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Arrowhead Orb Weaver (Verrucosa arenata)


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

 Updated: 9/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




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.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Araneidae
          Genus: Verrucosa
            Species: arenata
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Verrucosa arenata
Other Name(s): Triangulate Orbweaver
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 6mm (0.20in to 0.23in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; brown; yellow; white; pink
Descriptors: pointy, arrow, triangle, pyramid, patch, tucked, venomous
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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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).