Saturday, October 24, 2009

Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) - Female

A common orbweaving spider found throughout most of North America. This individual is a female. Males are about a quarter the size of females.

From Ohio State University:

Polymorphic - This spider has many color varieties. The most common form has an orange front part of the body (cephalothorax) with orange/white/black banded legs. The abdomen on this form is either orange or yellow with a pattern that resembles a face to some observers. Other color varieties include one that is very pale tan or yellow, sometimes with a black spot in the middle of the abdomen. (Photos of different color variations are available on BugGuide.)

Harmless - This species, as is common to members of the orbweaver family, is not known to bite humans. It preys on a variety of flying insects.

Nocturnal - The spiders build their web at dusk and either wait in the web or in a retreat near the web at night for prey to strike the web. Then the spider runs out and wraps the prey in silk. After the prey is immobilized, the prey is bitten and eventually eaten. Some individuals stay in their webs during the day, but this is not common. They typically rebuild their web each day, or at least the sticky spiral orb part.

Jo and I found this spider while on our afternoon walk. It was in the middle of the road dangling from a single web strand and swinging back and forth. Photographing was difficult. Many thanks to my photographic assistant wife for enticing the spider onto a stick and then manipulating the stick so I could take a few photos.

Creative Commons License



Unknown said...

I love your pictures!!! Thank you

Shelly Cox said...

Beautiful images. These are the spiders that build huge webs in my yard, that I walk smack-dab into while out hunting for insects. It makes for some interesting dance moves as I try to dislodge the web from my face and hair and make certain that the spider hasn't taken up residence on me. The ones I see in this part of MO tend to be more tannish in color.

Beth Westmark said...

Spiders are so hard to photograph. You (and your assistant) did a great job. Doesn't look common at all. I'll dig up a few of my spider pics and send you.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Grrrrrreat shots. Way to go team.

Texas Travelers said...

WOW !!!

Love this photo. Beautiful color.
Well done.


Diane AZ said...

Great photos! I like the orange, black and white legs and the zigzag pattern on the back.

Birdy Official said...

Not only the spider is beautiful, but you also capture it nicely. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Marvin - they're great images! I'm definitely not a fan of orb weavers or any spider for that matter, but I do enjoy watching them at work. Their weaving is amazing.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This looks like our Widow spider Marvin, one of the Brown ones. A great capture and excellent shot.

Lana Gramlich said...

What a lovely creature. Isn't it nice to have photographic assistants--er, spouses--along?