Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Arrowhead Orb Weaver - (Verrucosa arenata)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 10/20/2014

A bright yellow triangle on the similarly-shaped abdomen is the Arrowhead Orbweaver Spider's trademark.

It is unusual to see a spider with an abdomen that it not round, especially an orbweaver. Orbweaver spiders belong to the family Araneidae. This is a huge family of spiders in North America. The shaped of the web created by these spiders is a circular spiral. Silk lines will radiate from the center and many are known to rebuild their webs every day.

The more common varieties of orbweavers have a bulbous abdomen. This species does not. Its markings and abdomen shape are similar to an arrow tip. It makes for a unique body shape. The darkness of the body can vary between spiders as can the color of the 'arrowhead'. Some of the triangular markings are white or pink instead of yellow. The color pattern on is the same among Arrowhead Orbweaver spiders living in the same area.

This spider creates webs in shaded areas of a forest and sits on it with its head up while most other spiders keep their heads down. The legs are tucked in at their sides as it awaits prey. Like other spiders, once an insect wanders into its web, the spider immobilizes it with a bite and eats it later.

They are most active in middle and late summer. They can be found in wooded forests, hiding in the darker, shaded areas.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Arrowhead Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Verrucosa arenata
Other Names: Triangulate Orbweaver

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Araneidae
       Genus: Verrucosa
        Species: arenata

Adult Size (Length): 5mm to 6mm (0.20in to 0.24in)

Identifying Colors: red; brown; yellow; white; pink

Additional Descriptors: pointy, arrow, triangle, patch, tucked, venomous

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.