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Cat-Faced Spider (Araneus gemmoides)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cat-Faced Spider.


 Updated: 2/14/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Cat-Faced Spider  
Picture of Cat-Faced-Spider


The Cat-Faced Spider is every gardener's friend, keeping watch over plants and consuming loads of pest insects.





The Cat-Faced Spider is a common name shared by this species and second North American spider. Its other common name, Jewel Spider is also shared with an Australian spider. This name duplication illustrates the usefulness of using scientific names when addressing the identity of living things, which prompts gratitude for the work of Carl Linnaeus, the father of scientific nomenclature.

This harmless spider is an angulate spider, meaning it has two pronounced bumps at the top of its abdomen. The 'cat face' on the abdomen is created by these bumps, which form cat ears, and the pattern in the center of the abdomen, which forms the facial features. This face is usually up-side-down in the garden because this spider prefers to sit with its head toward the ground. The individual spider may vary in color. Some are pale; others are a rich, tawny brown. Usually, a large female is found hiding in plant leaves or debris off to the side of the web, waiting to sense a tremor on the lines of her web. Males are smaller. A female will create an egg sac that holds about a hundred fertilized eggs in it. This egg sac will overwinter and in the spring, the spiderlings emerge and disperse using silk lines to help carry them away to new homes.
Basic Information
Common Name: Cat-Faced Spider
Other Name(s): Jewel Spider
Scientific Name: Araneus gemmoides
Category: Spider


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 26mm (0.20in to 1.01in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: brown, white, yellow, ivory, red
Additional Descriptors: spiky, bumpy, hairy, horns, biting, venomous, harmless, shoulders, angulate




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Araneus
Species: gemmoides


Spider Anatomy (Typical)
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).


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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 below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below 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.
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


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Cat-Faced Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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