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Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Nursery Web Spider



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Image Credit: Justin from Harrisburg, PA
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Image Credit: Elizabeth and Desmond L. taken in Pinery Provincial Park, Grand Bend, ON
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The female Nursery Web Spider is a dedicated parental caretaker, usually seen with its egg sac until the spiderlings hatch.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Nursery Web Spider derives its name from the delicate care a female takes of her egg sac. She gently carries the sac with fangs and builds a web for it in high weeds or low shrubs, suspending it inside of a leaf so it is less visible and more difficult to reach. The female surrounds the sac with layers of silk and then guards this leafy nursery and all her eggs until they hatch. Spiderlings remain in the nursery for about a week after hatching and then head out on their own.

This spider does not spin a web to catch prey. It is an ambush predator and uses its silk for other purposes. Males look slightly different than females, but both genders eat insects and other invertebrates. Look for females among leaf litter and herbaceous plants, carrying a white, golf-ball like sacs. It has a light brown or tan bodies have a darker brown streak running down the middle of the head region and abdomen. Males have a lighter streak.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Hairy insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon
Venomous insect icon


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Pisauridae
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          Genus: Pisaurina
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            Species: mira
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 26mm (0.27" to 1.02")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, gray, white, black
Descriptors: biting, venomous, hairy, spiky
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 7mm (0.3in) and 26mm (1.0in)
Lo: 7mm
Md: 16.5mm
Hi: 26mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Nursery Web Spider 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 Nursery Web Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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