Hawaii is an archipelago of tropical islands with abundant natural beauty and a wide variety of wildlife, including eight-legged residents. With its humid climate, Hawaii is home to a diverse range of spiders, some of which are exclusive to the islands. If you’re curious about what spiders are in Hawaii and what species you might encounter, this article provides an overview of the various spiders that inhabit the tropical island.
Types of Spiders in Hawaii
Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged spiders that can be found in tropical and subtropical areas. They are often found in Hawaii and are known for their ability to move quickly and capture prey.
Jumping spiders are small, active, and agile spiders found in Hawaii. They use their large front eyes to locate and jump on their prey.
Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders found in Hawaii. They are known for their slow-moving, somewhat menacing behavior.
Wolf spiders are medium-sized, ground-dwelling spiders found in Hawaii. They are fast-moving and have excellent eyesight.
Orb-weaver spiders are found in Hawaii. They are known for their large, circular webs that they use to capture prey.
Crab spiders are small, flat spiders found in Hawaii. They typically wait motionless on leaves or flowers, using their camouflage to ambush their prey.
Huntsman spiders are found in many parts of Hawaii, and are typically found on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. These spiders can reach up to three inches in length and have a distinctive, flat body shape. Huntsman spiders feed on a variety of insects and other arthropods, and can be found in both outdoor and indoor environments. They are typically active during the day and night, although they tend to be less active during the hot summer months. Huntsman spiders are not venomous, but they can bite if provoked.
Huntsman spiders typically hunt during the night, and they use their strong legs to jump and catch their prey. They are also known to build webs, although they do not rely on them for hunting. When threatened, huntsman spiders will often try to escape rather than attack. If cornered, however, they can deliver a painful bite.
2. Jumping Spiders
|Phidippus audax||Bold Jumping Spider|
|Habronattus dossenus||Hawaiian Jumping Spider|
|Habronattus proclivus||Hawaiian Jumping Spider|
|Habronattus schaffneri||Hawaiian Jumping Spider|
|Phidippus whitmani||Hawaiian Jumping Spider|
Jumping spiders, also known as Salticidae, are a family of spiders that can be found in Hawaii. They are known for their jumping ability and are considered to be one of the most advanced and diverse groups of spiders in the world. They are easily identified by their large, forward-facing eyes. In Hawaii, there are five species of jumping spiders, including: Phidippus audax (Bold Jumping Spider), Habronattus dossenus, Habronattus proclivus, Habronattus schaffneri, and Phidippus whitmani (all Hawaiian Jumping Spiders). These spiders have a wide range of habitats, from lowland areas to mountainous regions. They are mostly nocturnal, and they feed on insects, other spiders, and other small invertebrates.
Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders native to Hawaii. They usually live in burrows that they dig in the ground and can be found in the drier areas of the islands. They feed mainly on insects and other small arthropods. They are usually not aggressive and will not bite unless provoked. They can grow up to 8 inches in length and have a body that is black or brown with yellow and red markings. They are considered beneficial since they help to keep insect populations under control.
4. Wolf Spiders
- Found mainly on the ground in grassy meadows, gardens and on the sides of buildings.
- Often mistaken for tarantulas due to their large size and dark colors.
- Mostly brown or black with various markings.
- They have eight eyes arranged in three rows and are quick runners.
- Active hunters and feed on insects, other spiders and small vertebrates.
- They do not spin webs, but rather hunt for their prey.
- They are generally non-aggressive and do not bite unless provoked.
5. Orb-weaver Spiders
Orb-weaver spiders are a common type of spider found in Hawaii. They are characterized by their large, round webs, which they use to catch their prey. Orb-weaver spiders usually build their webs in open areas, such as near gardens, trees, and shrubs. The webs of orb-weavers can be anywhere from a few inches to several feet in diameter. Some of the most common orb-weaver species found in Hawaii include the Hawaiian Golden Orb-weaver (Nephila pilipes), the Hawaiian Garden Spider (Argiope appensa), and the Hawaiian House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum). These spiders feed on a variety of insects, including flies, mosquitoes, and beetles.
