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Arabesque Orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Arabesque Orbweaver

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The small dashes and swirls on the abdomen of the Arabesque Orbweaver gracefully decorate every individual.

Updated: 08/17/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
An arabesque is a graceful position in ballet, but it is also a highly ornate design consisting of curves and swirls that sometimes intersect. Tiles traditionally seen in Moorish buildings and floors showcase these rich, intricate drawings. It is this latter definition of the word that helps describe the Arabesque Orbweaver. Highly variable in color, some individuals are brown or almost orange, while others are gray or almost black. Females have wider, rounder abdomens than slender males, but all of them have a myriad of short lines and curvy dashes scrolling down the center of the abdomen. Thick, black dashes resemble commas, and these flank both sides of the central decoration, decreasing in size as the commas near the spider's rear. These markings are distinct for this species and helpful identification tools.

Like most other Orbweavers, the female Arabesque Orbweaver creates a circular web. The web may be between short bushes, or it may be near a walkway between a tree branch and handrail. Generally, areas with high foot traffic are avoided, but it has happened where webs are built in highly visible places. Under cover of night, the female sits in the center of her web, upside down. Sometimes an unsuspecting human walks right through it. Fortunately this tiny spider is not aggressive, and is likely to be just as alarmed as the person who destroyed her meal-catcher. When not tending the web during the day, the female takes shelter and hides under leaves. Usually smaller males hide nearby on a connecting branch or leaf.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Arabesque-Orbweaver-Spider

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Hairy insect icon
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Striped or banded insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Araneidae
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          Genus: Neoscona
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            Species: arabesca

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Neoscona arabesca
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 7mm (0.19" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; white; gray; red; orange; yellow
Descriptors: commas; dashes; pointed bar; upside down; web; hairy; furry; pattern; spot; dot; stripe; band; line; helpful

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6mm
Hi: 7mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Arabesque Orbweaver may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Arabesque Orbweaver. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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