Huge Scary Spider, I’m shaking as I type this!
I am from Austin, Texas and we have a very scary spider we’ve been keeping alive (sometimes even feeding it!) on our wooden porch Might I add that this area is wooded with no water close by. His/Her web is a typical spider’s web you see in movies, not a funnel web or an orb web. It usually only comes out at night, burrowing between the metal and the glass during the day. It also usually sits with its legs drawn in. Today I got a special treat, because it had just finished with its molting phase and its web was disturbed so its legs were extended and it out during the day to pose for my camera. The pictures lighten its abdomen markings as they are more of a dark brown with visible hairs, and there are dark brown and white stripes on his legs. In addition his butt is kind of raised up, in the shape of a tear drop. Might I add that I just went outside to check on it, and it jumped from the wall, falling to the ground. I’ve never noted aggressive behaviour before like this, nor have I seen it jump before. I’m so scared now because its very fast, and when its legs are extended, its larger than a half dollar.
PS, I took a picture of the molted shell, and feel free to edit any of this!
You have a Barn Spider, Araneus cavaticus. The spider builds a large orb web at night and stands in it, but generally seeks shelter above the web during the day. It is usually found in shady locations.