Arboreal Orb Weavers
There are several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri, and some are quite difficult to distinguish, even by specialists. Often, you must observe small details of their anatomy in order to determine the species.
Neoscona species have a slightly triangular-ovate abdomen with a pattern resembling an upside-down spruce tree. On each side of this midline may be black, brown, and greenish-brown markings. The legs usually are gray with brown rings. The carapace may be gray with brown markings. Araneus species may be similarly marked and colored, though some are quite showy and less hairy.