Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Spotted Orb Weaver - (Neoscona crucifera)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 4/24/2015

Covered in short hairs, the Spotted Orb Weaver is a commonly sighted arachnid that is both hunter and hunted.

Spotted Orb Weavers spin orb-shaped webs that are up to 2 feet in diameter. During the day, they usually hide in a curled leaf near the edge of their web. Individuals can vary in color: some appear more orange/red while others are more yellowish-brown. The markings on their abdomen can also vary between individuals in this species. Some have a pronounced 'cross' on their abdomen; others have darker zigzag stripes down by the end of the abdomen. All of them have the bristles on their abdomen, legs, head and thorax.

Spotted Orb Weavers can be found in woodlands, chaparral, fields, gardens, parks and backyards. They are active mostly between May and August. These hairy spiders are nocturnal, but it isn't unusual to see one during the day.

Females lay eggs in a sac spun from their silk. It hangs near the web until the spiderlings hatch. Although spiders are usually the hunter, the spiderlings of this species are frequent targets for mud dauber wasps.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Spotted Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Neoscona crucifera

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Chelicerata
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Araneidae
       Genus: Neoscona
        Species: crucifera

Adult Size (Length): 4mm to 15mm (0.16in to 0.59in)

Identifying Colors: yellow, red, brown, ivory, tan, orange

Additional Descriptors: hairy, orange, biting, venomous

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Mexico

* 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.