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Content tagged with "orb weaver"

Photo of an arboreal orb weaver spider

Arboreal Orb Weaver

There are several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri, and some of these spiders are difficult to distinguish. They tend to have camouflage patterns, and all make the characteristic, delicate, wheel-shaped "orb" webs as nets for catching prey.

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Photo of an arboreal orb weaver spider

Arboreal Orb Weavers

Neoscona spp. and Araneus spp.
It can be hard to identify the several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri. But they all tend to have camouflage patterns, and they all make the characteristic, delicate, wheel-shaped "orb" webs as nets for catching prey.

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Photo of a barn spider, or spotted orbweaver, hiding in a corner

Barn Spider (Spotted Orb Weaver)

This “barn spider” is probably Neoscona crucifera, also called Hentz’s orbweaver and spotted orb weaver. It’s a widespread species that commonly builds its webs in woods and on the eaves of barns and other structures (including houses). The female takes down her web each morning, hides in cracks and corners during the day (as shown in this picture), and spins a new large, round web at dusk. This individual built her web next to a dusk-to-dawn porch light each night for several weeks one late summer, taking advantage of the host of flying insects attracted to the light.

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Image of a female Argiope garden spider.

Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider

Argiope aurantia
The black-and-yellow garden spider is large but harmless. It sets up large, circular webs in gardens and grasslands. Lucky gardeners can host this remarkable pest-exterminator all season long.

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Photo of a heptagonal orbweaver in her web.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

Unlike many other orb-weaving spiders that build webs chest- or face-high, and which are often run into by hikers, heptagonal orbweavers construct their webs low to the ground. They sometimes spin an extra zigzag pattern at the center, which can make their webs easier to spot.

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Photo of heptagonal orbweaver in web supported by creeping Charlie weeds.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

The form, size, and positioning of webs are important for identifying many spiders. Female heptagonal orbweavers build their circular webs vertically and low to the ground. This individual’s web was less than a foot above the ground, in a clump of weeds under a birdbath. True to form, she would drop instantly to the ground upon the slightest disturbance.

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Photo of female heptagonal orbweaver in web.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

Gea heptagon
The heptagonal orbweaver, Gea heptagon, builds its circular webs in vegetation only a few feet off the ground. When disturbed, it drops instantly to the ground below and turns a drab brown.

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Photo of female heptagonal orbweaver in web.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

The heptagonal orbweaver builds circular webs that look a lot like miniature versions of the webs made by black-and-yellow garden spiders. When disturbed, the heptagonal orbweaver drops instantly to the ground below and turns a drab brown.

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Photo of female heptagonal orbweaver in web, showing underside.

Heptagonal Orbweaver (Seven-Sided Orb-Weaver)

This view of the underside of a female heptagonal orbweaver shows her spinnerets, a small group of nozzle-like organs near the hind part of the abdomen, which produce the web and netting necessary for capturing and trussing her prey, and for constructing a silken pouch for her eggs.

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Photo of a marbled orb weaver spider

Marbled Orb Weaver

The marbled orb weaver (Araneus marmoreus) is a colorful spider whose wide range includes all of the eastern United States. It’s sometimes called “pumpkin spider” because the rounded abdomen of this species is sometimes bright orange. The pattern is variable, and the color can be white, yellow, or orange, with mottling and spotting of black, brown, or purple. Females build their wheel-shaped webs among trees and tall weeds in moist woods, often near streams.

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