Unidentified Southern California Spider
My name is Susan, and I have been unsuccessful in determining if the spider in my back yard (see attached photo) has a name or is poisonous. It seems very healthy and well fed, and I’d really rather not kill it, though it scares me and I’m not to thrilled about it multiplying…… Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.
Susan Castang
Torrance, CA

Hi Susan,
If it wasn’t for that distinctive white stripe, I would have just said you had a harmless generic Orb Weaver, but I thought I would do some web research. I found a site that pictures your spider, and that site originates in Australia. The spider is identified as Eriophora transmarina and was originally Araneus transmarinus. It is still a Garden Orb-Weaver. The site goes on to say that there are many color variations in the species and the white stripe is just one of them. We also have many spiders from this genus in California, as well as related genus Neoscona. They are sometimes very difficult to distinguish from one another. Here are a few possible scenarios for your spider. It is Eriophora transmarina which was introduced from Australia like the Eucalyptus Tree Borer, or it is a native Araneus that also happen to have color variations. Either way, it poses no threat to you and you should let it proliferate in your yard. It will help control flying pests like mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus.

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