Posts by ON Nature

Mashkinonje

Mashkinonje

By Back Roads Bill Wetlands are often misunderstood because we usually think of them as a “swamp,” often in movies it is where the bodies are found. At one time everything was a “swamp,” not a place to go for a holiday or spend some quality time. We are now learning wetlands are important but we […]

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A Guide to Some of Ontario’s Spiders

A Guide to Some of Ontario’s Spiders

Provide your info below and we’ll send you a PDF download of the spider guide right to your inbox! Email * First Name * Last Name * Postal Code I consent to receive emails from Ontario Nature. * required

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Ground crab spider (Xysticus species)

Ground crab spider (Xysticus species)

Description: These are small to medium crab spiders. Female 4 to 9 millimetres, male 3 to 7 millimetres. This group of crab spiders ranges from grey to brown in colour, and includes several species in our area. Habitat: May be on the ground or up in plants, waiting patiently to ambush prey, but is less […]

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Twobanded antmimic

Twobanded antmimic

Description: A medium-sized, slender, ant-like spider. Female 6.7 – 8.8 millimetres, male 5.7 – 6.8 millimetres. The body is overall dark brownish red with two white bands on the abdomen’s front half. Segments of legs further from body are lighter in colour. Habitat: Leaf litter and under rocks and wood in forested areas, has also been […]

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Leaf curling sac spider

Leaf curling sac spider

Description: A medium-sized sac spider. Female from 5.5 – 8.7 millimetres, male from 4.4 to 7.4 millimetres. The cephalothorax is mid-brown, darker around the eyes. The chelicerae are very dark. The light brown abdomen has a dark central stripe tapering towards the back. Habitat: Wet meadows and along streams, especially in long grasses.     […]

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Striped fishing spider

Striped fishing spider

Description: A very large fishing spider, similar to Dolomedes tenebrosus. Females range from 17 – 24 millimetres, males from 13 – 16 millimetres. The abdomen usually shows four “W-shaped” marks. Males have a broad whitish band around the entire cephalothorax, and a light band along the sides of the abdomen. Habitat: Usually found near or on water, […]

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Splendid dwarf spider

Splendid dwarf spider

Description: A very small but spectacularly coloured spider. Females are 2.5 – 3.0 millimetres, males are 2.0 – 2.3 millimetres. The cephalothorax is bright reddish orange, contrasting with a shiny black abdomen. Habitat: Weaves tiny sheet webs near or on the ground, often among leaves, under rocks or in low vegetation, may be found higher […]

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Hammock spider

Hammock spider

Description: Although a small spider, hammock spiders are large for this family. Females range from 5 – 7 millimetres, males from 4.5 – 6 millimetres. The cephalothorax is pale, with a dark mark like forceps starting in two lines near the eyes and joining towards the abdomen. The light-coloured abdomen has a central line resembling […]

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Conical trashline orbweaver

Conical trashline orbweaver

Description: This is a small orbweaver. Females range from 5 to 7.5 millimetres, males from 3 to 4 millimetres. The cephalothorax is dark brown. The abdomen is white with various brown patterns, and has a distinctive lobe extending from its posterior which accounts for part of its common name. The legs are pale brown. The […]

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Starbellied orbweaver

Starbellied orbweaver

Description: A medium-sized orbweaver. Females range from 7 – 15 millimetres, males from 5 – 8 millimetres. Between 10 and 12 points jut out from the abdomen’s edge, giving this spider a somewhat star-like shape and making it easy to identify in the field. Even its two lateral (side) eyes are set on points. There is […]

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Bridge orbweaver

Bridge orbweaver

Description: A medium-sized orbweaver. Females range from 8 – 14 millimetres, males from 6 – 7 millimetres. The cephalothorax is dark with thin white lines along the edge created by hairs. The abdomen has a dark “folium” mark outlined by white. The legs are banded dark and light. Habitat: Most often found on human structures, such […]

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Correction

Correction

In the fall 2016 issue of ON Nature (“Protecting Grassland in Forks of the Credit”),  we erroneously stated that Ontario Parks is planning to convert a portion of Forks of the Credit Provincial Park’s (FCPP) grassland into forest. In fact, Ontario Parks has not said that they will actively reforest any part of FCPP. We […]

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Letters – Has tourism become too accessible?

Letters – Has tourism become too accessible?

Dear Editor, In a day and age where money basically runs society it’s surprising just how many people can afford to travel. Thanks partly to online “deal finders” and the low Canadian dollar, visitors have all the more incentive to stay north of the border this summer season. But is this an issue?

