This page is an attempt to provide a list of valid names for the spiders (Araneae) which occur in North America north of Mexico. The list has been compiled by a committee of volunteer contributors of the American Arachnological Society (Spiders of North America Check-list Committee). As a version of each family list becomes available at this site its name will be highlighted; indicating a link to the draft list. The committee is most interested in receiving suggestions or corrections. Please direct these questions to Richard Bradley.
The following list of families is adapted from the list provided in the World Spider Catalog Version 16. The main purpose of a page such as the current one is to provide information on the names currently in use in the most convenient form; thus the list of families, genera, and species are presented in alphabetic order.
How to use this site
To find a particular name you should first select the family to which you believe the spider belongs and scan the list for the "candidate" name you are checking. If you do not find the name quickly; use the "find-in-page" or Find (on-this-page) function (under the Edit pulldown menu with your browser) searching for the species' name. Try a search without the name's ending as this might change with the name of the older generic assignment. For example, Acanthepeira venusta (Banks, 1896) was at one time listed as Araneus venustus. If you search under "venust" you would locate both names. In this way you may locate the current name.
Because our taxonomic knowledge is constantly changing, species may be re-assigned to different genera, and genera to different families. If you have difficulty finding the species you are interested in, consider using the World Spider Catalog with its extensive lists of synonyms.
After the name of a species in this list, there is an indication of the states (USA) and provinces (Canada) where the species has been reported. Many species distributions are poorly known, so these lists may be incomplete. Don’t be too surprised if you find a species in a state or province that is not listed. If you do detect such a situation, you should consider reporting your record and perhaps submitting a voucher specimen to a museum collection for that region.
For each family, there is a downloadable document and pdf. Just click on the appropriate link.
See also corrections for the families with many changes in Kaston's Spiders of Connecticut and How to Know the Spiders
Spiders of Connecticut rev. ed. 1981 pdf
How to Know the Spiders 1978 3rd Edition pdf
updated February 20, 2021