Orb Weaver (Araneus spp.)

Orb Weaver (Araneus spp.) 

The Orb Weavers (Araneus spp.) is a very large family of spiders. The family name is Araneidae, which comes from the Latin word, "aranea," meaning "spider." This family is characterized by large, rounded abdomens and the webs they weave. They are brown to orange in color with distinctive patterns on the abdomen that distinguish the species. The legs are yellow-brown and sometimes have black bands. They are very small, seldom exceeding ¾ inch (2 centimeters) in length.

Each night, the Orb Weavers spin a new web. The support strands are radial and the orb is spiral as shown in the photograph above. The web is usually constructed in shrubbery or tall grasses but may be found in stone formations, building doorways and other suitable structural members of buildings. Another somewhat unique characteristic of many Orb Weavers is that they stay head down in the center of the web during the day as shown in the photograph below. Other Orb Weavers will run a sensor line to the edge of the web where they will wait for prey during the day.

Orb Weaver (Araneus spp.)

Orb Weavers eat insects caught by their webs. They are too small to be a threat to large animals but their webs can be an annoyance when people walk through them. The photographs on this page were taken near French Hill Pond.

Arachnids of French Hill Pond Fauna of French Hill Pond French Hill Pond Home Page