South Carolina is Home to Many Species of Spiders
Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) is a common fear in most Americans since the country has over 3,000 different species of spiders discovered. South Carolina is home to hundreds of these spiders, and all species that live in South Carolina are yet to be identified or discovered. Being that South Carolina encompasses many species of spiders, there are a plethora of which to speak. These spiders range from the common-variety garden spider to the not-so-common-looking crablike spiny orb weaver.
South Carolina's state spider, the Carolina wolf spider, is a spider unlike many others. The Carolina wolf spider uses its speed and eyesight at night to hunt and run down its prey instead of web weaving. Other spiders that exist in South Carolina include the well-known black widow, purseweb, trapdoor spiders and tarantula.
Amazing Spider Facts
- All spiders can vary in size depending on the species, sex, age and the amount of consumed food.
- It is a fact that the Carolina wolf spider is the largest wolf spider in the U.S. and one of the largest wolf spiders in the world.
- Most spiders hatch from their eggs and look like a mini replica of their parents. As newborn spiders grow through the consumption of nutrients and other factors, they shed their skins.
Myths About Spiders
Spiders have brought many myths throughout time. Some say that a spider that is spared in a house is good luck while others point to a black spider found in a house as a sure sign of death.
Some common misconceptions of spiders in South Carolina and the U.S. are that spiders hunt people or crawl into your mouth while you are sleeping. In the case of the writing spider of South Carolina, it is often believed that if your name can be made out in its web, you will die.
Although the majority of spiders in South Carolina do not have a fatal bite like the black widow, known for its red hourglass-shaped stamp on the abdomen, or the brown recluse, which looks brown and slightly furry, there is still cause for caution.
Each person has a varied response to the bite of any spider and may be severely allergic. For this reason, all spiders should be respected and treated as dangerous.
To avoid bites, be sure to look before you reach in order to make sure you are not sticking your hand into the striking range of a spider you may not see.
Spider Identification Guide
Black Widow spiders
Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.
Brown Recluse spiders
Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.
Common house spiders
The common house spider is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. This spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the U.S. and Canada.
The common name comes from their jumping ability, which they use to capture prey. They are an occasional nuisance pest indoors, and some colored species may cause concern when people mistake them for black widow spiders. About 300 species of jumping spiders are found in the U.S. and Canada.
Long-bodied cellar spiders
Long-bodied cellar spiders are commonly referred to as "daddy longlegs" because of their very long, thin legs and, as their name implies, are found in dark and damp places. There are about 20 species of cellar spiders in the U.S. and Canada.
Wolf spiders are hunting spiders and will chase their prey. These spiders are often big and hairy, which alarms some people, but they are primarily nuisance pests. Over 100 species occur in the U.S. and Canada.