All spiders have eight legs, two body parts, and fang-like mouthparts. Some spiders are extremely venomous, while others are harmless and prefer to run or have mouthparts too small to bite human skin. There are also spiders with long legs, including those that live in your basement or garage.
Since longer legs can make a spider look bigger and scarier than it actually is, it’s important to be able to identify the species and understand which ones are venomous. Let’s learn more about 9 spiders with characteristically long legs and find out which ones are dangerous!
9 spiders with long legs
Here is a list of 9 spiders with long legs, including their leg span and how dangerous they are.
1. Tree crab spider
Scientific name: Tmarus angulatus
Leg span: 1 inch
The tree crab spider, also known as the tuberculated crab spider, is a small spider with a 0.5-inch body length and very long front legs in comparison. They are typically pale-colored, with some darker and brownish.
They often hold their front legs extended forward. These spiders also walk in a crab-like pose, moving sideways – giving them their name. You can find them throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. Although venomous, their bite isn’t medically significant for hospitalization.
2. Brown recluse spider
Scientific name: Loxosceles reclusa
Leg span: around 1 inch
The brown recluse spider’s legs appear long when compared to their small 0.25-inch bodies. These spiders are typically yellowish or light tan and live throughout the western and southern U.S. While most spiders have eight eyes, the brown recluse has only six eyes arranged in pairs of three.
Although reclusive and rarely bite, these spiders are venomous, with severe skin-cell death occurring in around 10 percent of bites. You can expect redness and swelling at the bite area and have to be careful of bacterial infections.
3. Long-bodied cellar spider
Scientific name: Pholcus phalangioides
Leg span: 1.75 inches
Sometimes called daddy long legs, the long-bodied cellar spider has long, thin legs relative to their body. Adults grow around 0.25 inches in body size with front legs around 1.75 inches.
These spiders are common throughout the U.S. and like to live in the dark, damp places such as basements, garages, crawl spaces, and cellars. They are light brown to pale yellow and nonvenomous.
4. Green lynx spider
Scientific name: Peucetia viridans
Leg span: 2.5 to 2.7 inches
The green lynx spider gets their name from its behaviors similar to the lynx wild-cat. They can chase their prey rapidly, jump from branch to branch, or wait to ambush insects. You can find them in Central and South America as well as in southern U.S. regions and some areas in Northern California.
These spiders are bright green with long, pale green to yellow legs. Females are larger than males, growing around 1 inch with 2.7-inch leg spans. Males grow to 0.7 inches with 2.5-inch leg spans. Although they rarely bite, they are venomous. Their bites are painful and can cause swelling.
5. Giant house spider
Scientific name: Eratigena atrica
Leg span: up to 4 inches
Giant house spiders are usually beige, brown, or orange and adult males can have leg spans of up to 4 inches, with their front legs the longest. Female legs are typically 2 inches. They prefer to hide and escape instead of bite, and their bites are not harmful to pets or humans.
These spiders have earthy tones, such as brown and muddy yellow or red. While native to Central Asia, Northern Africa, and Europe, you can also now find them in North America and the Pacific Northwest.
6. Giant crab spider
Scientific name: Olios Giganteus
Leg span: up to 6 inches
The largest crab spider species, the giant crab spider grows up to 0.8 inches in body length with total leg spans up to 6 inches. You can find these spiders in the western and southern U.S states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
They are aggressive spiders with great climbing abilities and are hard to shake off if they walk on you. Their bite is quite painful, with venom that causes swelling, headaches, and nausea. However, the symptoms typically wear off after a couple of hours, without needing hospital treatment.
7. Brazilian wandering spider
Scientific name: Phoneutria fera
Leg span: around 6 inches
These large spiders grow up to 2 inches in body size and are highly venomous and aggressive. Their venoms are toxic to the nervous system and can cause irregular heartbeats.
You can find these spiders in Central and South American rainforests. They are also called banana spiders since they frequently hang out on banana leaves.
8. Goliath bird-eating tarantula
Scientific name: Theraphosa blondi
Leg span: up to 11 inches
The Goliath bird-eating tarantula is the largest tarantula in the world and has a leg span of up to 11 inches against its 4.75-inch body. They are one of the largest spiders worldwide and can eat birds or anything smaller than them.
These spiders are typically black to russet brown and have fangs folding under their bodies, so they strike downwards. Their venom is not fatal to humans and as painful as a wasp sting. You can find them in the rainforests of northern South America.
9. Giant huntsman spider
Scientific name: Heteropoda maxima
Leg span: up to 1 foot
Considered the largest spider worldwide by leg span, the giant huntsman spider is native to the caves of Laos. Their bodies are around 1.8 inches long and yellowish-brown with dark spots and wide dark bands on their legs.
These big spiders aren’t aggressive. Although their venom can paralyze prey, it isn’t known to be harmful to humans. A bite can be painful and cause swelling, but no hospitalization is needed.