A bold pattern decorates the Western Spotted Orb Weaver making it easier to identify in the field.
Like all Orb Weavers, the Western Spotted Orbweaver spins a circular web. This species tends to create them in open areas that have sparse foliage, making it easier for spider enthusiasts to spot them. The spider sits in the center of the web, upside-down, waiting for insects to entangle themselves. Unlike most Orb Weavers, however, this spider does not make a stabilimentum, a zigzag pattern of spider silk in the center of the web. The legs of the spider may be red or yellow, but black bands near the feet are present regardless of the color. The bulbous abdomen is brown with yellow speckles on the sides. A central brown line cuts through yellow triangles and then yellow dots down the abdomen.
The Western Spotted Orbweaver feeds on anything that entangles itself in its web: flies, moths, beetles, mites, lice, and other bugs. Look for it in open fields, empty lots, gardens, and parks. Adults are seen in autumn, when eggs are laid. Spiderlings remain in their eggs over the winter and hatch in the spring.
Scientific Name: Neoscona oaxacensis
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 19mm (0.43in to 0.74in)
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 above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections 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.
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).