Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Western Spotted Orb Weaver - (Neoscona oaxacensis)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 9/23/2014

The bold pattern on the Western Spotted Orb Weaver makes it easy to identify once you've seen it.

Like all Orb Weavers, the Western Spotted Orb Weaver spins a circular web. This species tends to create them in open areas that aren't dense with foliage, making it easier for spider enthusiasts to spot them. The spider will sit in the center of the web, upside-down, waiting for insects to entangle themselves. Unlike most Orb Weavers, however, these spiders do not make any zigzag patterns in the center of their web called a stabilimentum.

They feed on anything that entangles itself in their webs: flies, moths, beetles, mites, lice, etc. Look for them in open fields, empty lots, gardens and parks. Adults are seen in autumn, when eggs are laid. Spiderlings remain in their eggs over the winter and hatch in the spring.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Western Spotted Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Neoscona oaxacensis

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Araneidae
       Genus: Neoscona
        Species: oaxacensis

Adult Size (Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.75in)

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

Additional Descriptors: biting, venomous

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona, California, Kansas, New 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.