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Spined Micrathena Spider (Micrathena gracilis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Spined Micrathena Spider



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The thorny spikes and bumps on the abdomen of the dark Spined Micrathena Spider are not typically found on Orbweavers.



Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The pointed ridges on the abdomen of the female spider are believed to render less appealing to eat to predators. The spines presumably hurt the mouth of the predator, making the Spined Micrathena Spider not worth the meal. The black, brown, and white coloration may act as camouflage since this species resides in dense forests where specks of light may be all that gets through to the forest floor. That said, colors vary slightly per individual. Some are very brown; others are only black and white.

The male lacks the sharp ridges and have more white or black coloring on it. Its waist is narrower than a female's. Females sit in the center of the web, waiting for insects to get trapped by the silk threads. As an Orbweaver Spider, the web is built in a circle or spiral shape. Orbweavers tend to rebuild their webs every day. This species is most active in the summer and can be found in dense woods or forests.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting 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: Araneidae
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          Genus: Micrathena
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            Species: gracilis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Micrathena gracilis
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 10mm (0.15" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; yellow; brown
Descriptors: bumpy, biting, venomous, spikes
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 4mm (0.2in) and 10mm (0.4in)
Lo: 4mm
Md: 7mm
Hi: 10mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
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State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
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State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
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 Spined Micrathena 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 Spined Micrathena Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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