Subject: Classic Orb Web
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 18, 2017 9:17 am
The early morning sunlight is beautifully captured on the silken strands of this Tree Spider web, Araneus gemma, a common species in the Los Angeles area. Both the size of the spiders and the size of their webs is increasing as summer wanes. According to BugGuide: “Builds web in open areas of trees, large shrubs and around houses.” The Natural History of Orange County site lacks information, but does provide the common name Tree Spider. According to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: ” locally we have one very common species; A. gemma, perhaps the heaviest north American orb weaver. It’s round, humped abdomen is usually pale colored, tan yellow or greenish, with a single thin median white stripe. It builds a large orb from trees and buildings in moister parts of the valleys and canyons, spending the day hiding in a loose nest made of leaves and silk, usually under an overhanging ledge or branch.” We have been observing these spiders for years, and large individuals often spin webs at night near lights and between shrubs in paths in our garden. The spiders are active nocturnally and hide during the day.