Wyoming is a very popular state for tourists with a desire to see America’s natural wonders. From the geysers in Yellowstone National Park to snowy mountain ranges, this state is chock-full of incredible sights. While you’re within this state’s borders, you’ll be sharing space with unique and sometimes deadly animals. Although the majority of people that come to this state aren’t here only to see them, Wyoming is home to a variety of arachnids. Today, we’re going to look at the biggest spiders in Wyoming and teach you about them! That way, you can find another facet of this state to appreciate!
What Are the Biggest Spiders in Wyoming?
Even though the biggest spiders in Wyoming aren’t the largest in the U.S., we still have some sizeable species to discuss. We’re not only going to focus on their size, though.
We will show you how to identify them, where they live, and how dangerous they are to people. After we cover the biggest spiders and show you how they’re relatively harmless, we’ll turn our focus to the dangerous spiders in the area.
5. Trapdoor Spider
|Danger to Humans
|Delivers a mildly painful bite.
We start our list with the trapdoor spider. By looking at its picture, you may surmise that it’s related to the tarantula, but it’s a very different creature. With its dark brown or black shiny carapace, legs, and bulbous brown abdomen, it’s easy to think this spider can inflict some serious harm. It doesn’t, though.
However, it only measures about 2 inches in length. Their legs are rather short but strong. They’re used to dig the burrows in which these spiders hide. Trapdoor spiders make their homes on the edge of forests where they make web-lined homes.
They wait at the door for prey to move past, and then they swiftly open the door and drag their prey in to meet their doom. These are interesting spiders. However, they rarely interact with humans, and their bite is not medically significant.
4. Hobo Spider
|Danger to Humans
|A bite can cause moderate pain and some redness at the site, but they’re not deadly.
Researchers once thought the hobo spider was one of the most dangerous arachnids in the U.S. However, more recent studies uncovered the fact that the hobo spider doesn’t deliver necrotic bites. In fact, their bites, while moderately painful and with the ability to provoke muscle twitches, are not that harmful.
Many theories have emerged for why people believed this spider to be harmful, including the fact that it’s rather plain-looking. Thus, it’s easy to confuse this spider with other species, including the desert grass spider, another funnel-web spider.
This spider likes to make its home in various cracks and crevices where it can construct its funnel-shaped web. They can be found in basements, wood piles, cinderblocks, vegetation, and more. While not deadly, they should be left to their own devices.
3. Black and Yellow Garden Spider
|Danger to Humans
|Rarely bites humans, but it may cause pain and swelling.
The black and yellow garden spider is also called the writing spider since it makes a large web with a zig-zag pattern that looks like a doctor’s handwriting. These spiders have a total length of 3 inches including their large legspan, but their bodies only measure about an inch at most.
These spiders have a beautiful black and yellow pattern on their abdomen along with a silvery cephalothorax. Their legs may be banded with black and yellow, or they may be mostly black.
Although they have brightly colored bodies, black and yellow garden spiders are not dangerous to people. They may bite if they are handled. Their bites lead to some minor pain and swelling. However, they would rather escape from a situation with humans instead of biting like most other spiders.
2. White-banded Fishing Spider
|Danger to Humans
|May inflict a mildly painful bite if bothered.
Fishing spiders are among the biggest spiders in Wyoming. The white-banded fishing spider is often confused with other members of its family owing to the regional variations in its color. This spider’s coloration typically includes white, brown, gray, and black. Their legs are often banded with a light and dark color pattern.
They are usually found near bodies of water where they hunt their prey. These spiders can walk across the water or even dive beneath the surface to find tadpoles and small fish. Some of them can stay underwater for several minutes at a time.
The white-banded fishing spider is a common sight around docks and boats, and its size tends to frighten people. Nevertheless, they will often run when a human approaches. Their bite is mildly painful and may cause some redness and swelling. However, you have to be swift or lucky to get near enough to this spider for it to bite you.
1. Carolina Wolf Spider
|Danger to Humans
|The bite from this spider causes local pain and swelling.
The Carolina wolf spider is definitely one of the biggest spiders in Wyoming if not the largest. It has a leg span that can reach 4 inches long, and it has a rather sizeable body. Wolf spiders are often found just about anywhere food is present.
That means they’ll lie in wait in your garden, make their way into your home’s basement, or wander around on trees to hunt their food. Their large size behaviors tend to scare people. Mothers will carry a web full of their eggs while walking or have their newly hatched young on their backs, increasing their overall size and making them a walking nightmare for arachnophobes.
The Carolina wolf spider is usually black, gray, and brown in combination. It is known for having a light-colored cephalothorax with a light outer band followed by two dark marks, and a white band running down the middle. The abdomen has a dark cardiac mark.
A bite from a wolf spider is painful. The affected area will usually become swollen, red, and itchy. Yet, these bites are also potentially dangerous if the victim is allergic to their venom, but most people are not.
As you can see, the biggest spiders in Wyoming are interesting and beautiful, and they don’t result in fatal bites to people. Yet, the black widow is a spider that lives in this state, and its bite can kill people. You should take some time to learn to identify this spider and avoid it unless you have proper protection. Even when killing this spider, you should be careful and keep a lookout for others nearby.
Summary of 5 of the Biggest Spiders in Wyoming
|Carolina Wolf Spider
|Causes local pain and swelling
|White-banded Fishing Spider
|Mildly painful bite if bothered
|Black and Yellow Garden Spider
|Rarely bites humans, but it may cause pain and swelling
|Moderate pain and some redness at the site
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Will E. Davis/Shutterstock.com
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- Utah State University (1970) extension.usu.edu/pests/uppdl/hobo-spiders
- University of Florida (1970) edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN1273
- Missouri Department of Conservation (1970) mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/whitebanded-fishing-spider
- Web MD (1970) webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-you-need-to-know-about-a-wolf-spider-bite#:~:text=Wolf spiders don't pose,it shouldn't last long