Thousands of Spiders Live in the Everglades

spidersWhat is creepy and crawly, has 8 legs and scares a lot of people? Spiders! For the most part, people either love or hate spiders. Spider love the Everglades. In fact, there are 20,000 spiders per acre of land in the Everglades… and the Everglades is 1.5 million acres of wetlands, so that’s A LOT of spiders. The spiders enjoy the warm climate. Some are easy to spot while other spiders are barely visible to the naked eye.

Just like other species, there are native and invasive species of spiders in the Everglades. The invasive species have made their way to the Eveglades and Florida by airplane, ships, and other animals.

Some of these spiders make webs while others live in the leaves and brush on the ground. Even if you hate spiders, you have to respect the fact that are essential to a healthy Everglades’ ecosytem. They eat a lot of insects and they get eatn by other prey.

Here are three types of spiders living in the Everglades:

Banana Spider – This spider is an orb-weaving spider. They consume mosquitoes, bees, butterflies, flies, small moths, and wasps. This spider is also known as a gold silk spider, because of the color of the silk of their webs. It loves high humidity. The female banana spider is one of the largest orb weavers in America coming in around three inches long in size. The female banana spider ha yellow, white, orange and brown on its body, while the males are dark brown in color. The female can spin a three-foot-wide web. The banana spider is not an aggressive spider, and its bite is harmless to humans.

Red Widow Spider – The red widow spider has a reddish color on its head and legs; its abdomen (body) is black. The red widow is a venomous spider. According to the University of Missouri, no bites have ever been recorded from this spider, so little is known about its venom. The female red widow spiders are a ½ inch in size and male red widow spiders are about 1/3 of the size of the female. This spider can be found in the pine scrub habitat along the sandy ridges in central and southeastern Florida. It web is built on palmetto leaves. The primary prey of this spider is the scarab beetle.

Brown Recluse Spider – The brown recluse spider is one of the most poisonous spiders in the Everglades. This spider is common in tropical climates, and they are not native to Florida. This spider is the size of a quarter. They make webs, but they also will wander to look for their food, such as cockroaches and other insects. A brown recluse spider will not bite a human unless it’s trapped up against the person’s skin (if you roll onto a spider or if it’s in your clothing). This spider’s venom can cause necrosis, loss of limb, and death.

Viewing Spiders in the Everglades

If you want to view some spiders in the Everglades, you’ll have to look closely as you walk along the trails. Despite being terrifying to many people, these eight-legged creatures help balance the ecosystem.
Want to have some fun in the Everglades while learning about the area? Jump on an airboat to try and catch a glimpse of one of these arachnids as you sail on by. To book an airboat tour, visit the Everglades Airboat Tours  or call 239-695-3377. Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours has been giving fun, informative, safe tours in the Everglades for decades.