Pets & AnimalsAnimals

The 8 Largest Spiders in Canada: Fascinating Arachnids of the North

Largest Spiders in Canada – Canada, known for its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, is also home to a captivating world of arachnids. Within its vast territory, from coast to coast and from the northern tundra to the southern woodlands, a diverse array of spiders thrives, showcasing an intriguing range of sizes, behaviors, and habitats. In this article, we embark on a journey into the enchanting realm of Canada’s arachnids to uncover the eight largest spiders that inhabit this northern country. As we delve into their world, we will unveil the intricacies of their webs and the intriguing details of their hunting habits, each spider species revealing a unique story of survival and adaptation.

Canada’s spiders come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the minuscule and discreet to the impressively large. They have carved out their niches in a variety of ecosystems, demonstrating their remarkable abilities to thrive in diverse conditions. While spiders might not always be the most beloved creatures, they play essential roles in maintaining ecological balance by keeping insect populations in check. As we get to know these eight remarkable arachnids, we will not only appreciate their beauty and complexity but also gain a deeper understanding of their significance in the intricate web of life that encompasses Canada’s natural world.

Join us on this enthralling journey as we meet the Giant House Spider, with its surprising presence indoors, and the Fishing Spider, known for its water-walking prowess. We’ll encounter the ground-dwelling Wolf Spider, the skilled architects of the Orb-Weaving Spider, and the agile and inquisitive Jumping Spider. We’ll also become acquainted with the Grass Spider, which constructs funnel-shaped traps, and the formidable Dark Fishing Spider, which dominates certain aquatic habitats. Our adventure culminates with the Bold Leaping Spider, a small yet striking arachnid with remarkable leaping abilities.

From the remote wildernesses to the bustling cities, from pristine lakeshores to verdant forests, these eight spiders have found their places in the heart of Canada. Each one is a testament to nature’s creativity and resilience, embodying the wonders of the animal kingdom that await discovery in this vast and diverse country. So, let’s set out on this arachnid expedition and uncover the secrets of the largest spiders in Canada, marveling at their beauty and admiring their unique adaptations that make them such extraordinary inhabitants of the Great White North.

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Largest Spiders in Canada

1. Giant House Spider (Eratigena atrica)

Size: Up to 10 cm in leg span

Our exploration begins with the Giant House Spider, known scientifically as Eratigena atrica. As the name suggests, these arachnids are often found indoors, particularly in houses and buildings. Despite their intimidating size, they are generally harmless to humans. Their large leg span, reaching up to 10 cm, can be a surprise for those encountering them in their living spaces.

Fishing Spider (Dolomedes spp.)

Size: Up to 10 cm in leg span

Moving on, we encounter the Fishing Spider, belonging to the Dolomedes genus. These spiders can also reach impressive sizes of up to 10 cm in leg span. Unlike many spiders, fishing spiders are often found near water, where they are known for their remarkable ability to walk on water. They are agile hunters and primarily feed on aquatic insects.

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Wolf Spider (Lycosidae family)

Size: Some species reach 5-6 cm

The Wolf Spider, belonging to the Lycosidae family, is a ground-dwelling hunter. While not as large as some other Canadian spiders, some species can still reach sizes of 5-6 cm. These arachnids are known for their keen hunting skills and are often spotted scuttling across the ground in search of prey.

Orb-Weaving Spider (Araneidae family)

Size: Leg spans range from 1-5 cm

Orb-weaving spiders, found in the Araneidae family, may not be the largest spiders in Canada, but they are renowned for their intricate circular webs. Their leg spans typically range from 1-5 cm. These industrious spiders construct stunning webs to capture unsuspecting insects that venture too close.

Jumping Spider (Salticidae family)

Size: Small to medium-sized, up to 2 cm

Jumping spiders, part of the Salticidae family, are agile and have excellent vision. While not among the largest spiders in Canada, they are fascinating in their own right. These spiders are known for their boldness and can span up to 2 cm. They are curious arachnids that actively hunt and pounce on their prey.

Grass Spider (Agelenopsis spp.)

Size: Measuring 2-3 cm in leg span

The Grass Spider, belonging to the Agelenopsis genus, is commonly spotted in grassy areas across Canada. These spiders construct funnel-shaped webs to capture prey. They measure between 2-3 cm in leg span and are known for their distinctive web-building habits.

Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

Size: Large and brown like the ordinary fishing spider

Similar to its ordinary cousin, the Dark Fishing Spider is a large and brown arachnid. This spider prefers aquatic prey and is known for its fishing abilities near water sources. It is a formidable hunter and a common sight in certain regions of Canada.

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Bold Leaping Spider (Phidippus audax)

Size: Spanning about 2 cm

Our journey concludes with the Bold Leaping Spider, scientifically known as Phidippus audax. While not among the largest spiders, these black-and-white leaping spiders are certainly bold and curious. They span about 2 cm and are known for their distinctive appearance and jumping prowess.

In the diverse and captivating world of Canadian arachnids, the eight largest spiders we’ve explored in this article showcase the intriguing variety of species that call the northern country their home. From the Giant House Spider with its impressive leg span to the agile Fishing Spider walking on water, and the bold Jumping Spider that actively hunts its prey, Canada’s spider population offers a unique tapestry of sizes, behaviors, and habitats.

The Orb-Weaving Spider’s intricate webs, the Grass Spider’s distinctive funnel-shaped traps, and the Dark Fishing Spider’s prowess in aquatic hunting all add to the rich tapestry of Canadian spider diversity.

We’ve also met the Wolf Spider, a ground-dwelling predator, and the curious Bold Leaping Spider, known for its distinctive appearance and leaping abilities. Canada’s spiders may range in size and habits, but each of them has a unique story to tell, reminding us of the wonders of the natural world right in our own backyards.


Are these large spiders in Canada dangerous to humans?

Generally, the spiders discussed in this article, including the Giant House Spider, Fishing Spider, Wolf Spider, Orb-Weaving Spider, Jumping Spider, Grass Spider, Dark Fishing Spider, and Bold Leaping Spider, are not considered dangerous to humans.

Where in Canada can you find these large spiders?

These large spiders can be found throughout various regions of Canada. Their distribution can vary depending on the species and habitat preferences. For example, the Giant House Spider is commonly found indoors in houses and buildings across the country.

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