Discover The Top Five Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders In Oklahoma!

Written by Peralee Knight
Updated: June 10, 2023
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Oklahoma has a rich and wildly diverse landscape that ranges from forests and woodlands to desert-like sandy plains. So, finding the top five largest, most dangerous spiders in Oklahoma was a real challenge! Nonetheless, here’s our choices:

Top Five Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders In Oklahoma

There are thousands upon thousands of spider species native to the United States and hundreds in Oklahoma! Since researching all of them could take months, we focused on the top five most common species found in the state. You know the worst, you know the biggest, but only one vicious bite can be the most dangerous!

5. The Green Lynx Spider

The green lynx spider is the third largest common spider in Oklahoma.

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©iStock.com/Lois_McCleary

Size: Up to 22 mm long.

Habitat: Wooded, grassy areas and gardens.

Danger To Humans: No danger, venom is mildly irritating, and bites are rare.

Behavior: Skittish and timid, tends to flee quickly from threats.

Physical Description: This species is easily identified by its overall translucent light green color and opaque green cephalothorax. Markings include darker speckles over the body and head, red side markings, and long, thin leg hair.

Green Lynx Spiders In Oklahoma

The green lynx spider is common in most of the Southern United States and is the largest lynx species in North America. It can be found in backyards and gardens throughout Oklahoma. Lynx spiders are ambush hunters that don’t build webs. Instead, they rely on their impressive speed and effective camouflage to catch prey. That speed causes them to flee from threats, and bites are rare.

4. The Rabid Wolf Spider

rabid wolf spider

The rabid wolf spider is the second largest common spider in Oklahoma. It’s not dangerous, but the bite hurts!

©Brett Hondow/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to 25 mm long.

Habitat: Wooded areas, forests, human cellars, basements.

Danger To Humans: Bite is painful but not medically urgent.

Behavior: Mildly aggressive, skittish, erratic, and unpredictable.

Physical Description: Rabid wolf spiders are a dull or medium yellow color over the entire carapace with darker legs. Identifiable markings are two brown cephalothorax stripes and one darker center abdominal stripe. Wolf spiders are stocky, thick-legged, and have four sets of eyes in vertical pairs of two.

The Rabid Wolf Spider In Oklahoma

Rabid wolf spiders are primarily found in the central and southern regions of Oklahoma. Even though they have a truly terrifying name, they aren’t nearly as dangerous as a rabid mammal! The name is due to their hunting style, which often looks like the erratic, jerky movements common in animals infected with rabies. Bites are mildly painful, not deadly, and often unrecognizable from an insect bite!

3. The Oklahoma Brown Tarantula

texas brown tarantula

The Oklahoma brown tarantula has many names and is the largest common spider in the state!

©texas brown tarantula/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to four inches long (101.6 mm) with legs extended.

Habitat: Southern regions of the United States and Mexico, Semi-desert and scrublands.

Danger To Humans: Little to no danger, bites are mildly painful

Behavior: Docile, easygoing spiders that are commonly kept as pets

Physical Description: Brown tarantulas are light to medium brown overall, with darker legs and underbellies. Tarantulas are easily identified by their large size, long visible “fur-like” hairs over the entire body, and leg claws.

The Brown Tarantula In Oklahoma

This species is native to the Southern United States and Mexico. In Oklahoma, the Texas brown tarantula is primarily found in the Southern areas of the state. They also have several other common state names, including Missouri or Texas brown tarantula! Though venomous, the species is widely known for its particularly calm and docile nature. That’s why it’s one of the more popular tarantula species chosen as a pet!

2. The Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spider

The brown recluse is the second most dangerous spider in Oklahoma.

©Nick626/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to 20 mm long

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

Danger To Humans: Venomous bite is not deadly, but is slow to heal, and infections are common.

Behavior: Reclusive and solitary, but will bite if provoked or threatened.

Physical Description: This species is a translucent light brown overall color with a distinct “violin shaped” marking on the cephalothorax. Unlike most spiders, the brown recluse only has six eyes rather than eight.

The Brown Recluse In Oklahoma

Brown recluse spiders are common in Oklahoma and can be found in most regions of the state. This is one of the spiders that have a fondness for human dwellings, especially in the colder months. While brown recluse spiders have a negative reputation, it’s largely undeserved. Recluse bites are very painful and slow to heal, between one to three months. This is due to necrotic properties in their venom, but apart from an infection risk, medical treatment isn’t required!

1. The Black Widow

Black,Widow,Spider

The Northern/Southern black widow is the most dangerous spider in Oklahoma!

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to 16 mm long

Habitat: Throughout the United States, prefers dark, isolated areas in multiple environments

Danger To Humans: Highly dangerous venomous bite that can kill in some cases. Quick medical attention is required. Females are believed to have more potent venom.

Behavior: Shy, timid, but will bite if threatened

Physical Description: Black widow spiders are possibly the easiest to recognize venomous species in North America. This is certainly true of the southern black widow. They are most recognizable for their shiny black carapace and signature hourglass markings. Despite common misconceptions that this hourglass is always red, white, or orange are also common!

The Southern/Northern Black Widow In Oklahoma

There are 32 known species of widow spiders, and they are found throughout the United States. Oklahoma has two species of black widows, the Southern and Northern. Both are common spiders in all regions of the state. While black widows would rather flee confrontation, their bite causes severe illness. Symptoms are fever, sweating, vomiting, respiratory issues, and muscle pain. In cases where pets, small children, or immunocompromised individuals, the black widow’s bite can be fatal.

Summary of the Top 5 Largest, Most Dangerous Spiders in Oklahoma:

Although all these spiders have a painful bite, the bites of the brown recluse and the black widow are medically dangerous and need immediate treatment.

Danger RankNameLength in InchesHabitat
1.Black Widow Spider0.63Dark, isolated areas in multiple environments
2.Brown Recluse Spider0.79Human dwellings
3.Oklahoma Brown Tarantula4Semi-desert and scrublands
4.Rabid Wolf Spider0.98Wooded areas, forests, cellars, basements
5.Green Lynx Spider0.87Wooded, grassy areas and gardens

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pong Wira/Shutterstock.com


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