Spider book update: Help us pick our species!

We’re writing a spider book! Chris Buddle and Roar will soon present a happy volume packed with eight-legged greatness.

Each chapter will highlight a common species: a plain language and scientific overview of the biology and natural history of common spider species of North America. That’s a big task, because of the hundreds of potential candidate species, we’ll only highlight a dozen or so of the most common.

We need your help: Many of you provided valuable feedback on your favorite spidey friends, and we have already spoken to loads of Arachnologists, but we want to know what’s on everybody’s minds (spiderly speaking). See our chapter candidates and let us know if we missed a North American species SO INCREDIBLE IT MUST BE INCLUDED!

Here are the species we are proposing as “main chapters”:

Argiope aurantia (garden spider, or writing spider)Argiope

Oxyopes salticus (the striped lynx spider)


Neoscona sp. (orb-weavers)


Misumena vatia (goldenrod crab spider)


Dolomedes sp. (fishing or dock spiders)


Salticus scenicus (zebra jumper)


Parasteatoda tepidariorum (American house spider)


Latrodectus sp. (widow spiders)


Pardosa sp. (thin-legged wolf spiders)


Cheiracanthum sp. (ceiling spiders)


Agelenopsis sp. (funnel-web spiders)


Phidippus audax (bold jumping spider)


Frontinella communis (bowl and doily spider)


Sphodros niger (black purse-web spider)


And our candidates for sidebars:

Mastophora sp. (bolus spiders)

Scytodes thoracica (spitting spider)

Walckenaeria sp. (money spiders, or micro-sheet web spiders)

Dysdera crocata (wood-louse hunter)

Loxosceles reclusa (brown recluse)

Tetragnatha sp. (long-jawed orb weavers)

Tibellus oblongus

Peckhamia sp. or Synemosyna (ant-mimicking jumping spiders)

Herpyllus ecclesiasticus (Parson’s spider)

Trochosa terricola (wolf spider)

Gasterachantha cancriformis (spiny-backed orb weaver)

Pholcus phalangioides (cellar spider)


So… what do you think?

Comment here or email us your thoughts, feelings, or weird spider dreams (only if you really want to)! Your spidersenses are valuable to us!

Yours in spidery greatness,

Chris and Roar




13 thoughts on “Spider book update: Help us pick our species!

  1. I think having Araneus diadematus would be a good thing. They are super abundant!
    Also, Philodromus dispar, Tegenaria (or whatevs). These are very common and abundant out west, but the first two are introduced, and the third genus (kinda) has two very common introduced species.

    • Thanks, Sean, for the feedback. So, let me challenge you: if we were to add one or two of your suggested species, what species could we remove from this list? Suggestions welcome!

      • I am not sure. Neoscona is about equivalent to Araneus…So either way. Agelenopsis could stand in for Tegenaria, but I almost think a Teg would be a better choice. Perhaps you could roll the Parasteatoda as a note under Latrodectus? I think it will be a great book nonetheless!

    • I agree with Sean on the Tegenaria spp. Everyone freaks, needlessly of course, about about “hobo” spiders around these parts. Maybe as a sidebar, as you have another agelenid up there in the main section.

      I’ve never seen one, but as a kid I always thought trapdoor spiders (Ctenizidae) were very cool. I think that they are found in the southern part of N. America?

      • Thanks Dez – we are hearing a LOT of calls for Tegenaria – we will seriously consider this. We did consider trap-door spiders, but they are (relatively) uncommon but are considering the purse-web spider as an example of a mygalomorph.

  2. How about the skinny guys who live in our basement …. apparently eating nothing…. and gyrate when I touch their web?? Dad

  3. I think the 8 you have selected are a good representative sample. If you want to add a few more as side bars I would vote for Scytodes or perhaps some of the larger (and thus more well known) spiders such as Aphonopelma or Nephila

    • Thanks for the comment, Debby! We opted not to go with a tarantula because for most of N. America, they are relatively uncommon. However, the ‘purse-web’ spider is a mygalomorph, so by highlighting that species we will be able to cover some biology that also covers tarantulas.

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