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

Subject: Shining.. Glowing.. Crawling not jumping
Location: Olathe, KS
August 16, 2014 11:33 am
It’s late summer, I live in North Eastern Kansas and it was midday and I was cutting tall weeds. This guy popped out and appeared to be almost glowing or shining from the yellow in the body, it also appears to have white kinda furry on the body as well, from end of leg to leg it was about 3″
Signature: Holland Temple

Golden Orbweaver

Golden Orbweaver

Dear Holland,
This is a Golden Orbweaver,
Argiope aurantia, and like other members of the Orbweaver family Araneidae, these spiders generally live only a single season.  This appears to be a mature female who probably hatched this spring.  Younger Orbweavers generally pass unnoticed until they reach maturity toward the end of the summer.  Orbweavers rarely leave their webs, and they are rather clumsy if they have to move on the ground.  We suspect you probably inadvertently destroyed this gal’s orb web, causing her to scuttle through the grass.  She will find a new location to spin a web and you will most likely find her in the same location day after day.  Though a large Orbweaver might bite if carelessly handled, they are not aggressive spiders and in the event a bite does occur, there is rarely more than local swelling and some soreness.  The web of a Golden Orbweaver is quite strong, enabling the spiders to snare large flying insects, and we have even posted images in the past of a luckless Hummingbird being eaten by a large Golden Orbweaver.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Marbled Orb Weaver and Wasp Lunch
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
August 17, 2014 9:00 am
Caught this beautiful girl preparing lunch in a Toronto, Ontario park the other day. I’m guessing that she is an Araneus diadematus. I don’t know who lunch was.
Signature: Vanessa – Photographer and friend of all spiders

Orbweaver eats Prey

Orbweaver eats Prey

Dear Vanessa – Photographer and friend of all spiders,
This certainly is an Orbweaver, and the prey might be a Sand Wasp.  We believe you have correctly identified the scientific name of this Orbweaver, Araneus diadematus, however the common name is Cross Spider or European Orbweaver, not Marbled Orbweaver.  See BugGuide for other images of Cross Spiders.  See BugGuide for some examples of Sand Wasps.
 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beautiful Spider
Location: No. California
August 15, 2014 11:29 am
This beauty appeared last summer and “hung” around about a month.
Our friends in a neighboring community had one too.
I have not seen one previously or since.
Other than Orb Weaver haven’t been able to put a name to it.
Can you?
Signature: Rod Tidemann

Orbweaver

Spotted Orbweaver

Dear Rod,
Your letter fills us with enthusiasm immediately after we posted a query and image that resulted in Unnecessary Carnage rather than an appreciation of the beauty of the natural world.  We are relatively certain this is a Spotted Orbweaver or Barn Spider,
Neoscona crucifera, and you can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they:  “build thier webs at dusk and then take the webs back down around dawn.”  Thanks for also supplying us with a ventral view, and as you can see, the pattern on the underside of the body also matches this Spotted Orbweaver that is pictured on BugGuide.

Spotted Orbweaver

Spotted Orbweaver

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your quick and enthusiastic response.  A Barn Spider  I.D. takes me back to when I was a lad growing up on the farm and we actually had Barn Spiders in the barn.  They were numerous and huge.  Of course I was a small boy and most things were huge. They were fascinating.  Unfortunately most of our spiders around here are either “Daddy Longlegs” or Black Widows; Less  fascinating.
Thanks
Wonderful work
Rod

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: El Paso, Texas – blocks away from the Rio Grande River
August 16, 2014 2:31 am
I live in the southwest. El Paso, Texas to be exact. i was walking up to my house which is very dark at night, i was dressed very lightly and immediately felt a web all over the front of my body. It was very thick. the thickest that i have ever felt in my life, more thick than that of a black widow. i quickly started pulling the web off of me which was very thick and sticky, was very worried it was a black widow which is very common in el paso. i used the light of my phone to light up a gourd vine that i walked under to find a large gray spider that i have never seen before. unfortunately i have elder people and children that would be walking through there shortly so i had no choice but to pray the spider which was the last thing that i wanted to do :( i am worried that this spider is dangerous. please can you identify this spider for me. it was larger than a black widow and had a huge web taller then me. i am 5-11.
Signature: Nathan D

Orbweaver Carnage

Orbweaver Carnage

Dear Nathan,
We are awed that you chose to “pray” in an effort to dispatch this harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  See BugGuide for more information on these beneficial spiders.  Orbweavers build orb-shaped webs and a member of this family was the inspiration for the classic children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web”.
  Orbweavers are rarely found outside of their webs, and they tend to build webs in the same locations day after day.  Orbweavers snare many harmful insects in their webs, and noctural species undoubtedly kill numerous mosquitoes which we believe you will agree is a positive attribute.  Try to educate your visitors about the presence of Orbweavers on your property and let them know that these are harmless and beneficial spiders.  For the record, Black Widows do not spin such organized webs and they do not spin out in the open.  Because we believe this harmless Orbweaver was unnecessarily killed, albeit with prayer, we are tagging this as Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Banana Spider
Location: South East Texas
August 13, 2014 6:44 pm
Not sure if it’s actaully called a Banana Spider but that’s what we call them in my area. We have many of these in the yard. Our yard is a like a spider wonderland!
Signature: S. Miller

Banana Spider

Banana Spider

Dear S. Miller,
Your spider is
Nephila clavipes, and Banana Spider is one common name, though the more widely used common name is Golden Silk Spider because of the strength of the silk, which is gold in color.  Though they might bite if carelessly handled, these Banana Spiders are considered harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider-like bug with a “skirt”
Location: Northern indiana
August 11, 2014 1:49 pm
We live in northern Indiana. We found what at first glance looked like a spider, but upon closer inspection appears to be an insect. It even behaved like a spider, running gracefully along a web. These photos were taken on August 11, 2014 around 5:00 pm. The bug was about a half inch long. I would love to know what it is.
Signature: Louann

Spined Micrathena

Spined Micrathena

Hi Louann,
This is a Spiny Orbweaver in the genus
Micrathena, commonly called the Spined Micrathena, Micrathena gracilis.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Females are mostly white or pale yellow, mottled with black or brown. They have ten spines on the chunky abdomen. Size 8 – 10 mm.”  Your individual is a female.  She is perfectly harmless to humans. 

Thank you so much! I’ve never seen one before!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination