Subject: What is this?
Location: El Paso, Texas – blocks away from the Rio Grande River
August 16, 2014 2:31 am
I live in the southwest. El Paso, Texas to be exact. i was walking up to my house which is very dark at night, i was dressed very lightly and immediately felt a web all over the front of my body. It was very thick. the thickest that i have ever felt in my life, more thick than that of a black widow. i quickly started pulling the web off of me which was very thick and sticky, was very worried it was a black widow which is very common in el paso. i used the light of my phone to light up a gourd vine that i walked under to find a large gray spider that i have never seen before. unfortunately i have elder people and children that would be walking through there shortly so i had no choice but to pray the spider which was the last thing that i wanted to do 🙁 i am worried that this spider is dangerous. please can you identify this spider for me. it was larger than a black widow and had a huge web taller then me. i am 5-11.
Signature: Nathan D

Orbweaver Carnage

Orbweaver Carnage

Dear Nathan,
We are awed that you chose to “pray” in an effort to dispatch this harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  See BugGuide for more information on these beneficial spiders.  Orbweavers build orb-shaped webs and a member of this family was the inspiration for the classic children’s tale “Charlotte’s Web”.
  Orbweavers are rarely found outside of their webs, and they tend to build webs in the same locations day after day.  Orbweavers snare many harmful insects in their webs, and noctural species undoubtedly kill numerous mosquitoes which we believe you will agree is a positive attribute.  Try to educate your visitors about the presence of Orbweavers on your property and let them know that these are harmless and beneficial spiders.  For the record, Black Widows do not spin such organized webs and they do not spin out in the open.  Because we believe this harmless Orbweaver was unnecessarily killed, albeit with prayer, we are tagging this as Unnecessary Carnage.

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Location: El Paso, Texas

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