The Cat-faced Spider is a common name shared by this species and a second North American spider. Its other common name, Jewel Spider, is also shared with an Australian spider. This name duplication illustrates the usefulness of using scientific names when addressing the identity of living things, which prompts gratitude for the work of Carl Linnaeus, the father of scientific nomenclature.
This harmless spider is an angulate spider, meaning it has two pronounced bumps at the top of its abdomen. The 'cat face' on the abdomen is created by these two bumps, which form the cat's 'ears', and the pattern in the center of the abdomen, which forms the 'face'. This spider is usually up-side-down in the garden, preferring to sit with its head toward the ground. Each individual spider may vary in color. Some are quite pale; others are a rich, tawny brown. Usually, a large female is found hiding in plant leaves or debris off to the side of the web, waiting to sense a tremor on the threads of silk. Males are smaller. A female will create an egg sac that holds about a hundred fertilized eggs in it. This egg sac will overwinter and in the spring, the spiderlings emerge and disperse using silk lines to help carry them away to new homes.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
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).