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Arrowhead Orb Weaver (Verrucosa arenata)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Arrowhead Orb Weaver, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/31/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Arrowhead Orb Weaver  
Picture of Arrowhead-Orb-Weaver
Picture of Arrowhead-Orb-Weaver Picture of Arrowhead-Orb-Weaver

A bright yellow triangle on a pyramidal abdomen is the unique trademark of an Arrowhead Orbweaver Spider.

It is unusual to see a spider with an abdomen that is not round, especially in the Orbweaver family. Orbweavers are part of a huge family of spiders in North America. The round-shaped webs created by these spiders form a delicate spiral. Silk threads radiate from the center, and many species rebuild their webs every day. The star of the novel "Charlotte's Web" was an Orbweaver Spider. The Arrowhead Orbweaver, however, looks a bit different from its relatives.

While more common varieties of Orbweavers have a bulbous abdomen, this species does not. Its abdomen is shaped like the tip of an arrow: triangular and pointy. A bright yellow or white triangle is stamped on the top of this abdomen making it easy to see and identify. Some smaller, vein-like markings on this area are red. The color of the body is reddish-brown though shades may vary depending on the individual. Though variations exist, generally the color pattern is the same among Arrowhead Orbweaver Spiders living in the same area.

This spider creates webs in shady areas of a forest and sits on it with its head up. This is also a departure from the norm among Orbweavers as most others sit in their webs up-side down. The legs are tucked in at their sides, taking up as little space as possible, while it sits and waits for prey. Like other spiders, once an insect wanders into its web, the spider immobilizes it with a venomous bite and eats it later. Arrowhead Orbweavers are most active in middle and late summer. They can be found in wooded forests, hiding in the darker, shaded areas so tread carefully through these places.

Picture of the Arrowhead Orb Weaver
Picture of the Arrowhead Orb Weaver

Arrowhead Orb Weaver Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Arrowhead Orb Weaver
Scientific Name: Verrucosa arenata
Other Name(s): Triangulate Orbweaver

Taxonomy Hierarchy

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

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 5 mm to 6 mm (0.195 inches to 0.234 inches)
Identifying Colors: red; brown; yellow; white; pink
Additional Descriptors: pointy, arrow, triangle, pyramid, patch, tucked, venomous

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that 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. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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