Discover The Top Five Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders In New Mexico This Summer!

Written by Peralee Knight
Updated: August 15, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/martinezcanovas
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Time to dig in and discover the top five largest, most dangerous spiders in New Mexico! This state has its fair share of dangerous wildlife, as well as some animals of impressive size! Remember, biggest doesn’t always mean most dangerous, especially in the spider world. Luckily, New Mexico has enough spiders to fulfill both categories!

Top Five Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders In New Mexico

New Mexico is a dry land of deserts, scrublands, and hot weather where cacti and succulents dot the landscape. It’s also rich in diverse wildlife, and that includes spiders! In this list, we’ve picked out some of the biggest species commonly found in New Mexico. We also go into more detail on the state’s most dangerous spiders to see which takes the title as number one!

5. The Missouri Burrowing Wolf Spider

hobo spider vs wolf spider
The Missouri burrowing wolf spider is the third largest common spider in New Mexico.

iStock.com/martinezcanovas

Size: Up to 22 mm long

Habitat: Multiple habitats and climates in the Central United States and Canada

Danger To Humans: No danger, bites are painful but rarely require medical care

Behavior: Moderately aggressive, reclusive, rarely leaves its underground burrow.

Physical Description: This species can be identified by its uniform overall coloring in shades of brown, grey, yellow, tan, or orange. Occasionally, dark leg banding is observed. Wolf spiders have four pairs of vertically stacked eyes, hairy bodies, and powerful curved legs.

Missouri Burrowing Wolf Spiders In New Mexico

In New Mexico, the Missouri burrowing wolf spider is found in the northern parts of the state. Wolf spiders are highly adaptable to many types of habitats, and burrowing wolf spiders live primarily underground. They rarely leave their burrows and wait for prey to cross the opening to strike. Bites are quite uncommon, but while painful, they rarely need medical attention.

4. The Chiricahua Grey Tarantula

Aphonopelma gabeli
The Chiricahuan grey tarantula is tied as the largest spider common in New Mexico.

Chris A. Hamilton, Brent E. Hendrixson, Jason E. Bond / Creative Commons – License

Size: Up to five inches long

Habitat: Desert and scrublands in the Southwestern United States and parts of Mexico

Danger To Humans: No danger, lacks potent venom

Behavior: Docile and non-aggressive, popular pets

Physical Description: This species is light brown/grey overall. There are also medium shades on the cephalothorax and head and dark shades on the lower abdomen and underbelly. Tarantulas have large, heavy bodies, stocky thick legs, and long fur-like hairs over the entire body.

Chiricahua Grey Tarantulas In New Mexico

Tarantulas, including the Chiricahua Grey species, are a common spider in the Southwestern United States. This includes New Mexico, and this species can be found throughout the state. Like many other tarantulas, the Chiricahua grey is a burrowing spider that comes out at night to hunt prey. They lack potent venom and rely on speed and stealth to hunt prey and void predators.

3. The Tucson Bronze Tarantula

Tucson Bronze Tarantula
The Tucson Bronze tarantula is tied for the largest common spider in New Mexico.

Chris A. Hamilton, Brent E. Hendrixson, Jason E. Bond / Creative Commons – License

Size: Up to five inches long

Habitat: Desert and scrublands in the Southwestern United States and parts of Mexico

Danger To Humans: No danger, lacks potent venom

Behavior: Docile and non-aggressive, popular exotic pet

Physical Description: This species can be identified by its overall light brown or bronze coloring. Markings include darker shades along the lower body and banding on the legs. Tarantulas have large, heavy bodies, thick stocky legs, and long fur-like hair over the entire body.

Tucson Bronze Tarantulas In New Mexico

This species can be found throughout the state of New Mexico, both in the wild and as a popular pet! Like most tarantulas, the Tucson bronze species is docile and largely non-aggressive. Though large and often imposing, bites are quite rare and have been compared to a bee sting.

2. The Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spider
The brown recluse is the second most dangerous spider in New Mexico.

Size: Up to 20 mm long

Habitat: Human dwellings in Southern/Midwestern U.S.

Danger To Humans: Venomous bite is not deadly but heals slowly, infections are common.

Behavior: Reclusive and solitary, but will bite if threatened

Physical Description: The brown recluse is a translucent light brown overall color with a distinct “violin shaped” marking on the cephalothorax. It also only has six eyes rather than eight, unlike many other spiders.

The Brown Recluse Spider In New Mexico

This species is only found in the eastern region of New Mexico near the Pecos River Valley and the Texas border. The brown recluse has a rather undeserved reputation for being more dangerous than it is! This is often mistaken for another spider, its cousin, the desert recluse. While the brown recluse has a painful bite and necrotic venom as well, the bite is far less serious and often doesn’t require medical care.

1. Brown Widow

Most Dangerous Spiders
The brown widow is the most dangerous spider in New Mexico.

Decha Thapanya/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to 10 mm long

Habitat: Dark, isolated locations, human dwellings in Southeastern U.S. and California

Danger To Humans: Venomous bite that is painful but not deadly

Behavior: Reclusive, shy, and timid cobweb spider, only bites if touched

Physical Description: Brown widows differ from their more recognizable cousin the black widow, in overall coloring. This species is tan or light brown overall but may also have grey mottling. The brown widow is identified by its red/orange hourglass marking on the abdomen and black and white side markings.

The Brown Widow In New Mexico

Brown widow spiders are common throughout the state of New Mexico. As one of 32 species commonly referred to as widow spiders, it has a fearsome reputation! However, this is largely undeserved. The brown widow is far less venomous, and its bite lacks the ability to cause lasting harm or death. This species is not originally native to the United States and is believed to be indigenous to Africa. Due to its high likelihood of choosing areas close to humans, it was likely shipped in by accident!

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