Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spider: Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifer)

Spotted Orbweavers (Neoscona crucifer) are among the most common spiders at our place now. In the woods, they spin webs across the path down to, and along, the creek. Although the orb section of the web is only a few feet in diameter, the support web strands are often 6 - 10 feet or longer. There’s no way that I can make my way along the path without breaking at least part of the web. When the web is disturbed, the spider will run upwards along one of the support threads to the branch or tree trunk above.

I literally walked into two webs last weekend. In the first instance, the spider ran up to a small branch but I it was too dark to photograph. When I disturbed the second spider, I placed my snake stick under the thread along which the spider was running. When the spider reached the stick, it climbed onto it.

I was then able to move it into the sun to photograph its abdomen. In this photo you can also see threads from the web.

I deposited it on a tree trunk in the sun where it settled and I was able to photograph the head and thorax.

These spiders in the woods are darker than those that I’ve encountered in the field. The crucifix pattern on their abdomen is quite subtle and is more obvious from a distance than close up.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resource:

- BugGuide: Spotted Orbweaver (Neoscona crucifer)

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