Subject: What kind of spider?
Location: Eastern IA
October 21, 2015 7:56 pm
I know spiders aren’t “bugs,” but I see you’ve helped others identify their arachnids…wondering if you can help us with this one. My sister sent me these photos – this spider was found in eastern Iowa. We know it’s not a black widow or brown recluse, but any need to be worried about this one?
Thanks so much for your website – it’s been a great tool!
Signature: JP

Shamrock Orbweaver

Shamrock Orbweaver

Dear JP,
This is a harmless Orbweaver spider, and we believe it is a Shamrock Orbweaver,
Araneus trifolium, a member of a genus of spiders that live less than a year.  The spiders generally hatch in the spring and mature in the fall, when the attract the most attention because of their large webs and often colorful bodies.  Orbweavers respin their webs every day, and they are rarely found far from the webs, so we suspect something destroyed this lady’s web, forcing her to scuttle clumsily on the ground.

Location: Iowa

2 Responses to Shamrock Orbweaver

  1. We have lots of orb weavers here on Vancouver Island. In the spring, when the previous years egg mass begins to hatch, we begin to look forward to their flight. On a dry day with a bit of breeze the tiny, dot sized young spiders each produce a miniscule bit of silk which they release into the breeze and this silk balloon (still attached to their spinnerettes) carries them, one by one (and there are hundreds), away to their new home.

    • bugman says:

      We would love some images next spring. If you send them, please use the subject line “Spiders Ballooning” and we will be sure to notice.

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