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A partial list of the Spiders of Kaweah Oaks Preserve
based on notes kept by Marjorie Moody,
with additional comments by Brian Carroll

The 54 numbered species on this list come from records of verified
identifications, kept by Marjorie Moody, Tulare County's leading
authority on spiders. However, many common spiders for our area have
never had a verified collection from the Preserve. Therefore, an
asterisk (*) rather than a number indicates a spider that would
reasonably be expected to inhabit Kaweah Oaks Preserve, but has not yet
had a verified sighting. The numbers given after family names indicate
location in Notes for the Collection and Identification of the Spiders
of California, by Don J. Boe, 1989.

Note: all measurements of spiders are for body only, without legs.



[ ]* These are folding door trap-door spiders. Members of the genus
Aliatypus are often found in uncultivated soils of the San Joaquin
Valley. Males wander in search of females after heavy rains. Females
are only found by digging.


[ ]* Small (8-18mm) sheet-web weaving tarantulas. Members of the genus
Megahexura have been found throughout California, under leaf litter or
plant debris on the ground.


[ ]* Various species of these ‘typical tarantulas’ have been taken in
nearby areas.


[ ]* ‘Funnel-web tarantulas’; the upper fourth of the burrow is lined with
silk which spreads out from the burro’s mouth. Calisoga longitarsus
(Simon) has been found in Tulare Co.


[ ]* Two ‘Trap-door spiders,’ Bothriocyrtum californicum (O.P. Cambridge) and Hebestatis theventi (Simon) have been found in Tulare Co., building tubular burrows in clay soils. Insides are lined with silk and the opening closed with a snug fitting cork-type lid. Males wander during the winter.



[ ]* The local Kukulcania sp. is commonly found with its lacy funnel-web
leading back into knot-holes or cracks on weathered fence posts.
Females dark brown to black, to 19mm. Males yellowish tan with long
pedipalps, to 9mm. Males are often mistaken for Violin Spiders.


[ ]* The tiny (under 3mm) ‘Base-board Spider’ Oecobius navus (Lucas) is common throughout Tulare Co. Under stones or in cracks of bark, constructing a very slight web nest, they are light colored and run very fast when disturbed, making them difficult to get a good look at.
Unusual among spiders, they eat ants.


[ ] 1. Uloborus diversus (Marx) although drab in color, is an easy spider to identify in the field, hanging upside down in a delicately-lacy, nearly-horizontal web; its long front legs decorated with tufts of ‘hair’ at the joints. Uloborids  are unique among our spider fauna for having no poison glands at all.


[ ] 2. Dictyna reticulata (Gertsch & Ivie) is a small spider that builds an
irregular web at the tip of weed stalks or the branches of bushes, or less commonly beside stones or in leaf-litter. Usually mature during spring and summer.


[ ] * Various Amaurobiids, such as Amaurobius tulare (Leech) are found
Tulare Co., often under bark or decaying plant material on the ground.
To the naked eye they closely resemble members of the Agelenidae, but
they differ significantly in several microscopic organs.


[ ] * Various Scytodes spp. are found Tulare Co. These ‘Spitting Spiders’
spit a gummy substance over their prey, with an oscillating motion,
tacking them to the surface they are standing upon. Scytodids have an
unusually high ‘forehead’ (carapace) due to the large poison glands in
their cephalothorax.


[ ] * Various Dysderids are found Tulare Co., under stones and in leaf
litter, and under oak bark.


[ ] 3. Holocnemus pluchei (Scopoli), is the common, large ‘Daddy-long legs’ or ‘Cellar Spiders’ that housewives curse for their ubiquitous webs.
Native to the Mediterranean, it entered our area in the 1970’s.

[ ] 4. Psilochorus sp., also long-legged, but much smaller spiders than the
Holocnemus. Several species may be here, or other genera in the family. Females in this family all carry their egg sacs in their ‘mouths’ (chelicera). They usually like cave-like locations; under stones, abandoned burrows, hollow tree trunks, etc.

THERIDIIDAE  F24  (comb-footed spiders) 

[ ] 5. Latrodectus hesperus (Chamberlain & Ivie), California's version of
the ‘Black Widow’.

[ ] 6. Steatoda grossa (C.L. Koch). Lighter colored, than the Black Widow, often with a purplish tint - and with yellowish dots against dark
brown. They share a somewhat similar shape and habitat to the Black
Widow and are sometimes mistaken for their dangerous cousins. Instead,
they are reported to eat them. Their other favorite food is pill bugs.
Often a pile of pill bug shells can be found beneath the S. grossa web.

