Identification of a Gray Spider

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Identification of a Gray Spider
The wolf spider may appear either grey or brown in colour. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

With all the variations of spiders in existence, identifying specific species often presents a challenge, even when the overall colour of the spider known. Several species may appear grey in colour, but many of these may also appear brown or black, as well. Identifying a grey spider requires knowing the spider's size, location and characteristic features, like markings or leg appearance.

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Wolf Spider

An adult wolf spider measures one-quarter inch to one inch in length and has a mottled grey or brown colour. Most appear outdoors on the ground or in burrows. Wolf spiders have a poisonous, but non-lethal bite and rarely attack unless provoked.

Fishing Spider

Fishing spiders appear around ponds, swamps and other still or slow-moving sources of water. The hairy body averages around one inch in length, and it usually has a smattering of black, brown, white and grey markings. The fishing spider has a painful, but generally non-dangerous bite.

Crab Spider

Crab spiders live outdoors on flowers and leaves. Their appearance mimics that of crab, with the front four legs extending out to the sides in a crablike manner. The front legs measure longer than the back four, and the spider in general measures around 1/10- to 2/5-inch long. They appear yellow, red, brown or grey in colour.

Parson Spider

The parson spider, a specific type of gnaphosid spider, measures around 1/2-inch long and lives under stones or bark outdoors, or in cracks indoors. The spider has a brown body with a grey abdomen. A white band runs over half the abdomen.

Comb-Footed or Cobweb Spider

The cobweb spider has a brown or grey colour mottled with dark stripes on its upper abdomen. The female measures up to 1/3-inch long, but the male may measure as small as 1/8-inch. These spiders spin webs in dark, moist corners indoors and wood piles or stone piles outdoors.

Funnel Web Grass Spider

Most grass spiders live outdoors and build large sheet webs in tall grass and low bushes. They appear brown or grey in colour, except for a few light and dark stripes near the head. Aside from its large spinnerets, the non-aggressive, non-lethal grass spider appears moderately-sized at an average of 3/4-inch long.

Jumping Spider

Jumping spiders prefer the outdoors and cling to windows, screens and doors when inside. Some appear brown in colour with yellow or white markings, while others have black bodies dotted with orange or red spots. The largest jumping spiders measure 1/2 inch long. These spiders move in quick, short jumps.

Wood Louse Hunter

The wood louse hunter has a creamy grey body with a distinct red cephalothorax and red legs. These nocturnal hunters have hairless bodies and large fangs. While these typically non-aggressive spiders have painful bites, their venom causes little to no reaction.

Cellar Spider

Cellar spiders appear similar to daddy-long-legs, except for their rounded or elongated bodies, coloured light grey or light brown. These small spiders measure between 1/16-inch to 1/4-inch and have very long, slender legs. They generally hang upside-down from irregular sheet webs.

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