Subject: Lovely Ontario Spider
Location: South Mountain, Ontario, Canada
November 21, 2013 1:42 pm
I’ve been watching a lovely (I’m assuming) mama spider all summer/fall as she made a magnificent web on my front porch. She always hung out by the ceiling, so I let her be. She was/is huge and I am quite impressed with her. I wondered if she was a Sac Spider, but that’s just based on Google Image, which also showed pictures of snakes when I typed in ”Spiders of Ontario”… About a month ago, I noticed that she disappeared so I wished her well and hoped she survived the winter. I’m in South Mountain, Ontario, Canada – half an hour north of the St. Lawrence River and the NY border. I got home from shopping today and she was back, climbing up my front door frame. So I grabbed my camera and caught her magnificence. Her body & head are about an inch long and when walking, her legs stretch out to be about 3 inches. She has four spots on her back, but they are also little indents, almost like someone used a pin in dough. Three of t hem can be seen in the photo, the one that is hard to see is a smaller one on the top left corner of her pattern.
To give you an idea of our climate, right now it is hovering around 0 degrees (Celsius) and going below zero at night. Do you know what kind of spider she is? Will she survive the winter? I think she’s lovely, so I do hope so.
Thanks for any info.
Signature: Fiona


Hi Fiona,
This is an Orbweaver in the family Araneidae.  The spiders in this family build a classic orb web and they remain in the web to snare prey.  They are not considered dangerous, though large individuals might bite.  Female Orbweavers are often much larger than their mates.  Orbweavers live a single season, and they mature in the autumn, when they are largest and most visible.  We apologize, but we do not feel comfortable taking the identification of your spider to the species level.

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