San Francisco Bay Wildlife
Wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area


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Spiders of San Franscisco Bay Area

Western Black Widow
Western Black Widow - Latrodectus hesperus

Tarantula Tarantula - Aphonopelma sp.

Wolf Spider Wolf Spider - Schizocosa mccooki

Banded Argiope
Banded Garden Spider - Argiope trifasciata
Credit: Jeff Deitchman

Goldenrod Spider
Goldenrod Spider - Misumena vatia (female)
Credit: Jessica Weinberg, NPS

Cross Orbweaver
Cross Orbweaver - Araneus diadematus

Cross Orbweaver Hatchlings
Cross Orbweaver - Araneus diadematus (hatchlings)
Credit: Kim Rolla

Zoropsis spinimana
Zoropsis spinimana
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

You can see spiders anywhere - at home, in the backyard and in the wilderness. There is not a lot of information available online about spiders of the San Francisco Bay Area. So we have included more general information about spiders in California. Arachnology is the study of spiders.

Bay Area Spiders

Some Common or Better Known Spider Species:

  • Western Black Widow - Latrodectus hesperus  ...more 
  • Tarantula - Aphonopelma iodius (the species most likely to occur in the Bay area)  ...more 
  • False Tarantula - Calisoga longitarsus 
    Often found in the Oakland hills
  • Cross Orbweaver - Araneus diadematus
    A common garden spider - it has been introduced to North America from Europe, has spread to California.
  • Marbled Cellar Spider (Daddy Longlegs Spider) - Holocnemus pluchei 
    a rectangular, elongate abdomen with a brown stripe on the ventral side (the belly side - which is typically directed upwards since the spider hangs upside down in its web) which covers its sternum and is a stripe on the abdomen. Very common along the Pacific Coast.
  • Johnson Jumper (Red-Backed Jumping Spider) - Phidippus johnsoni
  • Longbodied Cellar Spider (Daddy Longlegs Spider) - Pholcus phalangioides 
    a uniformly grey spider with rectangular, elongate abdomen found throughout the U.S.
  • Zoropsis spinimana 
    An invasive Mediterranean species that is spreading from the Bay Area.
  • Western Lynx Spider - Oxyopes scalaris
    One of the most common lynx spiders in California.

Other Spider Species:

Spider Articles and Links

  • Some common spiders of California with photos and notes by Steve Lew. 
  • Spiders of Orange County, with photos - many of these are also found in the Bay area. 
  • Living with Spiders - informational brochure from East Bay Parks 
  • 'Pumpkin spiders' weave their silky magic in autumn, SFGate, 30 October 2011, by Joe Eaton,Ron Sullivan. About Orb weavers. 
  • Article on Araneus diadematus on the blog - The Endless Swarm. 
  • Zoropsis spinimana, A Mediterranean Spider In California, from UC IPM. About the spread of an invasive species starting from the Bay Area. 
  • House spider migrant setting up in Bay Area,, Jan 2006. About the spread of Zoropsis. 
  • A passionate article debunking the myth of the Brown Recluse in California by Rick Vetter. 
  • BugGuide.Net is a great resource for insects and spiders. It contains a vast collection of photographs submitted by users all over North America. You can browse by taxonomical arrangement or search using different fields. 
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