Ask Me About Spiders!

Hi, I'm Tobias and I know a lot about spiders. Do you need an ID? Maybe you want to know more about those loveable arachnids.
Submit a photo or ask a question- I'm here to help you out!


The deceptive and tricky Ant-mimicking Crab-spider

There is no doubt that certain species of spiders are quite deceptive and tricky. This is the case of Aphantochilus rogersi (top photo), a neotropical carb-spider in the Thomisidae Family, that convincingly mimics its prey, the turtle ant Cephalotes atratus (middle and bottom photos) or also Zacryptocerus pusillus.

These spiders do not just mimic the appearance of the ant, but also oviposit in close proximity to nests of the model ant. As if that were not enough, Aphantochilus rogersi also has an specialized hunting behavior, this spider uses the bitten and paralyzed ant as a shield, presumably protecting it from attacks by living ants.

So, just in case, the next time you see an ant …. You better count how many legs it has. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Pablo Sebastián Padrón | Locality: Pastaza, Ecuador] - [Middle: ©Ricardo Solar | Locality; unknown]  -  [Bottom: ©Ana Jaramillo | Locality: Riomanso Natural Reserve, Colombia]

Hi, just would like to thank you for identifying the spider from the other day I sent you 2 pics. 

Thanks, love what you do!

Hi, August! You’re very welcome! Please feel free to send any more photos my way. And thank you!

I found this spider at work, i need to know what it is. I was working with bananas when I noticed it on the floor, the bananas came from Guatemala. I need to know if it’s from Wisconsin or Guatemala and what kind. My brother thinks it might be a Brazilian Wandering Spider, I did look it up and it said that it was a very aggressive spider but the spider I have is very docile, also it said that the fang area is red in color but my spiders fangs are black. I would just like to know if it’s from Wisconsin so that I can let it go, or perhaps if it’s wandering spider from Guatemala maybe i can contact some places here in Wisconsin (zoo)to see if they’ll take it. 

Hi, Anna! Sorry it took me a while!

That’s definitely an orb weaver and probably a male, judging by the size of his abdomen and his goofy bent second legs- lots of male spiders have modified front legs for use in holding back a female’s fangs. So she doesn’t eat him while they’re copulating.

He looks a lot like a Spotted Orb Weaver, Neoscona. Which are totally native to Wisconsin. The best match I’ve found is Neoscona crucifera- one of a few spiders called “barn spider”. Totally harmless and probably got inside on someone’s clothes or a box or something. Males wander in search of females and can end up in some weird places.

Thanks for sharing!

Hi! I live in Castle Rock, Colorado and I found this spider in my room. I find these in my baby room all the time and I just wanted to check and see if it is dangerous since they are around my small infant. Its light brown in color and has small antenna in front. This one is the size of a dollar coin but I found one a few days ago that was the size of my tub drain plug (found on my arm as I was stepping into the bathtub).

Hi, Jordyn!

That guy looks like a Hobo Spider, Eratigena agrestis. But please don’t be alarmed- they don’t have a necrotic or even medically significant venom! They’re harmless and are just really good at getting stuck in bathtubs. :)

Thank you for sharing!


I found this beside my bed, live in Mexico, is this a black widow? if yes is it possible there are more? 

I appreciate your help, tried all day to find it on the web without luck

Hi, Ivan!

Yes, that’s a black widow, but an immature one. Which is probably why you had trouble locating them. They’re most likely Latrodectus hesperus, the Western Black Widow. I can’t find info that says any other species occur in Mexico. Check this out for comparison.

The immature spiders’ venom isn’t remotely as potent as adult females’, so you don’t have to worry. And widows are very shy spiders that don’t want to bite anything but prey. :) There might be more of them in other parts of your house, but widows are not social spiders and don’t hang out too near each other. …Like many spiders, black widows are opportunistic and will eat other spiders, even of the same species.

Thank you for sharing!

Northern Wisconsin

Hi, Brenda!

That’s another beautiful Shamrock Orb Weaver, Araneus trifolium. They- mainly the females- come in a wide variety of colors. And this is the time of year for them, too. Males and females are getting together to mate before the temperatures drop, so they’ll be more visible the next few weeks to month or so.

Thank you for sharing!

Found in basement. South central Pennsylvania

Hi, Jon!

That little dude is a wolf spider, Tigrosa helluo. Tigrosa is a new genus, created in 2012 and branching off of Hogna. They’re harmless and that guy likely wandered indoors in search of ladies. :) Here’s an image match from New Jersey, though they’re totally native to PA, as well.

Thanks for sharing!

Black widow had babies and im trying to figure out on how to release them… 

Also would like to know if the baby black widows are even more dangerous or harmless

Hey, Aaron! Wow, she’s got a lot of kids in there!

I think the best way to release them would be to put the container somewhere outside or out of the way where they can disperse in their own time. And the baby and juvenile widows are pretty much harmless. It’s the adult females that have the most potent venom.

Thank you for sharing such a cool photo!

We would like to know what spider this is.  In pocono PA 

Hi, Lida!

Your pal is a Shamrock Orb Weaver, Araneus trifolium. Like all the orb weaving spiders, she’s harmless.

Thanks for sharing!

Even though Blendi didn’t provide a location, I’m mostly certain this lovely lady is Argiope bruennichi.

If they do get back to me, I’ll come back in and edit this post. Sure is a great photo, right? :) Thank you for sharing!