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  • Bolas Spider - (Mastophora cornigera)

    Bolas Spider - (Mastophora cornigera)

    The Bolas Spider's abdomen helps it lure prey into its hanging lines of silk, each tipped with a ball, or bola.

    Picture of Bolas Spider
    Staff Writer (6/25/2014): The Bolas Spider is not a web spinner. Instead, it casts lines of silk strands with a heavy globule at the end called a bola. It swings the bola when prey is within range. This species ensnares moths that fly too closely to it. It is believed to be able to produce a chemical from its abdominal protuberances that mimics the pheromone, or smell, of female moths. When male moths come seeking to mate, they are caught by the lines of silk.

    Males remain quite small, but females molt multiple times, growing to be 5 or 6 times larger than males. Eggs are laid in a hard, round sac and spiderlings hatch in June.

    The Bolas Spider can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from gardens and meadows to shrubby areas and woodlands. They are more common in southeastern North America but have been seen westward all the way to the southern parts of California.

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    Details of the:
    Bolas Spider

    Category: Spider
    Common name: Bolas Spider
    Scientific Name: Mastophora cornigera

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Arachnida
         Order: Araneae
          Family: Araneidae
           Genus: Mastophora
            Species: cornigera

    Size (Adult, Length): 2mm to 15mm (0.08in to 0.59in)

    Identifying Colors: brown, white, ivory, yellow, red

    Additional Descriptors: bumpy, bulging, rough, deformed, bulbous, biting

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; California; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Mississippi; New Mexico; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; Texas

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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