Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spiders have distinctive double webs that help them use their surroundings to camouflage themselves.
The web of this spider is made of tight concentric rings, like the circular mazes seen on kid menus. It is one part of the web; the other part is a tangled mess that makes up a retreat. This configuration may help identify the spider sitting near it. The Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spider conceals itself in the retreat web using dried leaves or other debris to help camouflage it. The spider sits with its legs tucked under and around itself in a narrow hiding spot, like a curled leaf, while waiting for insects to become ensnared in the larger web. Once a prey item is snagged in the web, the Labyrinthine Orb Weaver Spider moves toward it, bites it to immobilize it with venom, and then proceeds to wrap the prey in a cocoon of spider silk where it will remain until the spider wants to consume it.
A Labyrinthine Orb Weaver is brown with a distinct pattern on the abdomen. A jagged-edged black triangle points to the rear. This black area is surrounded with a white border with fine white dashes along the middle. Two sets of white curls begin near the waist. A stripe of light hairs runs down the center of this black triangle. Legs have brown-orange 'thighs', but the rest of is covered with wide black and white bands.
Adults are active from early spring to late fall. Males stop building and maintaining webs once they mature. Reproduction occurs in rainy spells during spring. Females wrap multiple egg sacs in silk, stranding them together like a string of pearls. This strand of egg sacs is then attached to her web and disguised as debris thanks to the twigs and leaves she places around it. She will guard her egg sacs until the spiderlings hatch and jump off her web to start lives of their own.
Scientific Name: Metepeira labyrinthia
Other Name(s): Labyrinth Orbweaver
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 10mm (0.20in to 0.39in)
Colors: brown; black; tan; gray; orange
Descriptors: biting, venomous, black and white legs, barb, arrow
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Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
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).