People typically fear spiders more than insects (such as ants, cockroaches, crickets). This fear often is caused by a lack of information or experience with spiders. About 50,000 species of spiders have been described. While one person is not able to identify all spiders, county agents, health officials and others can easily learn to identify important spiders, just as people learn to recognize poisonous snakes and poisonous plants. The only truly poisonous spiders in Montana are the black widow species (both very docile and non–aggressive unless the female is protecting the egg sac). Even though the brown recluse and yellow-sac spider have not been found in Montana, county agents and others should be familiar with certain distinguishing characteristics so that they can quickly eliminate it when spiders are brought to them for identification.