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Arabesque Orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Arabesque Orbweaver.

 Updated: 11/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The small dashes and swirls on the abdomen of the Arabesque Orbweaver gracefully decorate every individual.



An arabesque is a graceful position in ballet, but it is also a highly ornate design consisting of curves and swirls that sometimes intersect. Tiles traditionally seen in Moorish buildings and floors showcase these rich, intricate drawings. It is this latter definition of the word that helps describe the Arabesque Orbweaver. Highly variable in color, some individuals are brown or almost orange, while others are gray or almost black. Females have wider, rounder abdomens than slender males, but all of them have a myriad of short lines and curvy dashes scrolling down the center of the abdomen. A row of thick, black dashes with a pointed outer corner resemble commas, and these flank both sides of the central decoration, decreasing in size as the commas near the spider's rear. These markings are distinct for this species and helpful identification tools.

Like most other Orbweavers, the female Arabesque Orbweaver creates a circular web. The web may be between short bushes, or it may be near a walkway between a tree branch and handrail. Generally, areas with high foot traffic are avoided, but it has happened where webs are built in highly visible places. Under cover of night, the female sits in the center of her web, upside down. Sometimes an unsuspecting human walks right through it. Fortunately this tiny spider is not aggressive, and is likely to be just as alarmed as the person who destroyed her meal-catcher. When not tending the web during the day, the female takes shelter and hides under leaves. Usually smaller males hide nearby on a connecting branch or leaf.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Araneidae
          Genus: Neoscona
            Species: arabesca
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Neoscona arabesca
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 7mm (0.20in to 0.27in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, brown, white, gray, red, orange, yellow
Descriptors: commas, dashes, pointed bar, upside down
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
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
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).