The unusual abdomen on the White Micrathena looks like a form of head dress when sitting upside down.
The Latin meaning for this spider's species name is 'head dress'. The white abdomen bulges out the sides and comes to two sharp points by the rear end. It evoked the appearance of a wrapped turban to some and so its scientific name reflects that observation. Two irregular black patches on the abdomen have white specks breaking through them, and short dark dashes are scattered on both sides. The head region (called the cephalothorax) is dark brown or black. Legs are paler by the body and darken towards the 'feet'.
This is a small spider and it does most of its work on plants, hunting insect prey. Because it is likely to eat things that attack plants, it can be considered a beneficial insect to have in a garden.
Scientific Name: Micrathena mitrata
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 11mm (0.12in to 0.43in)
Colors: white; black
Descriptors: small; spiky; horn; prick; point; white body; black marks; brown legs; biting
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).