Subject: Possible flower spider
Location: Central Ohio
October 16, 2012 5:18 pm
My children found this spider crawling along the driveway. We then put it in a tree. We are wondering what kind of spider it is and if it is poisionous. Can you help us identify it?
Signature: Lisa

Shamrock Orbweaver

Hi Lisa,
This is one of the Orbweavers in the genus
Araneus, and we believe we have correctly identified your spider on BugGuide as the the Shamrock Orbweaver, Araneus trifolium, and as you can see, it is a highly variable species.  We are not certain if the common name Pumpkin Spider is due to the orange coloration of many individuals, or from their seasonal appearance during pumpkin harvesting season.  Alas, this lady’s days are numbered, and she will likely perish with the killing frost, but her eggs will survive the winter.  Many spiders only live for one year, hatching in the spring and coming to maturity in the fall, and since they have attained maximum growth at the end of summer, they attract the most attention in September and October,  During those months our spider identification requests tend to spike.

Location: Ohio

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