Orbweaver: Eriophora ravilla

arachnid identification
Location: Sunrise, FL (South Florida)
March 16, 2012 5:31 pm
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to look over my submission.
I found this guy after a pretty bad rainstorm. It had apparently setup its web from a tree branch to the top of a low bush.
This is the first time I’ve seen this spider like this; I’m pretty well acquainted with the spiders of South Florida as I have a crippling arachnophobia. It was about 1.5” to 2” long, and there was nothing unusual or ornate about the web that would suggest it was a weaver. I could not see any insects caught on its web, and didn’t have the opportunity to observe it over time as landscapers came and ”relocated” it.
I’d be happy to answer any questions I might not have thought of, though I didn’t gather much info I’ll try to help. Thank you!
Signature: Gonzalo

Orbweaver: Eriophora ravilla

Dear Gonzalo,
We quickly identified your Orbweaver as
Eriophora ravilla on BugGuide.  Large Orbweavers may bite if carelessly handled, but they are not aggressive.  They are actually often quite clumsy when not in their webs.  According to BugGuide “These spiders spin their webs, which can be many feet wide, in the evening. At night they sit in the web. By day, they will usually hide in a rolled-up leaf somewhere near the edge of the web.”

Not sure if it’s okay to reply to this email, but here goes…
Thank you for your quick response. I’ve been examining the photos I’ve taken closely and had the idea it was an orb-weaver in the back of my mind. I guess I think of adorning their webs with the zig-zags as a definite characteristic of orb weavers. Also, golden orb-weavers are such a common sight in my area, I guess it didn’t cross my mind there would be differing species in the neighborhood.
It’s funny, I was just discussing the behavior of this spider and its disappearance and reappearance. I just recently made the observation that it was going somewhere in the daytime, as I noticed the web was untouched by the landscapers but the spider was still missing.
Not sure if it’s necessary at this point, but I took another picture just now… this time of its underside. Anyways, your answer was absolutely accurate and thanks again for the quick turnaround.


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