A new publication from Nebraska Extension, Identification Guide to Common Spiders in Nebraska, Extension Circular 1590, is designed to assist with identification of common spiders from 18 families that live in Nebraska as well as two common spider-like arthropods—harvestmen and windscorpions. It is authored by Ronald C. Seymour, Extension Educator, James Kalisch, Entomology Extension Associate and Shripat T. Kamble, Extension Urban Entomologist, all with Nebraska Extension.
This 32-page publication features high quality photographs of key characters to accurately identify these spiders, as well as discussion of their habitats and behavior. The information in this publication is broadly relevant, as the species represented occur geographically in much of the United States and southern Canada east of the Rocky Mountains.
Spiders play an important role as predators of insects in the landscape. Many people appreciate their value, but they are still fearful and avoid them. This is probably because spiders are venomous and may bite when in defensive situations or when trapped against skin. Indeed bites can be painful, but only a few species can cause severe reactions in humans. It is, therefore, valuable to know how to readily identify spiders living in and around homes, buildings and in the surrounding landscape, and to differentiate the risks each spider species may pose.
A free .pdf version is available for download at http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/ec1590.pdf