[ ] 7. Theridion sp. Over two dozen species in this genus live in
California, and several in Tulare Co.

[ ] * Almost certainly our fauna includes various other small ‘Comb-footed Spiders’ or ‘Cob-web weavers’, such as Achaearanea sp., and Tidarren sp.


[ ] * Species such as Eperigone eschatologica (Crosby), Erigone autumnalis (Emerton) and Grammonota gentilis (Banks) are found Tulare Co., most easily identified by their webs, which have platforms, or domes (where they hang upside down), within a large, seemingly irregular scaffolding, constructed in bushes, trees, or tall grasses.

[ ] 8. Microlinyphia sp.

ARANEIDAE  F27  (‘orb-web weavers’ or ‘garden spiders’)

[ ] 9. Argiope aurantia (Lucas), large (14-28mm females, 5-8mm males)
striking black and yellow orb-web weaver, adults found July to October.

[ ] * Cyclosa sp. This spider uses egg sacs, debris and silk to build a
stabilimentum (reinforcing strand) top to bottom at the center of the
web, and then takes advantage of its grey-black mottled coloring and
slightly irregular shape to mimic a piece of trash amidst the debris.
When disturbed, it may shake the web violently, or drop to the ground
below. (3.3-7.9mm females, 2.1-4.5mm males, mature spring and summer)

[ ] 10. Gea heptagon (Hentz), small (4.5-5.8mm females, 2.4-4.3mm males) orb-weaver found in grasses or ground-cover. When disturbed, this spider quickly drops from her web.

[ ] 11. Larinia directa (Hentz), (4.8-11.7mm females, 2.9-3.3mm males),
mature from early spring to summer, usually found on vegetation 1 to 2
feet above ground.

[ ] 12. Metepeira crassipes (Chamberlin & Ivie)(tentative identification),
uses prey carcasses to construct conical structure within web, laying
successive batches of eggs. First hatchlings leave through top of cone,
while cone continues to grow and new eggs are laid at the bottom.
4.7-7.2mm females, 2.9-4.7mm males, mature in spring, summer and fall.

[ ] 13. Neoscona oaxacensis (Keyserling),large,8.5-19.7mm females, 4.5-15.0mm males, mature in late summer and fall.

14. Tetragnatha laboriosa (Hentz). Many authors consider the
Tetragnathadae as a separate family, due to their enormous chelicera
(the pair of clamping ‘jaws’ that hold the fangs) and fangs and their
usual choice of web location: vegetation overhanging water. Moderately
long (5.9-9.0mm females, 5.2-10.1mm males), but narrow bodies allow them to hide huddled to a blade of grass

AGELENIDAE  F28 (Funnel-web spiders)

[ ] 15. Hololena frianta (Chamberlin & Ivie) Very common in dense
populations on foliage, wood piles, or buildings where cervices allow a
protected retreat. A sheet of web (often with a heavy layer of dust)
leads back to a small tunnel. If disturbed, the spider will duck out
the back and drop to the ground. Males and females each about 8mm,
adults lasting into November.

[ ] 16. Hololena sp. (not frianta)

LYCOSIDAE  F33 (Wolf Spiders)

All of the wolf spiders superficially resemble the Agelenids, but do not
build webs. Instead, they wander freely at ground level, carrying their
eggs sacs in their spinnerets, and allowing their hatchlings to ride
piggy-back on the mother’s abdomen, giving her the appearance of wearing a heavy fur coat.

[ ] 17. Arctosa sp. (probably A. littoralis Hentz, the only Arctosa reported
from California, but found throughout the state) Mature February
through November. (11.2-14.7mm females, 9.6-12.8mm males)

[ ] 18. Pardosa californica (Keyserling), Usually seen near water, adults in the spring and fall. Males are usually very dark. (4.5-8.0mm females, 4.5-6.0mm males).

[ ] 19. Pardosa ramulosa (McCook) (tentative identification), mature
specimens seen year-round (5-7mm females, 6.6-5.5mm males).

[ ] 20. Pardosa tuoba (Chamberlin)(tentative identification), a ramulosa
look-alike, males and females both about 6mm.

[ ] 21. Pardosa sternalis (Thorell)(tentative identification), another
ramulosa look-alike (6-7mm females both, 5.5-6mm.males), with adults
seen year-round.

[ ] 22. Schizocosa mccooki (Montgomery), large (9.6-22.7mm females,
9.1-15.0mm males).

