the world and are native to a few regions of Southeast Asia.
2. Flying Peacock Spider (Maratus volans)
Both male and female flying peacock spiders are incredibly tiny, measuring just 0.20 inches long! But what these tiny Australian spiders lack in size they make up for in cuteness. Male flying peacock spiders have bellies that can unfold like wings, with tufts of delicate white hair decorating the edges. These unique abdomen flaps are patterned with vivid colors like red, yellow, green, blue, and black.
When they want to attract a mate, male flying peacock spiders lift and expand these colorful abdomen flaps to reveal stunning bursts of color while performing some very impressive dances. The spiders wave their third pair of legs in the air and sway side to side as they vibrate their abdomens. However, if the female spider is not impressed by the male’s display of affection, she will try to attack him and sometimes even eat him!
3. Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax)
This cute spider is native to North America and is one of the most common spiders you may see in agricultural fields, grasslands, open woodlands, and chaparrals. These spiders are excellent pest controllers in areas with humans, helping to keep crop pests in check. Like their name, bold jumping spiders (sometimes referred to as daring jumping spiders) can jump and attack their prey from far away with their strong legs and excellent eyesight. However, these spiders are shy around humans. They can bite (but only ever do as a last resort), but it will only cause temporary redness and swelling.
The bold jumping spider is rather small, measuring just 0.24 to 0.75 inches long with a black and white patterned body. The spider’s abdomen is colored with orange, yellow, or white spots, and its fuzzy black legs have white rings on them. However, one of the cutest features of bold jumping spiders is their striking iridescent green chelicerae. The chelicerae are the two appendages in front of their mouths that look like fangs (don’t worry, they’re not) — and on a bold jumping spider, they are so bright and beautiful!
4. Nemo Peacock Spider (Maratus nemo)
The Nemo peacock spider is just as cute as its clownfish namesake! The spider’s face has bright orange colors with white stripes and looks kind of like little Nemo from Disney’s Finding Nemo (which is where it got its name).
The Nemo peacock spider is very different from its numerous relatives. First, while most peacock spiders live in Australia’s dry scrublands, the Nemo peacock spider prefers wetland habitats instead (maybe it thinks it’s part fish!). In addition, its abdomen isn’t colorful at all, although its face certainly is. This spider also doesn’t lift and expand its abdomen to attract a mate like other species of peacock spiders. Instead, the Nemo peacock spider vibrates its abdomen on the ground to create an audible sound, although it still raises its third set of legs high in the air.
5. Heavy Jumper Spider (Hyllus diardi)
One of the largest jumping spiders is the heavy jumper spider, which grows 0.39 to 0.59 inches long with a very hairy grayish body. In addition to its larger size, this spider is easily recognized by its uniquely patterned face, which is marked with a dark “eyemask” and black and white zebra-like stripes below its eyes. Its adorably furry legs appear grey, and its large abdomen has beautiful black, grey, and white patterns on top.
However, some of the most adorable features of heavy jumping spiders are their enormous eyes and long ebony black eyelashes — a spider with eyelashes! How cute is that? These spiders are typically found in Australia, Southeast Asia, and India. Heavy jumpers have a friendly nature and are not aggressive, but they can deliver painful bites if they feel threatened. Although their bite can leave a welt-like mark on your skin, it is not dangerous to humans.
6. Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider (Theridion grallator)
Our next spider is so cute and happy that it even smiles for you! Okay, it may not technically smile with its face, but the Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider has its own brightly patterned smiley face design on its abdomen!
This cute spider has a translucent body that is bright yellow with long and slender legs. There are red and black patterns on its abdomen, and these markings often form a pattern that looks like a smiley face or a clown face. In fact, its Hawaiian name, nananana makakiʻi, means “face-patterned spider”. The Hawaiian happy-face spider is only 0.20 inches long, is nonvenomous, and lives on the Hawaiian islands.
7. Skeletorus (Maratus sceletus)
This cute peacock spider has only been found in the Wondul Range National Park of southern Queensland. Like other peacock spiders, skeletorus is pretty small, measuring 0.15 inches to 0.16 inches long. However, the skeletorus spider is different from its many other relatives in its striking coloring. The male skeletorus spider is black with bold white stripes that look a lot like a cute fuzzy skeleton! He even looks like he has a nose, which just makes this spider that much cuter!
The recent discovery of the unique and adorable skeletorus spider has opened up the minds of scientists, as it shows that peacock spiders may have many more variations and color patterns than they originally thought. However, much like other peacock spiders, skeletorus also engages in an incredible mating dance. These spiders move with impressive speed and agility, extending their spinnerets and leaping from one blade of grass to another to impress potential mates.
8. Orange Tortoise Spider (Encyosaccus sexmaculatus)
Found only in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia, the orange tortoise spider is a unique type of South American orb-weaver. Like its name, this spider has a cute shell-like body that makes it look like a brightly colored tortoise!
The top of its abdomen is thick and rounded like a shell, with a light orange background, small black spots, and thick white borders that create a very turtle shell-like design. The spider’s head and legs are dark orange, and the end segments of the legs are black. When it gets nervous, the orange tortoise spider pulls its head and legs up under its shell-like back, making it look like the cutest little spider-tortoise!
9. Black-Spotted Peacock Spider (Maratus nigromaculatus)
Found in Queensland, Australia, the black-spotted peacock spider is one of the cutest spiders in the world, especially with its tiny size and brightly colored polka dots! Male black-spotted peacock spiders have thin, fan-like cuticular flaps on their abdomens that they spread wide like wings when trying to attract a mate. Their abdomen is an iridescent cyan that fades into indigo blue, with six bold black spots and a thick furry fringe along the edge.
Female spiders, on the other hand, have grey-brown bodies without the male’s dazzling blue accents. However, they do have a rather unique heart-shaped marking on top of their abdomens that is pretty cute too. Black-spotted peacock spiders spend much of their time on green shrubs and are not really dangerous to humans.
10. Sparklemuffin (Maratus jactatus)
With a name like sparklemuffin, you better believe that this is going to be one of the cutest spiders in the world! Sparklemuffin is another Australian member of the jumping spider family, found only in the Wondul Range National Park in southern Queensland. These spiders are about the size of a grain of rice, but they can jump up to 50 times their own length! Male sparklemuffin spiders boast an eye-catching array of bright colors, from vibrant blue and orange to shining yellow hues.
Like other peacock spiders, sparklemuffin spiders extend the unique flaps of their abdomen during mating displays, reveling unique iridescent blue scales that form a mesmerizing backdrop for the bolder red-orange to orange lines that also adorn their tiny bodies. A Ph.D. graduate student from the University of California, Berkeley, discovered this cute spider along with skeletorus. She fell in love with its adorable appearance and personality, and thus gave it the pet name “Sparklemuffin” to reflect its charming persona.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.