Spiders Of Antelope Island – They Aren’t So Creepy

/, Davis County, Utah, Western Spotted Orbweaver/Spiders Of Antelope Island – They Aren’t So Creepy

Every year in August Antelope Island has a SpiderFest where there are walks and talks about the spiders of that live on the island, I love photographing them and they really aren’t so creepy as they seem to be. This year the SpiderFest is on August 4th and I’m sure everyone who visits will have a great time and learn more about these eight-legged inhabitants of the island.

Western Spotted Orbweaver resting in her web, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, UtahWestern Spotted Orbweaver resting in her web – Nikon D500, f8, 1/320, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Birds are my passion and I photograph them more than anything else but I do love to aim my lens at the spiders that start to drape the island with their webs around July. The females are larger and thus are easily seen hanging around in their webs catching brine flies, moths, butterflies or whatever flies into their silken traps. They caught my eye on my first trip from Florida to visit Utah before I even moved here.

The spiders I see most often are the Western Spotted Orbweavers, the spots they are named for can be seen in this photo on the spider’s abdomen.

Female Western Spotted Orbweaver and friend, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, UtahFemale Western Spotted Orbweaver and friend – Nikon D500, f8, 1/640, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

With my long lens I don’t have to get close to the spiders to photograph them but nice photos of these spiders can be taken with shorter lenses on DSLRs, point and shoot cameras or even cell phones. It’s not like they are going to fly off like my primary subjects, birds. I don’t even have to tell people where to find the spiders because they are virtually everywhere, even along the causeway before reaching the island.

I wish everyone could visit the island at least once while the spiders are as highly visible as they are now.

Life is good.



  1. Sybill Reed July 11, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Hi honey! When I was young and lived on our farm (40 acres) It had the Barn and A big Cow sh—t 10 by 20 feet and over 8 feet high~ It and the barn had lots of different types of Spiders and snakes! I played with both! I would take a small one drop it of a finger and tap it so it would drop and on my other hand i twisted the silk thread by touching the spider to drop down I wrapped the silk around my finger it was fun! I Let the spider of okay!
    O h yes I played snakes,too. I enjoyed your photo’s! Made me think of my childhood and the love of all critters! Love ya’s much mom

  2. Patty Chadwick July 10, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    My Miami grandmother kept two HUGE spiders in a keenex box in her bathroom…called them Uncle Henry and Charlie’s Aunt…they were amazing jumpers! My husband and I kept them after she died but then had to move…don’t know what happened to them after that…don’ think I want to know, either…

  3. Elephants Child July 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I am a fan of spiders. Incredible architects and frequently very beautiful. The person I share my life with is emphatically NOT a fan. His loss.

  4. Patty Chadwick July 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

    When I was a kid, I used to watch the spiders on their webs built on the barm windows for hours…I found them fascinating…years later, somehow our automechic knew I’d be interested and called to tell me to come by and see his huge, yellow black-striped spiders, who’d made their amazing webs in his taxus bushes. I loved seeing the sparkling webs of “spider diamonds” at the kids schoolbus stop and got the kids excited about them, too. ( To photograph them, I sprayed them gently with cool water….cheating, I guess, but great shots)…

  5. Jane Chesebrough July 10, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Love the markings and the markings. How big are they? They look big..

    • Mia McPherson July 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      0.43in to 0.74in In size Jane, males are smaller than the females.

  6. Laura July 10, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Great photos! I am hoping to visit Antelope Island since i have seen all your wonderful photos from there. I will make sure i am there when the spiders are too.

  7. suzanne Mcdougal July 10, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Best pest control for those yucky flying pests. Thanks for reminding me I need to do this.

    • Bob mcpherson July 10, 2018 at 6:47 am

      Cool photos Mia

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