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Marbled Orb Weaver (Araneus marmoreus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Marbled Orb Weaver



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Image Credit: Ryan K.
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Image Credit: Ken N. from central OH
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Image Credit: Richard G. from Martha's Vineyard, MA
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Image Credit: Ian G. from Candler, NC
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Image Credit: Jim P. from Fairfax, VA
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Image Credit: Steve C. from Rogers, AR
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Image Credit: Kris M. from Bloomington, IN
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Image Credit: Richard G. from Martha's Vineyard, MA
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The ubiquitous and multicolored Marbled Orb Weaver is a spider that works hard, and looks good doing it.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The unique 'marbling' pattern of colors on the abdomen, the orange head and upper legs, and black-and-white banded lower legs make the Marbled Orb Weaver visually stunning. Some individuals may have an orange and yellow abdomen, while others have black and yellow, black and orange, or black and white. Like other orb weavers, this spider creates a new circular web daily. Marbled Orb Weavers prefer wooded areas near water sources like creeks, stream, rivers, ponds, and marshes. They build their webs on shrubs, reeds, or tall grasses.

Females are twice the size of males and generally stay hidden at the web's perimeter in a mess of dead leaves. One strand of silk extends all the way to her retreat. If it vibrates, she knows her web has caught something. Females lay orange eggs in a silken sac and attach it near their retreat to guard it. If the weather is warm, the spiderlings will hatch soon after. If it is cool or cold, the spiderlings will overwinter in the egg sac and hatch in the spring.

Adults are very active during the summer and autumn months. They tend to fall to the ground if they sense they are in danger. They will try to stay hidden until the threat has passed. This species of spider is commonly seen in gardens and on shrubs outside of homes. They do a nice job of guarding entryways from curious insects like moths and beetles. They are not interested in people, and are rarely seen inside. They can grow to be large, but are not aggressive.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon
Venomous insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Araneidae
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          Genus: Araneus
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            Species: marmoreus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Araneus marmoreus
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 19mm (0.23" to 0.74")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange; yellow; black; brown; white
Descriptors: speckled, biting, venomous, stripes, spots
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 19mm (0.7in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 12.5mm
Hi: 19mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Marbled Orb Weaver 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 Marbled Orb Weaver. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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