The SPIDER GUIDE -- I am trying to expand my efforts to the other 49 states, and I can use your help. If you have found me or Michigan Spiders helpful, Please consider heading over to my new site, The Spider guide and adding it to your bookmarks.

Please scroll down to reach the current Article for this page.

Spiders verified to be here in Michigan are listed on the left sidebar. On the right sidebar, are the spiders of which pictures have been sent in to me.

The BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER! - Rick Vetter, the worlds top expert on the Brown recluse has published a book on the infamous Brown recluse spider. Learn the truth behind the worlds most misunderstood spider. (BUY IT HERE!)

My Disclaimer
My Knowledge and Why I am Not an Expert

Spider Questions and IDENTIFICATION Requests
My EMAIL can be found in the above link. I am always happy to help identify a spider, but please do us both a favor and read this before emailing me. Thanks.

Describing your Spider ..... Photographing your Spider

Your Fear of Spiders
........... Spiders in your Home?


Beyond Spider Dome - Where two spiders enter and one comes out.

Spiders and Drugs - Documentary video about the effects different drugs have on spiders.

Play with a computerized spider
- (flash)

Spider Diagram. - Basic anatomy of a spider.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Michigan Spiders the Printed Version of the Book

Michigan Spiders, the printed version of the book is available!

It took a couple of extra years to get this book right for printing. You would be surprised how good clear pictures on your computer will turn out so dark once they are printed. Working 50 plus hours a week at a job that will pay the bills, it didnt leave much time to be working on the book much less the site. 

Michigan Spiders Printed Book at Amazon
But this year I have pushed to get it done. I have added updated pictures as well as new spiders to the book.

If you happen to be camping, fishing, hunting, or just at a park when you see a spider and you want to know what it is? Just keep the book with you and you can look it up.

A neat little feature I added to the printed version of the book is a quick index at the back of the book. It has smaller versions of the pictures of the spiders all close together with the name of the spider below them. This will make it easy to just scan through the pictures and find the spider that looks like the one you have found.

This is not like your fiction books that you read once and toss aside to never look at again. Michigan Spiders (the Printed Book) will be a guide you can turn to over and over for years to come. For the price of $22.99, you can have the best guide to the common spiders you will find in Michigan at your fingertips.

Buy the book at Amazon now! Have the spiders of Michigan in your hands today!

Dont forget to leave a review of the book at

Thanks again to Karri Klawiter for the exceptional cover design!  :o)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So You Might Have a Brown Recluse Huh?

Contrary to very common belief, the Brown recluse spider is not indigenous to Michigan. Yes I know.  You or someone you know was bit by one once. Trust me, everybody knows someone who was bit by this spider. Yet, not one of them have caught the spider (dead or alive) to have it identified.

If you find a Brown recluse, there are some rules you really should follow.
1) Catch it. Preferably alive, but having a dead specimen is still much better than no specimen. If it is alive, make sure you note that on a label on the container so nobody opens it not expecting a Brown recluse to run out. If it is dead, place it in a small container of alcohol to preserve it.
2) Take some pictures of it.  The clearer the pics the better. Show the top of the spider and the front of it. Try hard to get the eyes in a picture.
3) Email me or a real entomologist first and attach the pictures of the spider to the email. IF they think it really might be one, they will tell you, and then you can get the information where to send it for proper identification.
4) Be completely honest in answering any questions they may have for you. After all, it is important to learn whether the spider was brought in somehow or not.

Every expert will tell you the Brown recluse is not in Michigan other than a very rare rogue spider that was brought here inside boxes or packages or something. If you believe they really are here, the only way you can prove it is by getting them identified.

Please, if you wish to debate whether the recluse is in Michigan or not, don't do it on comments at the end of this page. Do it where others will take part a little more. Like go to the comments after this post... The Myth of the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow Spiders  ... and read the argument here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Getting a Spider Identified

Did you find a spider that is nothing like any you have seen before? Or maybe you see the spider all the time and finally just want to learn more about it. Well, I am sad to inform you that like everything else in this world, there are rules to abide by.  Please follow the rules below as much as you can.

Please leave the following info in the body of the email.
1) First and Last name.
2) City and State where the spider was found. (If you are from outside of Michigan, please send it to ( instead.
3)  Information on where it was found might help. In a bedroom, attic, barn, or out in the garden, a wood pile, etc...

WARNING -- By sending me a picture, you are giving me permission to use the picture in one of my sites, or in my book, if I should choose to do so. Any pictures I use, I will place your name and city where it was found beneath the picture as the photographer.  Most people do not mind this, but if you should for some reason not wish me to use either your first or last name, the city you put in the email, or even the picture itself, you must make it clear what you do not wish me to use. If by chance I make a mistake and use the wrong info, please email me and I will correct it.

The more detail the better. When trying to identify spiders by pictures, I prefer to see pictures looking at the top of the spider. If I can see the shape of the two body parts, the colors, and the markings, it will go a long way to getting the spider correctly identified. If you have a good enough camera and are not afraid to get a good close macro shot of its eye pattern, that can also help immensely.

Please attach the picture as its own file to the email. If I open the email and can see the picture in with where you would write a message, this often works against me. The problem with it is that I cannot zoom into the picture while it is in the email and if I save it from the email, it will save it the same size as I see it in the email. So when I do zoom in then, it will pixilate immediately. Most pictures are larger files so that if you look at it at 100%, it is much larger than the screen. That is what I want. The original picture file attached to the email, for me to download to my spider pictures folder. That way when I open it in a viewer, I can zoom in and see more detail before it pixilates. However, if you do send it in a way I do not like and I ask for it differently, please do not feel offended. I am never upset with any picture. I just might ask for it in a different way in order to better my chances of helping you. And if you for some reason cannot do it the way I ask, just let me know and I will give you the best answer I can with what I got.

Another reason I like the pictures of spiders as attached files, is because it allows me to look through my emails and find the emails with attachments easier.

-- Files attached to emails.
-- Tops of spiders and possibly eye patterns are most important.
-- The clearer the better. The blurrier it is, the harder it is for me to identify.
-- A picture of the web is sometimes helpful too.

If you have a picture of any quality, I would prefer you to send that with the description to give me the best chance of success. If you do decide to describe the spider, please give as much of the following description as possible....
-- Shape of the abdomen
-- Size of abdomen in comparison to the front body part
-- Colors and markings on the abdomen, front body part, and legs.
-- Are the legs banded or a solid color?
-- Are the legs super thin or thick?
-- Do the legs have spiny hairs on them?
-- Describe the web (if a web is present).

Keep in mind that it can be extremely difficult to identify a spider by a description. Most cases will likely end up nothing more than a possible ID and a pure guess. Often, not even that much. There are simply too many spiders that can look too much like others and it would be just a tiny mark or shape that might tell me what it is. Even with a good clear detailed picture, there or times when I cannot help. But you have my word, I will always do my best.

This will not happen too often. It is only in certain circumstances where I will give my address out to someone to send me a spider. Usually, these extreme cases are because it happens to be a spider I really want to look at. Far more often, if I cannot identify it and it is important enough to you are to me, I will give you the info to send the specimen to an entomologist I am in contact with, as they have far more knowledge than I do and can put it under the microscope to look at the genitalia in order to give a 100% positive identification.


If the spider was not found in Michigan, please email the request to SPIDERGUIDE@HOTMAIL.COM
(Please! Remember to inform me what state it was found!)

If the spider was in fact found in Michigan, please email the request to MICHIGANSPIDERS@HOTMAIL.COM