Indiana's hot, wet summers and cold winters makes it attractive to around 400 spider species. This Midwest state is home to a few large spider species, which are harmless to humans despite their size. If you spot a large arachnid in Indiana, it may be a yellow garden spider, wolf spider or fishing spider.
Spider Identification in Indiana
Indiana spiders are most often found in gardens and wooded areas, and some species do make their way into homes and other buildings. Compared to other arachnids commonly seen in Indiana, the yellow garden spider, wolf spider and fishing spider are relatively large. Learning the basics of spider identification in Indiana will help you work out which large spider you're dealing with.
Yellow Garden Spider in Indiana
Yellow garden spiders, which are found in most of the United States, love to spin huge webs (up to 100 centimeters in diameter) on bushes and other structures in gardens and other sunny areas with lots of weeds. Female yellow garden spiders are 19 to 28 millimeters long and their male counterparts are 5 to 8 millimeters long.
Unless you handle a female yellow garden spider with an egg cocoon in her web, you're unlikely to get bitten. If you are, you should experience no more discomfort than you would from a bee or wasp sting.
Wolf Spider in Indiana
It's not uncommon to spot a wolf spider in Indiana, but you're unlikely to find one in your home. Wolf spiders create holes or tunnels in soil and in other sheltered spots like under boards, siding, firewood and stones. They are hunting spiders and only venture out during the night to pursue prey. The typical wolf spider size is up to 35 millimeters long for females and up to 20 millimeters long for males.
A wolf spider bite is most likely if you handle it or trap it next to your skin. However, their venom is not particularly harmful and the most likely reaction is temporary pain and redness.
Fishing Spider in Indiana
Fishing spiders live near water and are able to catch small fish and aquatic insects. Slightly smaller than a wolf spider, a female fishing spider is usually 15 to 26 millimeters long and the male is 7 to 13 millimeters long.
While the fishing spider is capable of biting humans, it is more likely to run away from people. If you do get a fishing spider bite, it's usually no more severe than a bee or wasp sting.
Dangerous Indiana Spiders
The yellow garden spider and wolf spider may be large but they are completely harmless. On the other hand, some of the smaller spiders common in Indiana are more dangerous. The brown recluse spider and black widow spider are both poisonous, but the good news is that bites from these species are rare. The brown recluse spider likes to set up home in dry places like barns and sheds, while the black widow spider prefers isolated places, so you're unlikely to find one in your home.
About the Author
Claire is a writer and editor with 18 years' experience. She writes about science and health for a range of digital publications, including Reader's Digest, HealthCentral, Vice and Zocdoc.