Types of White Spiders — Identification Guide

Spiders are arachnids, a class of arthropods that also includes scorpions, mites, and ticks. There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, found in habitats all over the world. There’s a spider with a cartoonish butt, spiders that can jump on demand and cannibal spiders that look like pelicans. Spiders vary greatly in terms of color from white, black, yellow, gold, red to orange. In this article find different types of white spiders and their morphological characteristics.

List of white spiders

  • Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis)
  • Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)
  • Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)
  • Northern Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium mildei)
  • American Green Crab Spider (Misumessus oblongus)
  • White-banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)
  • Gray Wall Jumping Spider (Menemerus bivittatus)
  • White-jawed Jumping Spider (Hentzia mitrata)
  • Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus)
  • Garden Ghost Spider (Hibana gracilis)
  • White Micrathena (Micrathena mitrata)
  • Humpbacked Orbweaver (Eustala anastera)
  • Oblong Running Spider (Tibellus oblongus)
  • Green-legged Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)
  • Kidney Garden Spider (Araneus mitificus)
  • Australian Golden Orbweave (Nephila edulis)

Spiny-backed orb-weavers

Spiny-backed orb-weavers are sometimes colloquially called “crab spiders” because of their shape. They have six pointed abdominal projections frequently referred to as “spines.” The carapace, legs, and venter are black, with some white spots on the underside of the abdomen. Males are much smaller than females, 2 to 3 mm long, and slightly longer than wide.

Goldenrod Crab Spider

They are called crab spiders because of their unique ability to walk sideways as well as forwards and backwards. Goldenrod crab spider are usually yellow or white or a pattern of these two colors.

They may also present with pale green or pink instead of yellow, again, in a pattern with white. They have the ability to change between these colors based on their surroundings through the molting process. Females can grow up to 10 mm while males are quite small, reaching 5 mm at most.

Spined Micrathena

Spined micrathena is also referred to as castleback orbweaver. Its colors vary from whitish to yellowish, mottled with black or brown. The ten-spined, chunky abdomen sets the female spined micrathena apart from all other spiders. The carapace is amber, and the legs are glossy black.

Males of this species are seldom seen. They are much smaller and do not spin webs. Their abdomens lack spines and are instead simply elongated and dark. Most people who see them find them courting in the webs of females.

Yellow sac spiders

Yellow sac spiders can be found walking about on foliage; under leaf litter, stones, and boards; and on buildings under the window sills and siding, in addition to the corners of walls and ceilings within homes.

They are usually pale in colour, and have an abdomen that can range from yellow to beige. Both sexes range in size from 5 to 10 mm. They are unique among common house spiders because their tarsi do not point either outward, or inward, making them easier to identify.

American Green Crab Spider

American green crab spider is a small bristly spider. It occurs in the United States and southern Canada east of the Great Plains, and in Mexico. The green crab spider has spines, and the entire body and legs are pale green to silvery white. Sometimes it has pink markings.

Like other crab spiders, its legs extend outward from the sides, and it can walk in any direction. The abdomen appears slender with a kite-like or diamond pattern.

Whitebanded crab spider

The whitebanded crab spider is small and whitish yellow or yellowish brown. Often its carapace is slightly greenish, with a broad whitish-yellow midband bordered by darker, thinner sides of yellowish brown. Its eye region may be marked with red, and its legs are uniformly cream colored. An unmarked abdomen is not unusual, but more typically it is marked with a brownish-yellow V, converging toward the carapace and made up of various spots or stripes.

Like a chameleon, this spider often changes color to blend with its surroundings. Thousands of tiny crab spiderlings lie concealed in spring and summer flowers, waiting to capture insects with their powerful forelegs.

Gray Wall Jumping Spider

The spiders are about nine millimetres long, the male being slightly smaller than the female. The male has a blackish longitudinal dorsal stripe with a brownish-white stripe on either side of the abdomen. The carapace and chelicerae are also black and white and the legs have transverse bandings of the same colours.

The female is generally paler and more brown, with a larger carapace and abdomen. Her carapace is edged with two black bands and a thin white stripe and her abdomen is edged with broad black stripes on each side which unite at the posterior end. 

Striped lynx spider

Oxyopes salticus is a species of lynx spider, commonly known as the striped lynx spider, first described by Hentz in 1845. Its habitat tends to be grasses and leafy vegetation; grassy, weedy fields, and row crops.

Adult specimens have some color variation between orange, cream and brown. Adult females typically have stripes on both the carapace and abdomen, though on many specimens, the stripes are more pronounced on the abdomen. There is a generally a diamond cardiac mark, and macrosetae covering legs I-IV. 

Kidney garden spider

Araneus mitificus, commonly known as the kidney garden spider or pale orb weaver is a species of orb-weaver spider found in South, East, and Southeast Asia. Males are generally smaller than the females and are less colorful.

Their abdomens are globular and covered with fine hair. They slope abruptly from the mid-region to the posterior. Two small but distinct tubercles are present at the rear end. The dorsal surface is covered with white and black patterns that can vary considerably. The front edge usually has a wide black band. In the upper center is a characteristic large kidney-shaped marking (which can sometimes be a faint vertical line or V-shaped), from which it derives its common name.