What Are the Common Species of Spiders in California?


Quick Answer

Some common species of spiders in California are long-legged cellar spiders, tarantulas and trapdoor spiders. Cellar spiders are also commonly known as daddy long-legged spiders. The arachnids are an imported species that are not native to California.

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What Are the Common Species of Spiders in California?
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Full Answer

Cellar spiders typically spin messy webs beneath the eaves of houses or in the upper corners of rooms. They have extremely thin, long legs and elongated bodies. The species looks similar to the marbled cellar spider; however, the latter species has unique banded legs, a black underside and a marbled abdomen.

Tarantulas typically inhabit the California desert and dryer mountain regions. They generally reach about 2 inches in length. California tarantulas generally do not contain toxin that is potent enough to harm humans. The spiders dig a burrow into soft sand or dirt, then wait for prey to pass close by so that they can catch it and crush it with their massive fangs. Tarantulas are nocturnal and do not stray far from their burrows during the day.

Trapdoor spiders are unique in the way that they construct their dwellings and capture their prey. The species digs a relatively deep, 1-inch-wide burrow and seals it with a door woven from the spider's silk and leaves or grasses. The spider then anchors lines of web around the outside of its door. Prey that comes too close triggers the lines of the web, and the spider subsequently ambushes it.

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