The bold pattern on the Western Spotted Orb Weaver makes it easy to identify once you've seen it.
Like all Orb Weavers, the Western Spotted Orb Weaver spins a circular web. This species tends to create them in open areas that aren't dense with foliage, making it easier for spider enthusiasts to spot them. The spider will sit in the center of the web, upside-down, waiting for insects to entangle themselves. Unlike most Orb Weavers, however, these spiders do not make any zigzag patterns in the center of their web called a stabilimentum.
They feed on anything that entangles itself in their webs: flies, moths, beetles, mites, lice, etc. Look for them 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).