Garden Orb Weavers - Page 2
Here's some photos of those common Garden spiders from the Orb Weaving family. My apologies if there are some Araneus on pages where they don't belong but they are very hard to classify. Try this page for a species guide:
Orb weavers (Araneidae) are often brightly coloured with rounded abdomens, some with peculiarly angled humps or spines. However, there is considerable variation in size, colour and shape in this group. They are easily recognized because of their beautiful, large, round webs, on which they rest, head downward, waiting for prey. The webs consist of a number of radiating threads crossed by two spirals. The inner spiral begins in the centre, winds outward, and is made of smooth threads like the radiating threads. It covers only the central 1/3 of the web. The outer spiral begins at the edges and winds inward. It is made of more elastic, sticky threads, coated with a liquid substance. One of the largest and most commonly encountered members of this group is Argiope aurantia, the yellow garden spider and we have photos of them on their own page. Garden Orb Weavers are NOT dangerous (but can bite as can most spiders) and rid your garden of many unwanted insects. They only live for one season and die off as Winter approaches, leaving their egg sacs behind to hatch out next Spring.
There are many varieties of orb weaving spiders and I have only included some of them on these pages.
The species below are:
Page 1: Garden Orb Weavers (Unspecified species), Triangulate Orb Weaver, Shamrock Orb Weaver, Marbled Orb Weaver, Giant Lichen Orb Weaver, Cat Face Orb Weavers, Araneus Alsine-like/Aranaeus Iviei/Araneus Nordmanni.
Because of the large number of species, I have only included a few of the best photos. All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. Click the name to go to that section.
Green Orb Weaver [top]
elow are a variety of Green Orb Weavers. These are not all the same species but are all green so have put them on this page. One below is Eriophora circulissparsus - pale green / yellow orb-web spider that is seldom noticed as it is a nocturnal spider. During the day it is well camouflaged against leaf surfaces. Males are 3-4 mm and females 5-7 mm.
Araneus Diadematus [top]
Araneus diadematus is one of the most common and best known orb weavers. It is found in Europe and parts of North America in a range extending from New England and the Southeast to the North western United States and adjacent parts of Canada. It is easily identified by the distinctive white cross on the abdomen (although in some specimens it is indistinct or missing). In England, this spider is most commonly called the 'garden spider' and it is also known as the cross spider. They are common in woodlands, heath lands and gardens. The females build circular orb webs and can be found either sitting at the centre of the web with facing down or in a retreat at the end of a signal line a short distance from the web itself. The prey is then quickly captured and wrapped in silk before being eaten. Orb Spiders are said to eat their webs each night along with many of the small insects stuck to it. They have been observed doing this within a couple of minutes. A new web is then spun in the morning. Since this tends to be a passive animal, it is difficult to be provoked to bite - but if it does, the bite is just slightly unpleasant and completely harmless to humans. The much smaller male will approach the female cautiously in order to mate. If not careful, he could end up being eaten by her. This spider is mature from summer to autumn and is usually at its largest in late Autumn when it is at its oldest and often full of eggs. After laying their eggs the females die and only the eggs and the spiders that hatched in spring that year will survive over winter.
Star Bellied Orb Weavers [top]
Acanthepeira stellata, known generally as the starbellied orbweaver or starbellied spider, is a species of orb weaver in the family of spiders known as Araneidae. It is found in a range from Canada to Mexico.
Arabesque Orb Weavers [top]
Neoscona arabesca is a common orb-weaver spider found throughout North America. Often called the "arabesque orbweaver," after the cryptic, brightly colored, swirling markings on its prominent abdomen, this spider can be found in fields, forests, gardens, and on human structures. Neoscona species are among the most common and abundant orb weavers and are found on all continents. Females range in size from 5–7 mm (0.20–0.28 in) and males 5–6 mm (0.20–0.24 in). N. arabesca females build a vertical web measuring 15–45 cm (5.9–17.7 in) in diameter, with 18-20 radii. The hub is open and crossed by only one or two threads. At night, the female rests in the center of the orb with the tip of her abdomen pushed through the open space. During the daytime, she hides in a retreat away from the web, usually inside a curled-and-tied leaf. Male N. arabesca can often be found in nearby foliage or hunting on the ground.
Tropical Orb Weavers [top]
Tropical Orb Weavers, Eriophora, are a group of orb weavers found in tropical areas of the world, and therefore given the name tropical orbweavers to distinguish them from other species in the Araneidae family. Eriophora ravilla and Eriophora edax are the only documented species found in the United States. E. Ravilla lives along the Gulf Coast states, with a large presence in Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. E. edax has a smaller presence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the southern areas of Arizona and California. Both species are described as having a pointed abdomen (with various colors) and banded legs. Specimens range from those with a green patch on the abdomen which are usually E. Ravilla to all reddish specimens that highlights the pointed redish-brown abdomen with white hairs and banded legs. The identification of Eriophora is tentative. Eriophora species tend to be night hunters, building their webs at night and retreating to rest on leafs during the day. Their webs are fairly sturdy and a Eriophora fulitgine has been photographed with a web that trapped a bat.