Currently viewing the category: "Orb Weavers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: striped stranger
Location: Caledon area on N2
April 7, 2014 9:57 pm
Hello Bugman
I’ve looked on the internet trying to identify this striped spider that I saw while in South Africa. We were travelling on the N2 and pulled over to look at the national bird in a farm field just about an hour outside of Cape Town. Walking through the grass we noticed this large spider, although not colourful. Would also like to know if it is poisonous.
Thank you
Signature: Angela

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Dear Angela,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, and members in the family are venomous, but they are reluctant to bite humans, and they are not considered dangerous, with the bite producing only local swelling and tenderness.  We did locate a matching image on Superstock, but it is not identified beyond the family level.  We then found a matching image on BioDiversity Explorer and it is identified as
Argiope australis.  It is odd that your individual was found on the ground.  Orbweavers are clumsy when not in their webs, and they are relatively stationary spiders, preferring to spin a web in the same location unless they are disturbed.  Perhaps someone who passed its web prior to your arrival knocked this individual to the ground.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Sac??
Location: Virginia
April 4, 2014 11:59 am
What is that??
Signature: -thank you

Golden Orbweaver Egg Sac

Golden Orbweaver Egg Sac

This is the Egg Sac of a large, beautiful and harmless spider, the Golden Orbweaver or Black and Yellow Orbweaver, Argiope aurantia.

Thank you so much.. it stays

We are very happy to hear that you are tolerant of harmless spiders in your garden.  We hope some of the spiderlings that hatch will remain in your garden, but they will also disperse on the wind, a process known as ballooning.  It is possible that the wind may carry some of the young spiderlings many miles from their birth location.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider in Ghana
Location: Accra, Ghana
March 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Just found this in a web in our backyard in Accra. Hopefully this is an interesting one for you as I’d appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks!
Signature: Accraexpat

Spiny Orbweaver

Spiny Orbweaver

Dear Accraexpat,
This is a Spiny Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  It looks very much like this image of
Gasteracantha curvispina that is pictured on Dijitalimaj.  There is another image on Wikipedia Commons.  Orbweavers are not considered dangerous, and though large specimens might bite a person if carelessly handled, they are very reluctant to bite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Silver Red Spider
Location: New Zealand Bay of plenty Rotorua
March 13, 2014 11:20 pm
Hi bug man
this picture was taken by an early digital camera in about 2004-5 or so. so it not that great but I’ve done a few searches since that time and I still cannot find this spider any were. I describe it as the parts that almost look white were shining silver. the parts that look brown were a bright red and the stripes on its legs were transparent. from what I recall I found lots of them in summer in between long grass co existing with silver orb spiders . there webs are the same as domestic and orb spiders and they sit in the middle of it. they don’t seem to do well in the rain as this one in the picture was washed up on a concrete path and the one that I found earlier this year that reminded me of this picture disappeared after it rained yet the orb spiders around where it was are fine. I haven’t found any for years until the one I mentioned. it would be mightily satisfying if you could tell me what it is thanks.
Signature: Alan

Unknown Orbweaver

Orbweaver:  Cyclosa trilobata

Hi Alan,
We agree that this is most likely an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but like you, we have not had any luck finding a matching image online.  We will post your photo and elicit input from our readers, and we will also attempt further identification when time permits.

Karl supplies some links:  March 19, 2014
Hi Daniel and Alan:
It is an Orbweaver in the subfamily Araneinae. Unfortunately, the photo is not very clear, but I believe this is a species of Cyclosa. As far as I can tell Cyclosa trilobata (Three-lobed Cyclosa) is the only species that is native to New Zealand (eastern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand). Cyclosa insulana looks similar but does not occur in New Zealand. The colors are highly variable, ranging from mottled patterns of reds and browns to grays and blacks. The males, and I think this is probably one, are often quite silvery. As the name suggests, the posterior end is distinctly tri-lobed.  I can’t be sure but I believe that’s probably it. Regards. Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Reshoot of the Bolas Spider
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 12, 2014 6:45 PM
So, we got home with a bit more light this evening, and we reshot the images of the Bolas Spider that is still hanging out under the post supporting the bird feeder.

Bolas Spider

Bolas Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bird Poop Mimic Spider
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 11, 2014  7:30 PM
We noticed this Spider under the post for the bird feeder, and we were struck by its excellent mimicry of bird droppings, but we could not turn around to take photos prior to leaving for work this morning.  We remembered the spider as it was getting dark, but we decided to take a few images anyways.  Tomorrow we plan to attempt to reshoot with more light, hopefully getting sharper images with better exposure.

Bolas Spider

Bolas Spider

We quickly matched this spiders interesting coloration and distinctive shape to a Bolas Spider, Mastophora cornigera, pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Glistening appearance, like a fresh bird dropping, and pair of lumps on the dorsal surface of the abdomen seem to be genus-wide traits.  The female spiders can be narrowed down by whether they have abdominal humps or not. However, this field marking does not work for males which can have humps or no humps in the same species” and “The only species in the west is M. cornigera.”  BugGuide also notes that they feed on:  “Flying insects; certain species specialize on particular species of moths, to the point of releasing mimics of their pheromones in order to attract prey (virtually all male moths) within capture range.”  BugGuide also provides this information on the life cycle:  “When egg sacs hatch they release immature females and *mature* males! Presumably an adaptation to avoid inbreeding. Males are short-lived and much smaller (obviously) than females.”  This same behavior applies to a Bird Dropping Spider from a different genus found in Australia, according to the Victoria Museum Website which state:  “During the day, female Bird-dropping Spiders sit motionless with their legs drawn up against their body; this behaviour combined with their humped abdomen and black and white colouring makes them look just like bird poo.  This is a brilliant evolutionary strategy: no one wants to eat bird poo! Providing the spider doesn’t move and give away its cover, it will not draw the attention of predators. The male, as is often the case with spider species, is much smaller than the female.  The hunting behaviour of this species is just as remarkable as its appearance: Bird-dropping Spiders releases a smell which resembles the sex pheromone that female moths use to attract males. When male moths fly in to investigate, ready to mate, they are grabbed by a Bird-dropping Spider.”

Bolas Spider

Bolas Spider

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination