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

Subject: spider in Equatorial Guinea
Location: Equatorial Guinea
June 2, 2014 7:39 am
Found spinning huge webs on a fence in the rainforest in May was wondering if it was a golden web orb spider maybe?
Thanks
Signature: susan

Orbweaver eats Dragonfly

Orbweaver eats Dragonfly

Dear Susan,
We tried to identify this Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, and we did not have any luck.  So it is an Orbweaver, but we cannot provide a species name at this time.

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Thank you, it is a beauty but glad it was outside and not in my cabin!

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Susan:
This is a Golden Orbweaver or Golden Silk Orbweaver in the genus Nephila (family Nephilidae, probably N. turneri, which occurs throughout west and central Africa. Regards.  Karl

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scary tenant
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
May 28, 2014 1:57 pm
I have just moved into the Hilton Head Island area and am seeing all sorts of crazy bugs. The one attached is concerning as I found it on the steps of my house. It is dead, but scary to me none the less. Is it poisonous? Any idea what kind of spider this is? Found it today 5/28/14 and it is warm and humid here.
Signature: New HHI resident

Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Dear New HHI resident,
Your spider is a Giant Lichen Orbweaver,
Araneus bicentenarius, and you may compare your image to the ones posted on BugGuide.  Like most spiders, Orbweavers have venom that they use to dispatch prey, but they rarely bite humans and the bite is not considered dangerous.  Should you crave additional information, Bugs in the News has a highly entertaining page on the Giant Lichen Orbweaver.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Mr. Marlos:
I have several of these orb weaver spiders around my house that collect the carcasses of their prey and other jetsam and align it neatly in the center of its web. My question is, what is the function of this refuse structure? I can’t figure it out. Attached are some photos.
Yours sincerely,
Mark Kulkis

Trashcan Spider

Trashcan Spider

My Dear Mr. Kulkis,
Your orbweaver goes by the inglorious name of Trashcan Spider,
Cyclosa turbinata, and we identified it in that landmark text for local terrestrial Arthropods:  Insects of the Los Angeles Basin by Charles Hogue.  Hogue states:  “The resting place of the female of this spider in its web is distinctive:  it is a loose line of thick webbing upon which the female collects an odd assortment of trash, mainly the carcasses of old prey wrapped in defunct cocoons.  All of the web, except for the debris string, is dismantled each day, and the old web material is added to the trash pile.  The female spider itself is small (doby length about 1/4 in., or 6 mm) and may vary in color from a mixture of gray and white to almost solid black.  It has a disproportionately large bulbous abdomen with a prominent rearward protruding bump;  the spider’s eyes are on tubercles.”  Could you please get a photo of the eyes to add to this posting?  Based on Hogue’s description, we presume that the spider is camouflaged among the debris as a means of protection.    We also presume that the debris string acts as an anchor for the web which is respun each day.

Trashcan Spider

Trashcan Spider

Dear Mr. Marlos:
Thank you for the elucidation. I will do my best to capture Ms. Trashcan’s eye stalks on film.
Yours etc.
Mark Kulkis

Trashcan Spider

Trashcan Spider


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fluo from Rome
Location: Rome (Italy)
April 29, 2014 6:48 am
Hey bugman,
A friend of mine found this spider on a curb this morning in Rome.
I did some digging, and think it might be the Misumena Vatia. However, I am not sure. The pictures I was able to find online are not 100% identical to the spider in the picture.
Any idea?
Thanks!
Signature: Saverio

Orbweaver

Orbweaver

Hi Saverio,
This is most definitely not a Crab Spider.  It is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, possibly
Araniella cucurbitina, a green species found in the UK and parts of Europe and pictured on UK Safari.

Thanks Daniel. Very helpful

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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