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Goldenrod crab spider

Goldenrod crab spider

Description: A fairly large crab spider. Females measure 5 – 10 millimetres, and males are smaller, at 3 – 4 millimetres. Although colour in this species varies, it is typically yellow or white with red streaks on each side of the abdomen, and with a reddish or orange patch around the eyes. This species closely […]

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Slender crab spider

Slender crab spider

Description: A medium-sized spider. Female from 6 – 10 millimetres; male from 5 – 7 millimetres. Its body is overall light brown. As its name suggest, the abdomen is very slender (about three times as long as wide ). A dark middle stripe extends from its eye region to the tip of its abdomen where there […]

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Parson spider

Parson spider

Description: A medium-sized spider. The female is 6 – 9 millimetres, the male 5 – 6 millimetres. The cephalothorax is dark reddish brown, usually with a broad light median stripe. The abdomen is dark grey with a white stripe on the back and an additional white spot at its posterior end. Habitat: Often in and […]

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Yellow sac spider

Yellow sac spider

Description: A medium-sized spider. Females range from 5 – 10 millimetres, males from 4 – 8 millimetres. Overall the body is pale yellow and seems somewhat translucent. The chelicerae (below eyes) become black towards the fangs. The legs are black–tipped. Habitat: Most often encountered indoors, where it wanders walls and ceilings in search of prey; […]

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Nursery web spider

Nursery web spider

Description: A large nursery web spider. Females range from 12.5 – 16.5 millimetres, males from 10 – 15 millimetres. Overall tan to orangeish colouring. Females have a brown stripe, just wider than their eye span that extends straight back on their cephalothorax and continues, with wavy borders, the length of the abdomen. This stripe may […]

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Six-spotted fishing spider

Six-spotted fishing spider

Description: A very large spider. Females from 17 – 20 millimetres, males 9 – 13 millimetres. Females have a brownish cephalothorax. The brown abdomen shows three or four pairs of white spots. There are white bands on the sides of the cephalothorax and abdomen. The male is similar, but with broader white bands on the […]

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Brownish-grey fishing spider

Brownish-grey fishing spider

    Description: The leg span of this very large spider can exceed 80 millimetres. Female body size ranges from 15 – 26 millimetres, and males from 7 – 13 millimetres. The overall body colour is usually mid-brown or grey. A darker patch on the cephalothorax is outlined by a lighter line along the sides, […]

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Zebra jumper

Zebra jumper

Description: A small jumping spider. Females range from 4 – 6 millimetres, males from 4 – 5. Their body is overall dark brown or black with “zebra-like” white stripes on the abdomen and other white markings on the cephalothorax. Habitat: Often on or in buildings, which they enter to find food, also on tree trunks, […]

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Tan or familiar jumper

Tan or familiar jumper

Description: A large jumping spider. Females range from 10.0 – 13.0 millimetres, males from 8.5 – 9.5 millimetres. The body is overall light brown to grey. The abdomen has a lighter middle patch with a dark outline, and chevron markings toward the back. The female has a whitish moustache, while on the male this is […]

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Bold jumper

Bold jumper

Description: A large jumping spider. Females grow to 15 millimetres, males to approximately 13 millimetres in length. The face has iridescent green chelicerae. The female’s body is overall black and bristly, with three contrasting white or orange dots on the abdomen. She may also have a white band on the front of the abdomen, tapering […]

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Tigrosa helluo

Tigrosa helluo

Description: A very large wolf spider. Females range from 18 – 21 millimetres, males from 10 – 12 millimetres. The female is overall dark brown with lighter brown legs. A tan stripe extends back on the cephalothorax from between the eyes. There is a darker patch that extends about half-way back on the dorsal surface […]

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Thin-legged wolf spiders

Thin-legged wolf spiders

Description: A group of fairly small, common wolf spiders. Females range from 5 – 10 millimetres, males 4 – 7 millimetres. As their name suggests, this group has slim legs and are very fast runners for pursuing prey. Their face appears thinner rather than broadly convex (as in some other wolf spiders). Habitat: On woods […]

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Hackledmesh weaver

Hackledmesh weaver

Description: A medium to large spider. Females range from 5 – 12 millimetres, males from 5 – 9 millimetres. The cephalothorax is reddish brown and shiny, and darker towards the face area. This species has large chelicerae. The abdomen is dark on each side; the pale middle dorsal patch is divided by a dark line at […]

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Grass spider (Agelenopsis species)

Grass spider (Agelenopsis species)

Description: Females ranges from 7 – 17 millimetres, males from 6 – 12 millimetres. These spiders are overall brownish-grey, with two dark parallel lines on the lighter cephalothorax, giving it a striped appearance. The abdomen is grey or brown and may have a lighter middle stripe, or two light parallel stripes that become dotted towards […]