[ ] 23. Trocosa gosiuta (Chamberlin) (10-13mm females, 7.4-9.4mm males; adults found in summer)

OXIOPIDAE  F34 (Lynx spiders)

[ ] 24. Oxyopes salticus (Hentz) the ‘Silver Lynx’, mature in spring and
summer, these spiders explore vegetation or sit in curled leaves,
darting to the back side if disturbed. Eight eyes form a hexagon. Legs
have conspicuous spination. Silver with touches of black; iridescent
scales that give it ‘smoother’ look than scalaris. (4.6-7.4mm females,
3.9-5.9mm males)

[ ] 25. Oxyopes scalaris (Hentz) the ‘Brown Lynx’, slightly bigger than
salticus (5.8-9.6mm females, 4.7-6.1mm males), and reddish-brown.
Similar behavior. Mature spring and early summer.

[ ] * Peucetia sp. the ‘Green Lynx’. Larger than Oxyopes (11.8-21.6mm
females, 8.1-14.5mm males), and bright green with bright red spots and
legs paler green to yellow, it has long legs with long black spines.
Females attach an egg sac to a curled blade of grass or leaf, two or
three feet above ground, and then cling to the sac until death by
starvation or cold. Two species (longipalpis and viridans) occur in
Tulare Co., both fond of tall grasses (especially wild buckwheat) in
open fields.


All of the Gnaphosids are nocturnal hunters, not likely to be seen by daytime visitors unless rock or rotting wood are turned over. Dark colors.

[ ] 26. Herpyllus propinquuns (Keyserling), mature year round. (7.2-9.6mm females, 5.4-6.6mm males.

[ ] 27. Micaria sp. (probably utahna Gertsch, common throughout California) 2.9-3.8mm females, 2.5-3.4mm males. Found March through  early September.

[ ] * Scotophaeus blackwalli (Thorell), dark with a distinctive silver or
pink-silver streak on the center of the abdomen. 8.3-10.0nn females,
6.3-8.6mm males. Mature year round. Often seen indoors.

[ ] 28. Sergiolus sp.

[ ] 29. Zelotes griswoldi (Platnick & Shadab) Seen mostly in Spring.
5.6-10.5mm females, 4.4-6.6mm males.

CLUBIONIDAE  F37 (Sac Spiders)

Similar in structure to Gnaphosids, Clubionids are more likely to be
seen during the daytime but still often come out at night, or stay
hidden under rocks, in leaf litter or in foliage. Often seen indoors.

[ ] 30. Castianeira thalia (Reiskind) 5.7-9.0mm females, 5.3-5.7mm males.

[ ] 31. Castianeira sp.

[ ] 32. Chiracanthium inclusum (Hentz) tan-colored spider, sometimes tending toward yellow or green or with darker abdomen, depending on what it feeds upon. Often found exploring vegetation or in a silk sac curled in a leaf. 4.9-9.7mm females, 4.0-7.7mm males.

[ ] 33.* Chiracanthium mildei (L Kock), slightly larger than inclusum (7-10mm females, 5.8-8.5mm males), and more commonly seen indoors, this species is responsible for more spider bites than any other local species, but the bite is not as dangerous as the Black Widow. Bites tend to swell, redden and be  sore, and may lead to ulceration of the skin.

[ ] 34. Clubiona pomoa (Gertsch), 4.1-5.2mm females, 3.5-4.6mm males

[ ] 35. Trachelas pacificus (Chamberlin & Ivie) Under rocks and debris.
Mature year round. 6-8mm females, 5.3-6.6mm males.


Anyphaenids hunt their prey over vegetation, sometimes under the bark of
trees. Mature specimens often appear in Spring.

[ ] 36. Aysha incursa (Chamberlin) 5.7-7.0mm females, 5.5-6.1mm males.

HETEROPODIDAE (Sparassidae) F40 (Giant Crab Spiders)

[ ] 37. Olios giganteus. Although several Olios spp. appear on Boe’s list,
this one does not. This genus includes large, pale (sometimes green)
spiders that inhabit vegetation, sometimes hiding under bark, and hide
in heavy silk sacs curled in leaves or wedged between objects like
rocks, boards or folded cardboard.

THOMISIDAE  F42  (Crab Spiders)

[ ] 38. Coriarachne utahensis (Gertsch). Noticeable for its disproportionate circumference to thickness ratio, this flat spider slips rapidly sideways into  hide-aways under bark. 4.5-9.9mm females, 4.1-6.2mm males.

[ ] 39* Misumena vatia (Clerck). ‘Flower Spiders’, sit motionless in the
center of flowers, waiting for insects to land. May shift from white to
yellow, depending on the color of the flowers they inhabit.

