Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Subject: Scary tenant
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
May 28, 2014 1:57 pm
I have just moved into the Hilton Head Island area and am seeing all sorts of crazy bugs. The one attached is concerning as I found it on the steps of my house. It is dead, but scary to me none the less. Is it poisonous? Any idea what kind of spider this is? Found it today 5/28/14 and it is warm and humid here.
Signature: New HHI resident

Giant Lichen Orbweaver
Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Dear New HHI resident,
Your spider is a Giant Lichen Orbweaver,
Araneus bicentenarius, and you may compare your image to the ones posted on BugGuide.  Like most spiders, Orbweavers have venom that they use to dispatch prey, but they rarely bite humans and the bite is not considered dangerous.  Should you crave additional information, Bugs in the News has a highly entertaining page on the Giant Lichen Orbweaver.

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