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Barn funnel weaver

Barn funnel weaver

Description: The female is 7.5 – 11.5 millimetres, male 6 – 9 millimetres. The body is overall light brown with two darker lines extending back from lateral eyes on the cephalothorax. The abdomen has small dark patches which become chevron-shaped towards the back; spinnerets are just visible from above. The legs are long and thin with […]

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Bowl and doily weaver

Bowl and doily weaver

Description: This is a very small spider. The female is 3 – 4 millimetres, the male about 3 millimetres. The cephalothorax is dark and the abdomen is dark brown on top with sides striped dark and white. Habitat: Meadows and wetlands, low vegetation, shrubs and lower branches of trees.             […]

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Longbodied cellar spider

Longbodied cellar spider

Description: This is a medium-sized spider. This female ranges from 7 – 9 millimetres, the male from 6 – 7.5 millimetres. Overall it has a long, narrow, grey body, with extremely long legs. The abdomen is long and narrow. The cephalothorax may have a dark longitudinal mark that divides in two towards the abdomen. The […]

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Candy stripe cobweb weaver

Candy stripe cobweb weaver

Description: A fairly large cobweb weaver. Females range from 4.3 – 7 millimetres, males from 3.5 – 5.2 millimetres. The pale cephalothorax has a faint dark middle stripe and two dark lines along the sides. The classic abdomen coloration has one red central stripe or two parallel, jagged red stripes, but this variable spider may […]

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Northern black widow

Northern black widow

Description: This species is among the largest cobweb weavers. Females, at 12 to 16 millimetres in length, are significantly larger than males, at 10 to 12 millimetres, although the males possess longer legs and narrower abdomens. Overall shiny black in colour, they have a red “hourglass-shaped” pattern on underside of abdomen. Unlike southern widows, this “hourglass” […]

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Common house spider

Common house spider

Description: A medium to large cobweb weaver. Females range from 5 – 7 millimetres, males from 4 – 6 millimetres. The cephalothorax is mid-brown to tan. The large and globular abdomen varies greatly in colour, but is often pale with many dark spots and swirls, giving it a mottled appearance. Some specimens may be overall […]

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Orchard orbweaver

Orchard orbweaver

Description: A medium-sized spider, female 4 – 8 millimetres, male 3 – 5 millimetres. Its legs are green, the cephalothorax is light brown, while the white abdomen is patterned with black and green lines, and yellow and reddish patches. One green line forms a circle around the abdomen, which encloses a central line with backwards […]

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Silver long-jawed orbweaver

Silver long-jawed orbweaver

Description: A medium-sized spider. Females are 5 – 9 millimetres; males 4 – 7 millimetres. Its abdomen is most often silvery white, sometimes tinged with yellow and marked with a longitudinal darker patch. The abdomen is less elongated compared to many other members of its genus (Tetragnatha). The cephalothorax and legs appear shiny brown. Habitat: […]

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Ambush hunters

Ambush hunters

Crab spiders Family Thomisidae Goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)     Ground crab spider  (Xysticus spp.)    

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Active hunters

Active hunters

Wolf spiders Family Lycosidae Thin-legged wolf spiders (Pardosa spp.)     Tigrosa helluo     Jumping spiders Family Salticidae Bold jumper (Phidippus audax)     Tan or familiar jumper (Platycryptus undatus)     Zebra jumper (Salticus scenicus)     Nursery web weavers Family Pisauridae Brownish-grey fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)     Striped fishing spider  (Dolomedes […]

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Web Spinners

Web Spinners

Orb weavers Family Araneidae   Yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia)     Banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)     Cross orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)     Furrow orbweaver (Larinioides cornutus)     Bridge orbweaver (Larinioides sclopetarius)     Shamrock orbweaver (Araneus trifolium)     Starbellied orbweaver (Acanthepeira stellata)     Conical trashline orbweaver (Cyclosa conica)   […]

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Shamrock orbweaver

Shamrock orbweaver

Description: A large orbweaver. Female 9 – 20 millimetres, male 5 – 8 millimetres. The cephalothorax is pale with one median and two lateral broad dark lines. The legs are strongly banded dark and pale. The abdomen base colour varies, often cream-coloured but also red, yellow and green are possible. The abdomen has a profusion […]

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Furrow orbweaver

Furrow orbweaver

Description: A medium-sized orbweaver. Females range from 6.5 – 14 millimetres, males from 5 – 9 millimetres. The cephalothorax is shiny brown. The abdomen is pale, with a dark “folium” mark on back that appears faded towards the middle and darkest at its edges. The legs are banded tan and brown. Habitat: Very common beside […]

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