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White Micrathena (Micrathena mitrata)


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



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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
Full-sized image of the White-Micrathena-Spider Thumbnail image of the White-Micrathena-Spider

The unusual abdomen on the White Micrathena looks like a form of head dress when sitting upside down.



Updated: 01/28/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Latin meaning for this spider's species name is 'head dress'. The white abdomen bulges out the sides and comes to two sharp points by the rear end. It evoked the appearance of a wrapped turban to some and so its scientific name reflects that observation. Two irregular black patches on the abdomen have white specks breaking through them, and short dark dashes are scattered on both sides. The head region (called the cephalothorax) is dark brown or black. Legs are paler by the body and darken towards the 'feet'.

This is a small spider and it does most of its work on plants, hunting insect prey. Because it is likely to eat things that attack plants, it can be considered a beneficial insect to have in a garden.




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




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: mitrata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Micrathena mitrata
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 11mm (0.11" to 0.43")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white; black
Descriptors: small; spiky; horn; prick; point; white body; black marks; brown legs; biting
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 3mm and 11mm
Lo: 3mm
Md: 7mm
Hi: 11mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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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 White Micrathena 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 White Micrathena. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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