Spiders of Minnesota

Very little is known about the spider fauna in the state of Minnesota. Professor Chad Heins and his students are currently working to determine which species occur in the state and how they are distributed. This involves a study of the literature and field sampling.  Below is a sample of pictures from their collections.

Casteinera longipalpa

Cyclosa conica

Cyclosa conica lateral view

Striped Lynx Spider--Oxyopes salticus

Maevia inclemens
dark male

Maevia inclemens

Maevia inclemens
light male

Mangora placida

Mimetus puritanus

Naphrys pulex
gravid female

Naphrys pulex male

Pardosa saxatilis

Pelegrina proterva male

Phidippus audax

Philodromus spp.

Pisaurina mira

Salticus scenicus

Schizocosa crassipes

Schizocosa crassipes
male--face shot

Sitticus fasciger gravid

Talavera minuta

Thanatus vulgaris

Theridion frondeum

Uloboris glomosus


Annotated Checklist to Spiders of Minnesota

by Chad Heins, Assistant Professor of Biology, Bethany Lutheran College

Work in progress!

The state of Minnesota is positioned within North America and a juncture of three major plant communities.  Broadleaf forests extend from the southeast corner to the north and west.  Tallgrass Prairie approaches from the west and mixed forests that are dominated in areas by conifers are found in the northeast.  A diversity of plant communities results in a diverse spider fauna.

After looking for a list of Minnesota spiders for some time, it became apparent to the author that no such document existed.  This publication is designed to fill that gap in our knowledge and hopefully spark a wider interest in the spider fauna of this state.  It was created by looking through the literature and doing some field collecting as well.  As of this update, my working list has 427 spider species documented in the state of Minnesota with another 158 species listed as hypothetical in their occurrence.  I will add to this working document as time permits.



Agelenopsis actuosa (Gertsch & Ivie, 1936)

            COUNTIES: hypothetical occurrence

  • Gertsch & Ivie, 1936 indicates that this species was collected from Oregon to Ontario with most records in the Pacific Northwest.  If this range is contiguous, it may occur in Minnesota.
  • Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 indicates records from British Columbia, Oregon, and St. Thomas, Ontario.  Note that the Ontario location is more specific in this later publication.  Again, if this range is contiguous, it may occur in Minnesota.

Agelenopsis naevia (Walckenaer, 1841)

            COUNTIES: hypothetical occurrence

  •  Levi & Field, 1954 indicates specimens collected from Wisconsin counties along the Mississippi River including Trempeleau County which lies across the river from Winona County in Minnesota. It is likely to occur in the state.

Agelenopsis pennsylvanica (C.L. Koch, 1843)

            COUNTIES: hypothetical occurrence

  • Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 indicates 4 males and 2 females were collected in Platteville, WI which is a little over 100km from Minnesota.  This species should occur.
  • A female specimen collected in Mankato, MN (Blue Earth County) is believed to be this species.  At this time, no determination of the specimen has been done.

Agelenopsis potteri (Blackwall, 1846)

            COUNTIES: Beltrami

  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science holds a specimen collected in Bemidji, MN on 10 September 2004 by Francis M.  (#ZA.6963)
  • Chamberlin & Ivie, 1941 indicates that both males and females were collected from Fargo, ND and Okoboji, IA.  Both are very near to the Minnesota state line and the state lies between these two locales, suggesting this species could be widespread in the state.

Agelenopsis utahana (Chamberlin & Ivie, 1933)

            COUNTIES: hypothetical occurrence

  • Levi & Field, 1954 indicates this species occurs in Wisconsin.
  • Benell-Aitchison & Dondale, 1990 indicates this species occurs in Manitoba.
  • Minnesota’s geographical position between Manitoba and Wisconsin suggests this species should occur in the state and may be widely distributed.

Coras lamellosus  (Keyserling, 1887)

            COUNTIES: Carver (?), Goodhue, Hennepin

  • BugGuide has a photo of a spider that has been tentatively identified as C. lamellosus from Carver County, MN: Record 100202.
  • Muma, 1946 indicates two males and four females were collected in Minneapolis, MN between 18 May and 4 June 1931 by W. J. Gertsch (Hennepin).  It also indicates five females were collected from Wacouta Beach on Lake Pepin on 15 May 1932 and an additional female was collected 25 April 1931 from the same location by W. J. Gertsch (Goodhue).

Coras medicinalis (Hentz, 1821)

            COUNTIES: Clearwater, Olmstead

  • Heimer, et al, 1984 indicates specimens were collected in Itasca State Park (Clearwater).
  • Muma, 1946 indicates a female specimen was collected in Rochester by Marx (Olmstead).

Coras montanus  (Emerton, 1889)

            COUNTIES: Hennepin

  • Muma, 1946 indicates a female specimen was collected in Minneapolis, MN on 17 May 1932 by W. J. Gertsch (Hennepin).

Coras juvenilis (Keyserling, 1881)

            COUNTIES: unknown

  • Roth & Brown, 1986 indicates that this species’ range extends to Minnesota.  No information is given regarding its distribution in the state.

Tegenaria domestica (Clerck, 1757)

            COUNTIES: Hennepin (?)

  • BugGuide has a photo of a spider that has been tentatively identified as T. domestica from Hennepin County, MN: Records 302209-302211.

Wadotes calcaratus (Keyserling, 1887)

            COUNTIES: unknown

  • Muma, 1947 indicates that Keyserling states that Marx found examples of this species in Minnesota.  No indication of where in Minnesota this species has been recorded.


Benell-Aitchison, C.W. and C.D. Dondale, 1990.  A Checklist of Manitoba Spiders (Araneae) With Notes on Geographic Relationships.  Naturaliste canadien 117:215-237. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.

index.htm  (Version 16JUL97).


Chamberlin, R. V. & W. Ivie, 1941.  North American Agelenidae of the genera Agelenopsis, Calilena, Ritalena and Tortolena. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 34: 585-628.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Colorado Spider Survey Database.  Accessed 27 June 2012.

Gertsch, W. J. & W. Ivie, 1936. Descriptions of new American spiders. American Museum Novitates, 858: 1-25.

Heimer, S., W. Nentwig, and Bruce Cutler, 1984.  The spider fauna of the Itasca State Park (Minnesota, USA).  Faunistische Abhandlungen,  Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde in Dresden.  11:119-124.

Levi, Herbert W. & Howard M. Field, 1954.  The Spiders of Wisconsin.  American Midland Naturalist.  51 (2): 440-467.

Muma, M. H., 1946.   North American Agelenidae of the genus Coras  Simon.  American Museum Novitates. 1329: 1-20.

Muma, M. H., 1947.  North American Agelenidae of the genus Wadotes  Chamberlin.  American Museum Novitates. 1334: 1-12.

Roth, V. D. & W. L. Brown, 1986. Catalog of Nearctic Agelenidae. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Texas Tech University. 99: 1-21.