Orange and Green Spider
October 11, 2009
I found this spider ON MY 8 MONTH OLD DAUGHTER! I have seen similar spiders outside our home at night but without the green diamond on the body. I live in Miami, Florida, USA. Please identify this spider so I can either find an exterminator or leave my worries behind!
Miami, Florida, USA
We quickly identified your spider as Araneus detrimentosus, a harmless Orbweaver, on BugGuide. While we would hesitate to claim that this spider will never bite, we have not gotten any reports of anyone being bitten by a member of the genus Araneus. If the spider was on your daughter, it was undoubtedly a chance encounter. We would not trouble with an exterminator in this instance, and we truly believe that exposure to pesticides at a tender age would be far more detrimental to your daughter than facing the extremely unlikely odds that this spider, which is not very well represented in images and is probably not terribly common, will bite your daughter or a member of the family.
Probable Correction: July 26, 2013
One of our readers wrote in believing this might be a Tropical Orbweaver, Eriophora ravilla. This seems to be a highly variable spider according to the Featured Creatures website, and the green form looks very much like the submitted photograph. BugGuide also has the occasional photograph of a green individual.