Let’s look at what kind of yellow spiders live in Michigan. Though it is quite far north, the stated does have a surprisingly diverse diverse group of arachnid species…
If you’ve ever wondered “What kind of yellow spiders live in Michigan?” then this article is for you. You’ll learn about the Goldenrod crab spider, Black and yellow garden spider, and Orchard orbweaver. If you’ve ever seen one of these spiders, you’ll be glad to know that they’re not dangerous to humans.
What yellow spiders live in Michigan?
Yellow spiders are very common throughout Michigan. Some areas have more than one species, and you may encounter at least one while walking in the yard.
These spiders are very hairy and can appear quite scary, but they rarely cause harm to humans. While their fangs are armed with venom, they do not possess enough of it to kill larger prey.
Overall, Michigan has surprisingly high spider diversity. This is probably due to the fact that although the state endures cold winters, it also has hot, humid summers. This is typical of the continental climate that is prevalent in central North America.
Of the yellow spiders that live in Michigan, the most common species are:
- Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta)
- Black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia)
- Goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)
- Banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)
- Arrowshaped Micrathena spider (Micrathena sagittata)
- Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum and C. mildei)
The orchard orbweaver is a striking spider with colorful splotches. It hangs upside-down in its web, and its orange markings attract small dipterans (flies) that look down on it and try to get through its snare. It feeds on these insects, so it is important to observe orbweaver activity if you want to identify this species.
The Orchard orbweaver is a member of the Araneidae family. It is less than an inch long and lives in moist, wooded areas. They build their webs on trees and other objects and then wait for prey to fall into them. During the fall, they protect their egg sacs with their webs.
Typically, the Orchard orbweaver lives in orchards and groves, though they can be found in wooded areas throughout the state. They can also be found in southeastern states and have broad distributions.
They are gregarious and tend to attach webs together when they find abundant prey. The spider spins its silk for webs on the tip of its abdomen.
Black and yellow garden spider
The Black and yellow garden spider, also known as the yellow garden orbweaver, is an ominous looking specimen that is hard to miss in your garden. This large, bold spider can be shocking to encounter in your flower bed, but they play an important role in the ecosystem.
Even though this species is not highly venomous, it is best to avoid stepping on it or letting it land on your skin. Here are some facts about this ominous-looking spider:
A large, circular web is one of the most prominent features of the Black and Yellow Garden Spider. These spiders are notorious for spinning enormous webs, some as large as two feet across.
Their webs are constructed of tightly-woven silk and contain a white stablementum in the center. While spider experts disagree as to how the stablementum serves, they think that it attracts insects and prevents birds from flying through the web.
The black and yellow garden spiders hunt their prey through vibrations transmitted through their web. At night, they consume sticky strands of web and do repairs.
One of their key behaviors when threatened by a predator is to swing back and forth in their web. This may confuse birds, or make their black and yellow marking stand out more.
Goldenrod crab spider
The goldenrod crab spider is a common spider in Michigan – though not easy to spot. They are found in milkweed and goldenrod flowers, where they pounce on unsuspecting polinator insects like bees.
The male goldenrod crab spider may become the meal of a larger female after copulation. Cannibalism is a last resort of these species, and they usually only do so when resources are low. The probability of becoming a meal increases as the male spider ages, and he loses speed and agility.
The female goldenrod crab spider is slightly larger than the male and is approximately 7mm long. The males are only about 5mm long. They have two rows of eyes, the top row being larger and straighter than the bottom row.
The goldenrod crab spider is a unique looking spider, with a broad bottom and narrow top. This species is characterized by its coloration, which is generally bright yellow, but can be white instead. In fact, they change to suit the flowers they live on!
Goldenrod crab spiders are ambush predators. They live in flowers and hunt nectar-drinking insects. Male goldenrod crab spiders are more active than mature females, while females stay in their chosen territory.
Goldenrod crab spiders can change color by moving pigments between different layers of tissue. They take anywhere from 10 to 25 days to change from white to yellow. This unique coloration allows the spiders to blend in well with many flowers.
Banded garden spider
The Banded garden spider is a large species with colorful markings on its body. When fully extended, mature females are about thirteen to fourteen millimeters long.
Their abdomen is elongated and oval, with a pointed posterior and rounded anterior. The female’s abdomen is covered with lateral bands of black. Her legs are brown, with spots of darker color on their undersides. The male is about a third smaller than the female.
These spiders are not harmful, and will only bite if they feel threatened or if they are roughly handled by a human. They usually only sting their prey bitten, and this is only a small amount. If they bite you, expect a stinging sensation and swelling, and a red, irritated area around the bite.
The Banded garden spider is part of the orb-weaver family. These spiders build orb-shaped webs in garden beds, and sit upside down in the center.
They are either black with white or reddish-brown with yellow or white bands. While females typically sit on their own web, they will also feed on the webs of others. When threatened, the female can deliver a fairly painful bite for its size.
Arrowshaped Micrathena spider
If you’re ever in Michigan, you may be lucky enough to see an Arrowshaped Micrathena spider. While they look frightening, these fascinating spiders are not dangerous to humans.
Their venom is only strong enough to paralyze bugs. If you get bitten by one, it will only cause mild pain and itch. The best way to treat the bite is with soap and water, but if you suspect you may be allergic then you should get medical attention.
If you’ve ever seen an arrow-shaped micrathena, you probably know it as the arrow-shaped orb weaver. This species is often found in gardens in Eastern U.S. It’s easy to identify because of its arrow-shaped abdomen.
The male is black with white edges, while the female has a bright yellow body and red and black spots. Because it’s a fairly large spider, you might be able to spot it even if it’s not in the open.
The Arrowshaped Micrathena spider lives in Eastern and Central America. This species is not a threat to humans, and it is harmless to pets. In Michigan, it is commonly found in homes and gardens, and you can find them in wooded areas.
Its webs are made of spider-proof material, and the females use them to lay their eggs. Its unusual appearance has prompted many to compare it to the iconic Pokemon Pikachu.
Yellow Sac Spider
The Yellow Sac Spider is one of the most common species of spider in the state of Michigan, and in neighboring states like Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. While they can be tricky to spot, they are not as aggressive as the stories tell.
When disturbed, they can bite, and can live in gardens, wood piles, basements, and closets. You can also find them in tunnel webs containing their egg sacs. However, it is important to be careful when handling one because they can be quite aggressive.
Although a beneficial predator, yellow sac spiders are often feared by humans due to their irritating bite, and they may bite if disturbed. This species spends most of its time in the ground or under vegetation, but is not afraid to bite if it senses that you are about to disturb it.
They are most common in yards during cooler months, but are also known to enter homes and buildings through open windows. If you are unsure of whether you might encounter a yellow sac spider, be sure to keep these tips in mind.
Are yellow spiders harmful?
Spiders are found in several locations in Michigan. Many are harmless to humans. Yellow spiders are particularly common in gardens. You can also look for them in dark corners of your house.
However, when encountering them, it is important to wear gloves and long sleeves. Following these precautions will help you avoid an unpleasant encounter with poisonous yellow spiders in Michigan.
Luckily, spiders actively avoid biting people. They generally see us as potential predators, and prefer to run from a fight. If you live in Michigan, and see yellow spiders in your backyard, it’s a good idea to leave them alone so they can do their work.
After all, spiders are the best natural pest control available!