Field Guide

Land Invertebrates

Showing 1 - 10 of 15 results
Media
Photo of a spotted orbweaver or barn spider, Neoscona crucifera, with black background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Neoscona crucifera
Description
A widespread species, the barn spider commonly builds its webs in woods and on the eaves of barns, houses, and similar structures.
Media
Photo of a bold jumping spider.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phidippus audax
Description
The bold jumper, or white-spotted jumping spider, is fuzzy, makes jerky movements, jumps surprisingly long distances, and doesn't build webs. It usually has a black body with white, orange, or reddish spots on the abdomen.
Media
Closeup of brown recluse spider on floor.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Loxosceles reclusa
Description
The brown recluse is a spider whose venomous bite may be medically significant to humans, though a bite is almost never fatal. Brown recluses are most commonly encountered in houses, where they occupy little-used drawers, closets, and other small hiding spaces.
Media
Photo of a female scorpionfly perched on a leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Panorpa spp.
Description
Male scorpionflies will make you look twice, because the abdomen is tipped with what looks like a scorpion stinger! These nifty insects cannot sting, however.
Media
Photo of a dark fishing spider standing on a rubber tire.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dolomedes tenebrosus
Description
The dark fishing spider often evokes alarm because of its large size. This mottled black and brown spider is often misidentified. It is not always found near permanent water.
Media
Photo of a dotted wolf spider
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rabidosa punctulata
Description
The dotted wolf spider has a solid brown stripe running down the middle of the abdomen, seen from above. Like other wolf spiders, females have strong maternal instincts, carrying their spiderlings around on their back until they can be on their own.
Media
Photo of a furrow orbweaver hanging head down with a green background
Species Types
Scientific Name
Larinioides spp.
Description
Furrow orbweavers have a distinctive dark pattern on the abdomen that resembles a furrow. These harmless spiders are common under the eaves of homes and near porch lights.
Media
Photo of a nursery web spider on a plant
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pisaurina spp.
Description
Nursery web spiders build silken tents in plants to protect their egg sacs, then stand guard until the hatchlings are ready to disperse. Large and velvety, nursery web spiders have long legs and variable color patterns.
Media
Photo of a male redlegged purseweb spider walking on limestone gravel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sphodros spp.
Description
Purseweb spiders build tubular webs attached to the bases of trees. Because these are easily overlooked, most people usually only see the males, which walk around in the open in early summer as they seek mates.
Media
Photo of wolf spider with young
Species Types
Scientific Name
Rabidosa rabida
Description
The rabid wolf spider, despite its scary name, is harmless to people and is absolutely not rabid. It commonly hides in leaf litter and sometimes gets into houses.
See Also
Media
Photo of a Yellow-Collared Scape Moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cisseps fulvicollis
Description
The yellow-collared scape moth is more often “orange-collared.” And whether you think it looks more like a firefly or a wasp, it’s still a moth!
Media
image of Plume Moth on blade of grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Nearly 150 species in North America north of Mexico
Description
Slim, delicate plume moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette, long legs, and muted shades of tan and brown. It can be hard to separate the various species.
Media
Photo of an Isabella Tiger Moth
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pyrrharctia isabella
Description
Not many people know the adult Isabella tiger moth when they see one, but we’re all acquainted with its caterpillar, the woolly worm, or woolly bear.

About Land Invertebrates in Missouri

Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.