[ ] 40.Misumenoides formosipes (Walckenaer),often found on wild sunflowers. Yellow or white with black blotches. 5.0-11.3mm females, 2.5-3.2mm males.

The three identified Misumenops, and others we may have (California has 18), have the typical crab-spider shape, but tend to have more obvious
spination then our other crab spiders. Color tends to vary considerably
even within a single species; background colors may be pale green, white
or yellow, with markings of red or occasionally green. Found in grass
or low foliage.

[ ] 41. Misumenops lepidus (Thorell) Females 5mm; males 3mm. Adults found March through September.

[ ] 42. Misumenops importunus belkini (Schick), Abdomen white or yellow in the female, brownish in the male. Carapace color varies, but with a white band down the center. Females about 5.5mm; males about 3.3mm. Mature as early as January.

[ ] 43. Misumenops quercinus (Schick) Females 3.4-5.5; males 3mm. Mature April through August.

The following two Xysticus, and other species we may have (19 have been found in California) are all similar-looking, dull colored spiders with the long front legs and short back legs that give them the crab look. They live on low vegetation, under bark or stones, occasionally on buildings. They may balloon frequently, for several times I have seen them outdoors on people's clothing.

[ ] 44. Xysticus californicus (Keyserling) Females 6.5-7.0mm; males 4-5mm.

[ ] 45. Xysticus locuples (Keyserling), carapace dark gray to brown or brick red. Abdomen tinged with orange markings. Females 6.5-8.5mm; males 4.4-5.5mm.


[ ] 46. Tibellus chamberlini, long and skinny (abdomen from two and a half to five times longer than wide; front legs extra long), with pale coloring. Can be found in low bushes, but especially like wild grasses, where they rest clinging to the underside of tall blades.

[ ] 47. Tibellus sp. (possibly T. oblongus Walckenaer)

SALTICIDAE  F44  (Jumping Spiders)
Colorful; build nesting tubes but not webs; hunt during daylight hours)

[ ] 48. Evarcha hoyi (Peckham & Peckham) Brown mixed with white and yellow scales and black hairs, with a light transverse band behind the cephalic portion and a herringbone pattern on the abdomen. Common in tall grass and bushes.4.6-6.3mm females; 4.3-5.5mm males.

Our two known Habronattus species, plus others that may be found here
(California has 28) show marked differences between the sexes, but the
species may be hard to distinguish between each other. Females have
abdomens markedly larger than cephalothorax, gray or gray-brown with
dull markings. Males have cephalothorax markedly larger than abdomen,
with darker basic colors and sharper, sometimes even striking markings.
Hide in grass but sometimes visible exploring or sunning themselves on
surfaces near grass. Especially enjoy sitting on piles of dung.

[ ] 49. Habronattus festus (=Pellenes brunneus) (Peckham & Peckham)  Females about 6mm. ; males 4.5-6.0mm. Mature summer to early fall.

[ ] 50. Habronattus klauserii (=Pellenes klauserii) (Peckham & Peckham) Males 4.5-6.0mm, females slightly larger.

[ ] 51. Metacyrba taeniola (Hentz) Females 5.0-7.2mm, males 4.4-6.0mm. Matures year-round. In comparison to other jumping spiders, a long, thin species. Carapace an iridescent mahogany brown on thoracic part
with black on the ocular quadrangle. Abdomen gray (sometimes almost
blue) with two rows of whitish yellow narrow spots. May be found
nesting in old cardboard or wood piles or running around on fences;
occasionally indoors.

[ ] 52. Metaphidippus watonus (Chamberlin & Ivie) Brown and yellow; found among leaves on leafy foliage, especially oak. Females about 7mm, males about 5.4mm. Mature during summer.

[ ] 53. Phidippus clarus (Keyserling) Females about 10mm; males about 8mm. Mature in late spring and summer.

[ ] 54. Phidippus johnsoni (Peckham & Peckham) Dramatic looking,
heavy-bodied and hairy, black with red dominating the abdomen, females
8.13mm with parallel red patches covering most of abdomen; males 7-11mm with solid red patch on. Immatures have abdominal patterns of red and white on black. Mature specimens seen year-round

[ ] 55. Sassicus vitis (=Metaphidippus vitis) (Cockerell) When this small
spider's gold-bronze iridescent scales catch the sun, one is reminded
of the capitol dome in Sacramento. Females about 4.5mm; males about

[ ] 56. Thiodina n. sp. (see Richman & Cutler, 1978) Females light brown with white ‘four-square’ pattern on brown in occular area, 7-10mm., oval shaped abdomen; males with sharper angles to body, darker - brown or reddish brown - cephalothorax and light abdomen, 5-9mm.

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