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  • Cat-Faced Spider - (Araneus gemmoides)

    Cat-Faced Spider - (Araneus gemmoides)

    The Cat-Faced Spider is a gardener's friend, consuming many pest insects, but its large size and conspicuous appearance tend to alarm rather than endear at first glance.

    Staff Writer (8/2/2017): The Cat-Faced Spider is a common name shared by this species and another North American spider. Its other common name, Jewel Spider is also shared by an Australian spider. This illustrates the usefulness of using scientific names when addressing the identity of any living thing (thank you, Carl Linnaeus).

    This harmless spider is an angulate spider, meaning it has two pronounced bumps, or horns, on its 'shoulders'. The said 'cat face' is created by these bumps (cat ears) and the rest of the abdomen. Strangely, this face is usually up-side-down as this spider prefers to sit with its head toward the ground. Usually, a large female is found hiding in plant leaves or debris off to the side of the web, awaiting a tremor in the lines of her web. Males are much smaller.

    A female will lay an egg sac carrying about a hundred spider eggs in it. This egg sac will overwinter and in the spring, the spiderlings will emerge and disperse using silk lines to help carry them away, very similar to what happens in the end of Charlotte's Web.

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    Details of the:
    Cat-Faced Spider

    Category: Spider
    Common name: Cat-Faced Spider
    Scientific Name: Araneus gemmoides
    Other Names: Jewel Spider

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

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 26mm (0.20in to 1.02in)

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

    Additional Descriptors: spiky, bumpy, hairy, horns, biting, venomous, harmless, shoulders, angulate

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Mexico; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Dakota; Texas; Utah; Washington; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; Quebec; Saskatchewan;

    * 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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