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Spiders of the Wells Reserve

Members of the Araneae documented from the reserve site

The entire spider fauna of the Wells Reserve has yet to be catalogued, but a few targeted efforts have begun to fill out a list.


Crab spider in the Native Plant Border, Wells Reserve, July 2021

In fall 2020, the Maine Forest Service published a Checklist of Maine Spiders, bringing to fruition a long collaboration between now-retired forest entomologist Charlene Donahue, the late spider expert Dr. Daniel T. Jennings, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the state forest service.

The project's anchor was Jennings. He collected, catalogued, or identified 71,000 individual spiders over several decades in Maine. When the checklist was released last year, just after his death, it contained 677 species (by comparison, the World Spider Catalog lists about 50,000).

Dr. Jennings visited the Wells Reserve with colleagues for a collecting trip in July 2001. They swept fields, vegetation, and roadside grasses searching for spiders, and inspected other promising spots as well. Jennings identified many of the collected arachnids promptly, but a full accounting remained incomplete until 2011—a sign, perhaps, there are not enough spider specialists working in Maine.

Spider List

This list of spiders is taken from the Site Profile of the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (2007) and several unpublished sources.

  • Site Profile: Entries in table 9-1, pages 122-123.
  • Spreadsheet of Wells Reserve spider records identified by the late Daniel T Jennings, obtained in 2021.
  • "Spiders (Araneae) captured by pitfall traps, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve."
  • Observations reported to iNaturalist, the citizen science portal and database, that were reported from within the Wells Reserve boundary. Last checked August 15, 2023.
  • Specimens collected for the citizen science project "The Search for Neodietrichia."


The efforts of the following observers, collectors, and identifiers are represented in the list of spiders found at the Wells Reserve: B. Cutler, F. Graham Jr., K. Janes, D. Jennings, koopnoop, M. Mazurkiewicz, M. Milne, K. O'Brien, S. Richardson, sialia, whutchins, W. Sweet. We apologize for any omissions.

ARANEIDAE (Orbweavers)

  • Araneus pratensis
  • Araniella sp. — cucumber spider
  • Argiope aurantia — yellow garden spider
  • Argiope sp. — goldenrod spider
  • Mangora gibberosa
  • Mangora sp.
  • Neoscona arabesca


  • Clubiona nicholsi

DICTYNIDAE (Mesh Weavers)

  • Argenna obesa

GNAPHOSIDAE (Ground Spiders)

  • Callilepis pluto
  • Callilepis sp.
  • Micaria sp.

LINYPHIIDAE (Sheetweb and Dwarf Weavers)

  • Ceraticelus silus
  • Ceraticelus sp.
  • Ceratinops latus — faned dwarf weaver
  • Erigone aletris
  • Erigone atra
  • Erigone blaesa
  • Hypselistes florens
  • Idionella rugosa
  • Linyphia triangularis
  • Mermessus tenuipalpis
  • Walckenaeria spiralis

LYCOSIDAE (Wolf Spiders)

  • Arctosa emertoni
  • Arctosa littoralis — shoreline wolf spider
  • Pardosa distincta
  • Pardosa littoralis
  • Pardosa sp.
  • Pirata piraticus
  • Rabidosa rabida — rabid wolf spider
  • Tigrosa helluo
  • Tigrosa sp.
  • Trochosa ruricola

PHILODROMIDAE (Running Crab Spiders)

  • Tibellus maritimus
  • Tibellus oblongus

SALTICIDAE (Jumping Spiders)

  • Attulus pubescens — downy jumping spider
  • Eris militaris
  • Eris sp.
  • Evarcha hoyi
  • Habronattus borealis
  • Habronattus viridipes
  • Pelegrina galathea
  • Pelegrina proterva
  • Phidippus clarus
  • Phidippus princeps
  • Zygoballus rufipes — hammer-jawed jumping spider

TETRAGNATHIDAE (Long-jawed Orbweavers)

  • Tetragnatha laboriosa
  • Tetragnatha sp.

THERIDIIDAE (Comb-footed Spiders)

  • Enoplognatha ovata

THOMISIDAE (Crab Spiders)

  • Misumena vatia — goldenrod crab spider
  • Misumenoides sp.
  • Xysticus luctans
  • Xysticus triguttatus
  • Xysticus sp.

What Else Lives Here?

Discover the flora and fauna of the Wells Reserve.

Flora & Fauna