Reader Paranoia and South American Micrathena: Arrowshaped Orbweaver

Unknown spiked spider, Black, Yellow and Red, Guyana, South America
September 12, 2009
I found this spider in Guyana, South America. Taken August 21, 2009, during the start of the dry season. It was in Surama Village, located in the North Rupununi Savannah. It’s location is 4 degrees north latitude and 59 degrees west longitude. This village is where the rainforest meets the savannah. The spider was in the rainforest, not savannah. This picture is somewhat overexposed from sunlight, but the spiders back end is bright yellow (looks kind of white in the picture), with a little bit of red and black. The yellow continues to it’s upper body. I estimate that it measures about 1 to 1.5 inches from head to end.
Bryan (Ed. Note:  Surname withheld upon request January 9, 2010)
North Rupununi, Guyana, South America

South American Micrathena
South American Micrathena

Hi Brian,
Perhaps one of our readers will be able to supply you with an exact species.  We are relatively certain your spider is an Orbweaver in the genus Micrathena.  There is a North American species, Micrathena sagittata, that looks quite similar and is known as the Arrowshaped Micrathena.  That species is represented on BugGuide.  Your individual may be closely related or even be a subspecies.

South American Micrathena: Arrowshaped Orbweaver – Unknown spiked spider, Black, Yellow and Red, Guyana, South America
September 12, 2009
Hi Daniel:
I think it pretty much has to be Micrathena, as you suggest.  It does look very similar to M. sagittata and that species does occur as for south as Guyana, but I don’t think that’s it.  It looks more like another wide ranging species, M. schreibersi.  As is so often the case, this species is variable and the red highlights are not always present, but most of the other prominent features seem to match as well.  If I may hedge a little, however, this is a very abundant genus with over 100 species, almost all of them neotropical, so there may be other candidates as well. Regards.

A Reader’s Paranoia:  Will writing to WTB? negatively compromise a person’s reputation?
Can you please remove my name from being published?
January 9, 2011 6:19 pm
I have a post on here with my full name. I didn’t realize you would disclose this on the website, which comes up on google if my name is searched. Can you please remove my name from the post? Thank you.
Signature: Bryan

Dear Bryan,
We post letters verbatim and that includes the signatures provided by people who write to us.  We do not disclose email addresses or other private information, and we strictly limit the postings to the actual content of the questions and comments we receive.  We cannot imagine the horror you felt when people who read your My Space page and Facebook page discovered that you had an interest in identifying a spider.  We sincerely hope your reputation wasn’t terribly compromised by our posting and we hope that people don’t think less of you for trying to increase your knowledge of the natural world.  We will remove your surname from the posting though we frown upon do-overs when it comes to our postings.  We wish you luck eliminating other paranoia you may have.

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