Arachno-Identifier + Bonus Herb Protection
May 6, 2014 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Need an ID on this spider and (hopefully) whether I should "allow" him around my just-planted herbs.

This guy has been hanging around my planter quite a bit that has just-planted basil and oregano in it. Last year, various bugs really enjoyed some of my basil, which was disappointing.

What is he/she and should I keep him/her away from the planter, or cheer on his/her bug-killing abilities?

In Central VA, which I think is zone 7.5.
posted by kuanes to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Wolf spider, looks like. He will not harm your plants. He will eat bugs that would harm your plants.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 3:42 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think more of a jumping spider - see Spiders of Virginia about halfway down, under Tan Jumping Spider. She's not going to hurt any plants and may very well assist your bugs. Keep!
posted by theweasel at 3:56 PM on May 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

That spider is a friend to your herbs and an enemy to its enemies.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:23 PM on May 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

Yeah that's a spiderbro who will crush your enemies and protect your plants.
posted by Justinian at 4:28 PM on May 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

Yay jumping spider! He may even wave at you from time to time.
posted by The otter lady at 4:29 PM on May 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

Shit, yeah, jumping spider. Was looking on my phone with a headache earlier, sorry.

Jumping spider is your friend. He fights for peace.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 4:54 PM on May 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Thanks to all. Hopefully, the jumping spider will call my planter area home for the next 3-4 months!
posted by kuanes at 6:22 PM on May 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just for the record, all spiders are obligate carnivores. No spider anywhere eats plants, ever. I can't think of any spiders that damage plants at all in any way. I suppose it's possible that a spider might eat a plant's pollinators or kill ladybugs or something, but that's a real edge case. You can pretty much assume that any spiders you see are either neutral or beneficial to your plants; they are not something you need to be worried about in that regard.
posted by Scientist at 8:50 PM on May 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Jumping spiders, or as I call them, teleporting spiders, are the worst! They jump at you!
posted by teatime at 9:04 PM on May 6, 2014

Jump at you? Don't believe it. They have much better things to do.
posted by ADave at 9:55 PM on May 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

To respond to Scientist-that's not 100% true (just mostly true), a couple of years ago, this plant-eating spider was discovered:

And I agree, it looks like a jumping spider, my favorite group of spiders!
posted by PinkPoodle at 9:25 AM on May 7, 2014

I don't wish to derail, but that is super cool. I stand corrected. (I knew I was treading on dangerous ground when I was writing that comment by asserting an absolute in Biology, but I was so sure it was true. Serves me right!)
posted by Scientist at 12:06 PM on May 7, 2014

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