Subject: spider webbed over succulents
Geographic location of the bug: Camarillo, Ca
Time: 12:48 AM EDT
I saw this beauty posing on a web over a succulent garden in my mother’s backyard. It seemed quite large in person and I’m just curious what type of spider you think it may be. I was too nervous about disturbing the web to snap a pic from the other side, I hope you can see enough to determine what it is.
How you want your letter signed: Melanie on the English Chain
Dear Melanie on the English Chain,
This is a harmless Orbweaver in the family Araneidae, but we are not that proficient at identifying species with only a ventral view. A dorsal view makes identifications much easier for us, though many species do look quite similar. This might be a Western Spotted Orbweaver, Neoscona oaxacensis, based on this BugGuide image. Often spinning very large webs, Orbweavers are sedentary predators that wait for prey rather than to aggressively hunt. Irish Chain is a quilt pattern, but we are not familiar with English Chain.