6. Crab Spiders
Crab spiders are found in Hawaii, and are typically encountered on flowers or leaves. They have long front legs and a flat body, which gives them their crab-like appearance. They are usually yellow or white in color, but can be found in other colors as well. They move slowly and can be difficult to spot, but they can be found in most gardens and yards. Crab spiders are harmless to humans and do not bite. They generally feed on small insects, such as flies and aphids.
The Threat of Spiders
Spiders in Hawaii present a range of potential threats, including some native species that can cause medical issues. The Hawaiian Happy-Face spider, or Theridion grallator, is known for its bite, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and cramps. Other native species, like the Hawaiian Wolf Spider and the Hawaiian Brown Widow Spider, can also cause medical issues if bitten. Additionally, the invasive Brown Tree Snake, which has been introduced to the islands, has caused a decrease in native spider populations and an increase in non-native spiders, some of which may be more dangerous than the native species. Fortunately, the risk of spider bites is low, and no spider species in Hawaii is known to be fatal. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the potential threat of spiders in Hawaii and take the necessary precautions.
Prevention and Control
Hawaii is home to many species of spiders, some of which pose risks to human health and safety. To prevent and control the presence of spiders, it is important to implement a proactive approach. This includes regularly inspecting areas for spiders, sealing off potential entry points, keeping outdoor areas clear of debris and vegetation, and eliminating sources of food and water. As an additional measure, insecticides and spider repellents can be used to reduce the risk of spider infestations. It is also important to be aware of potential spider habitats, such as woodpiles, undisturbed storage areas, and dark, damp areas. If spiders are found, it is important to take steps to remove them and prevent any further infestations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Eight-Legged Residents of Hawaii?
Hawaii is home to a variety of spiders, including the Hawaiian HappyFace Spider, the Hawaiian Garden Spider, and the Hawaiian Spider. The Hawaiian HappyFace Spider is a small, brightly colored spider with a distinctive smiling face-like pattern on its back. The Hawaiian Garden Spider is a large, brightly colored spider found in gardens and other outdoor areas in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Spider is a large, dark-colored spider found in forests, in trees and in caves. These spiders are harmless to humans and pose no threat when encountered.
Are there any spiders native to Hawaii?
Yes, Hawaii is home to many native species of spiders, including spiders from the Theridiidae, Araneidae and Lycosidae families. These spiders are typically small and secretive, living in foliage, under bark or in the ground, hidden from the human eye. In Hawaii, spiders are an important part of the natural ecosystem and provide valuable services like pest control, pollination and more.
What Kind of Spiders Can Be Found on the Tropical Island?
Tropical islands offer a diverse range of habitats, making them home to a variety of spider species. Commonly found spiders include jumping spiders, orb-weavers, wolf spiders, tarantulas, and trapdoor spiders. Many of these spiders have adapted to the warm climate, with some species exhibiting bright colors and unique patterns. While some spiders pose a threat to humans, most are harmless.
What is the most common spider species found in Hawaii?
The most common spider species found in Hawaii is the Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider (Theridion grallator). It is a small, black spider with a unique white pattern on its back resembling a smiling face. It is found in many areas of Hawaii, including in forests and gardens. The Hawaiian Happy-Face Spider is a harmless and beneficial species, as it preys on small insects.
Are there any particularly dangerous spiders in Hawaii?
Hawaii is home to a variety of spiders, some of which pose a potential danger to humans. While the vast majority of spiders in Hawaii are harmless, there are several species of venomous spiders that should be avoided. These include the Black Widow, the Yellow Sac Spider, and the Brown Recluse. The bites of these spiders can cause serious health issues and should always be treated by a medical professional.
Hawaii is home to a wide variety of spiders, including native and introduced species. While the native species are mostly harmless to humans, the introduced species, such as the black widow and the brown widow, can be dangerous. Most spiders are beneficial to the environment, helping to keep insect populations in check. Learning to recognize and identify the different types of spiders can help to protect both humans and the environment.