Spiders in my rose garden -- what kind are they?

Are there any arachnophiles out there who can help me identify the spiders in my roses? I know they’re most likely harmless, I’m just curious. Unfortunately, I’m also a bit arachnophobic, and looking at images of spiders online trying to identify them is making me a bit queasy.

I live in the Pacific Northwest – Oregon’s Willamette Valley, to be specific. These spiders are black and white, with long, narrow abdomens. They are definitely web-spinners (what shape, I don’t know), but they also run very fast. They’re very zippy.

Zippy spiders with streamlined bodies and black and white racing stripes. They live in my roses, and also my van because I transported a large bucket (not bouquet) of roses in it recently, and they zipped all over my husband and me as we screamed in terror. That’s why I’m curious.

(PS, I know they are not Crab or Flower Spiders, because I have those, too. They are white to pale green to yellow, have round abdomens, and I haven’t noticed them to be particularly zippy. Creepy, yes; zippy, no.)

I have no idea - but I can recommend this site: http://whatsthatbug.com/

It’s been invaluable to me for identifying creepy crawly critters. Scroll down on the main page and look through the spiders pages (links on the left).

The Doctor

Garden spiders are almost always orb weavers. Based on the description, you might have a golden orb weaver. Google that, click Images, and see if anything looks familiar.

They’re not just harmless, by the way; they’re actively positive to have in the garden. If you get one on you, no need to scream in terror. Stroke its little back and coo softly to it, thanking it for eating all those nasty bugs. :wink:

I love spiders. Almost obsessively; I read books on them and get a little thrill when I get to observe one closely IRL. I have had many different kinds of spiders in captivity. The only kinds I could not have were the ones I wanted most: a diving bell spider–I could not for the life of me track one down; woulda had to go to England (IIRC) and capture one myself. And an orb weaving spider, which won’t work indoors. The zoo where I work has a little bug zoo, but they also cannot keep an orb weaver.

Trivia question: anyone know why that is?

Hmmmm… I suppose it looks similar, but it’s hard to tell. The spiders in the pictures don’t even look exactly like each other. I think that’s a good candidate, though. Can you find video of it zipping? These pictures are very, very still. Makes it hard to tell. :wink:

shudder You are a sick, sick man. I love kittens, but even if one of them dropped from the ceiling unexpectedly and started zipping around on me, I’d probably scream in terror. For a little bit, anyway.

I give up :slight_smile:

Sounds like a jumping spider to me. They’re all over the trees in the front yard, and unfortunately, my truck. Black with white bits, stubby little legs, fast as hell.
(I’m in SW Washington)


about halfway down the page.

They sounds like zebra spiders; genus Salticus


There are certainly some species in this genus native to your locality.

If they’re not builders of the traditional, disk-shaped web, then they’re not Cervaise’s spiders. If they hopped and ran about, they may indeed be jumping spiders. I used to see little black and white striped jumping spiders, as a kid, in TX. Are these fuzzy? are their legs shortish, proportionate to their body?

They had very long legs, and they spin webs. One dropped onto us from above by a web. So I’m sure they’re not jumping spiders. Just don’t quite match the golden orb spiders, though. Not enough for me to say yes with certainty. I’m still looking.

Not to worry, Kat. They’re giant Sim-player-eatin’ spiders. No problem.