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  • Spiny Backed Orb Weaver - (Gasteracantha spp.)

    Spiny Backed Orb Weaver - (Gasteracantha spp.)

    You can look, but don't touch the Spiny-backed Orbweaver spider. Those thorns help keep predators at bay.

    Staff Writer (9/13/2017): The spines on the side of this female spider make it unique and easy to recognize. Males are considerably smaller than females and they lack the spines. There are a variety of species in this genus and colors vary.

    Like other orb weavers, it creates a web that is circular in shape, only it has few or no spirals at the center of its web. Each night, a new web is spun to catch small insect prey. The spider stands up-side-down on the web.

    Late in the year, the female will lay eggs that will grow throughout winter, hatching spiderlings in the spring. The oval-shaped egg sac is near the web, usually hidden underneath leaves. It may be white, green or yellowish, but it is woven of the spider's silk.

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    Details of the:
    Spiny Backed Orb Weaver

    Category: Spider
    Common name: Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
    Scientific Name: Gasteracantha spp.
    Other Names: Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver Spider

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Arachnida
         Order: Araneae
          Family: Araneidae
           Genus: Gasteracantha
            Species: spp.

    Size (Adult, Length): 2mm to 10mm (0.08in to 0.39in)

    Identifying Colors: orange; black; white; yellow; red

    Additional Descriptors: spikes, flat, spines, thorns, spots, biting, venomous

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; 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

    * 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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