There are more than 50,000 spider species identified around the world. Even some of the coldest places on earth like the Arctic have terrifyingly interesting spiders to discover. This article will go over 7 spiders found in the Arctic, although there are more than 100 species living in the region.
The Arctic is one of the most northern areas on Earth and is also one of the coldest. While the Arctic Sea makes up much of the area, places like Greenland, Canada, Russia, Norway, the United States, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland have land within the Arctic Circle.
From the cold land to frosty seas there are plenty of animals to find in the Arctic. Here are 7 terrifying spiders that live in the Arctic.
1. Common House Spiders (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)
The common house spider often lives inside man-made buildings. In homes around the world, and within the Arctic are where you can find this abundant spider.
Even in places with extreme weather, common house spiders are able to survive with the help of humans and climate-controlled buildings. Messy webs are built by the common house spider, and they make they spin their silk in secluded corners of homes.
If inside your home, common house spiders seek out places that get lots of insect traffic. Pests such as roaches, flies, and moths are what this spider eats. Some may see the common house spider as a friend since their bites are harmless, and they help get rid of pests.
2. Ground Crab Spiders (Xysticus)
The ground or on plant life is where ground crab spiders live. These spiders not only inhabit the Arctic, but they have a large range throughout the world. Ground crab spiders commonly hide under logs or in leaf litter. Summer days are when ground crab spiders are in peak activity.
Light tan, to dark brown, is the colors these spiders appear in. A mottled pattern covers them which helps them blend into the habitat they live in. Crab spiders get their name from their crab-like appearance. They have bulbous bodies, with legs that help them move in all directions.
Ground crab spiders are harmless to humans, but they are adept hunters. These spiders ambush insects and other invertebrates that get too close. They use their coloring to camouflage into their environment and wait for passerby prey to get near. They use their front claws to hold onto and overpower their prey.
3. Barn Funnel Weavers (Tengenaria domestica)
Inside barns or on other outdoor structures like wooden fences are places the barn funnel weaver is seen. These spiders live in the Arctic and are also common in other regions like the United States, New Zealand, the Middle East, Australia, and parts of Asia. Barn funnel weavers are not dangerous to humans, but their size and speed may frighten some.
The web this spider lives in is messily built. These spiders hide in a crevice within their silk. They have reddish brown coloring, with bands and their legs, and a spotted pattern on their abdomens. Barn funnel weavers on average and have a body size between 0.30 to 0.45 inches large.
Barn funnel weavers live for a year or two. The funnel webs these spiders build are not only used for a living but also help them catch their prey. These spiders use vibrations from their silk to know when prey is near. They jump out of their funnel webs and inject venom to neutralize small insects to eat.
4. Furrow Orb-Weavers (Larinioides cornutus)
Orb-weavers are fierce and loved for the elegant webs they create. Furrow orb-weavers are one of the many types of spiders in the orb-weaver family that live in the Arctic. This species is named after the wavy furrow pattern that appears on its abdomen. They have tan coloring, with thick hairs covering them, and bands on their legs.
Furrow orb-weavers are common in woodland habitats. Dense vegetation or trees, as well as man-made structures, are used to support these spiders’ webs. A circular grid pattern is used for their webs, and they make them up to three feet in diameter.
Furrow orb-weavers use their large webs to trap insects, and ambush prey when they feel something entangled in their silk. While not a threat to humans, these spiders are great at getting rid of pests like moths, flies, and mosquitoes. Furrow orb-weavers are nocturnal, and during the day hide in a secluded area near their webs.
5. Common Strech Spiders (Tetragnatha extensa)
Common stretch spiders are a type of long-jawed orb weaver. Stretch spiders get their name from the way these spiders’ legs stretch out of their body. Common stretch spiders can live in the Arctic, and have a body size between 0.23 to 0.40 inches. Their legs are thin, and their body is elongated with yellow, black, or greenish coloring.
Common stretch spiders are members of the Tetragnathidae “long-jawed orb-weaver” spider family, which should not be confused with the Araneidae “orb-weaver family”. Spiders in the long-jawed orb-weaver family also build circular webs, which are used to live in, and catch food. Vegetated areas near water sources, including structures like docks are places this spider is regularly seen.
Webs are built near water since there is plenty of insects to eat. Small flies and other aerial bugs are what these spiders eat, and vibrations are used to know when the prey has fallen into their silk. Stretch spiders are not dangerous, but may frighten you with their nimble legs and large abdomen.
6. Pirate Otter Spiders (Pirata piraticus)
Wolf spiders are a very common spider found in the Arctic, and the pirate otter spider is just one species living there. Pirate otter spiders live in habitats near waters like wet meadows, or streams.
Surprisingly, these spiders are able to travel across the water because they do not break the surface tension of the water. Pirate otter spiders are lightweight, and their hydrophobic hairs also help these spiders walk on water.
This spider’s body size reaches up to 0.35 in. Pirate otter spiders have tan coloring on their carapace, and abdomen, with greenish legs. They have markings on them, with thick hairs. Wolf spiders are easily identifiable by their eye arrangement, as they have two larger eyes centered on their face that give them great vision.
Pirate otter spiders use their excellent eyesight, and water-walking ability to hunt for small insect prey in the Arctic on land or in water. Unlike other spiders who use their webs to catch prey, wolf spiders are active hunters and ambush predators.
7. Arctic Wolf Spiders (Pardosa glacialis)
As its name suggests, the Arctic wolf spider is native to the Arctic. This spider’s speed and wolf-like hunting abilities are where they get its name. Wolf spiders are one of the world’s most feared spiders, and they make their way into homes regularly.
Arctic wolf spiders have a body size that grows up to 1.6 inches large, and they live up to two years. When born spiderlings sit atop their mother’s back for their first few days, until they run off into the wild to mature. Like jumping spiders, wolf spiders have two large eyes which give them great depth perception, and tracking eyesight.
Arctic wolf spiders are studied in the Arctic due to their abundance, and the possible role this animal plays in climate change. Arctic wolf spiders are one of the most common animals in the Arctic and can breed multiple times a year when the ice melts. Research suggests these spiders play an important role in lessening the effects of global warming, because their large population helps with decreasing decomposition rates, due to their diets.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Korovko Gleb/Shutterstock.com
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