What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: pumpkin spider?
Location: Morgantown, WV
December 3, 2012 11:37 am
Hello Bugman,
This is a new one to me – a very bright orange spider. Looking at your site, my guess is that it’s a pumpkin spider? Anyway, I was hoping you would enjoy a picture of a beautiful spider in December! We are having a warm spell here – this was taken near Morgantown, WV. Thank you for your wonderful site!
Signature: Bugwatcher Guitry

Pumpkin Spider

Dear Bugwatcher Guitry,
Thanks so much for sending your late season photograph of what we agree is a Pumpkin Spider,
Araneas marmoreus.  We believe the common name Pumpkin Spider is used to describe this highly variable species when it is orange in coloration and it appears near Halloween.  The more frequently used common name for the species is the Marbled Orbweaver, and it is highly variable in coloration.  We just returned from Thanksgiving holiday in nearby northeast Ohio, and it was comfortably warm while we were there, though we did experience one snow shower that did not stick for long.  Alas, Orbweavers like this Pumpkin Spider do not live more than one season, and we suspect this gal’s days are numbered.  We have a beautiful large Barn Spider in the genus Neoscona that builds a large web on our patio each night and stations herself in the middle of the web awaiting hapless prey attracted by the porch light.  Even in Southern California, we don’t expect her to survive much longer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: West Virginia
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