What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I am sending you these pictures that my husband recently took of the spiders outside our sliding glass door. Are they dangerous? There are tons in my garden. The webs are VERY sticky, tough, and the spiders themselves have sticky little feet…I had one crawling on me the other day, and nearly died of heart failure. These gems are about 1 to 1.5 inches and the smaller skinny one is more aggressive than the fat one. I can assume that they are a Mr. and Mrs., but which is which? In the garden, when you see one spider, you don’t really have to look far to see a separate web with the partner in close proximity. Local people call them “quarterbacks” as the bulbous body can easily reach the size of a quarter. If they do bite, do you know what a remedy is (if needed?) Thank you for the help.

Hi Ruth,
There are so many similar looking Araneus species as well as so much variation within a species, that we have given up trying to get species names on Orb Weavers. Let’s just call them a pair of Araneus Orb Weaving Spiders. The female has the more bulbous abdomen. The bite is not dangerous and they would really have to be provoked to bite anyways. The weather this year created a population explosion of insects, and hence, their predators like spiders are also plentiful.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Orb Weavers Mating

  1. Doc Weston says:

    Hi Ruth, you are correct that your orbweaver family is making whoopy. From your photo, it looks like you have a breading pair of garden orbweavers, the female being the larger of the two. I just video’d a pair of hutch orbweavers doing the same. Its interesting that they move to the edge of the web to mate, and I have another female about 35′ from this web and she has moved to the side of her web, perhaps as a lady in waiting? The video I captured shows the male attempting to fertize her as he moves his semen to two small appendages on the front of his anthrothorax (head/body) and inserts these into the female receptacle on the females area. They look like they are high giving, but I assume they hold off on that until the kids come and make it through college. I hope I can find a place to post my video file… Very cool

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