orbweavers

(Family Araneidae)

Overview
orbweaver (Family Araneidae)
Photo by Margot Avey
 

Araneidae is a large family of typical spiders known as orbweavers. It is the third largest family of spiders. There are 3,067 currently recognized orbweaver species in 177 genera worldwide, 180 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 44 species in 16 genera in Minnesota.

Orbweavers are found in woodlands, fields, and caves; on grasses, shrubs, and trees; and on buildings and fences. They are best known for the circular webs, called orbs, that they build. The webs consist of a framework of non-sticky threads (spokes) extending from the edge to the middle, and concentric circles of sticky threads winding to the center.

 
           
 
Description
 
 

Orbweavers are very diverse in size, shape, and color. They have eight small eyes in two rows. The lateral eyes are usually well separated from the median eyes. The median ocular area (MOA), the area defined by the middle four eyes, is in the shape of a trapezoid. The front part of the body (carapace) is smaller than the rear part (abdomen). The abdomen is large, rounded, and marked with lines, spots, or zig-zag patterns. The legs are short and spiny. The first and second pairs of legs project forward, the third and fourth pairs project backward. There are three claws at the end of each leg, though these are not visible without magnification. Females are much larger than males.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  8/3/2022      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Araneae (spiders)  
 

Suborder

Araneomorphae (typical spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (entelegyne spiders)  
 

Superfamily

Araneoidea (araneoid spiders)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Genus Acacesia

Genus Acanthepeira (star-bellied orb-web spiders)

Genus Aculepeira

Genus Aethriscus (bird-dropping araneid apiders)

Genus Allocyclosa

Genus Arachnura (scorpion-tailed spiders)

Genus Araneus (angulate and roundshouldered orbweavers)

Genus Araniella (cucumber spiders)

Genus Argiope (garden orbweavers)

Genus Artifex (leaf-curling spiders)

Genus Caerostris (bark spiders)

Genus Cercidia

Genus Colphepeira

Genus Cyclosa (trashline orbweavers)

Genus Cyrtophora (tentweb weavers)

Genus Eriophora

Genus Eustala

Genus Gasteracantha (spiny orbweavers)

Genus Gea

Genus Hypsosinga

Genus Kaira (frilled orbweavers)

Genus Larinia (grass orb-web spiders)

Genus Larinioides (furrow spiders)

Genus Mangora

Genus Mastophora (Bolas spiders)

Genus Mecynogea

Genus Metazygia

Genus Metepeira

Genus Micrathena

Genus Neoscona (spotted orbweavers)

Genus Ocrepeira

Genus Scoloderus

Genus Singa (striped orbweavers)

Genus Trichonephila (banded orb-weavers)

Genus Verrucosa

Genus Wagneriana

Genus Zygiella

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

orbweavers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Carapace

The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. On crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax. On spiders, the top of the cephalothorax made from a series of fused sclerites.

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this arachnid.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Margot Avey

 
 

I took these photos on Saturday morning about 5:30 at the Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park. They were amazing!

  orbweaver (Family Araneidae)  
           
    orbweaver (Family Araneidae)   orbweaver (Family Araneidae)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Family Araneidae
Atul Vartak
  Family Araneidae  
Araneidae
Robert Whyte
  Araneidae  
 
About

Araneids are Orb Weaver Spiders.

 

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this arachnid.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Orb Weaver (Araneidae) Close up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Sep 8, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (07 September 2009).

 
  Araneidae
Cedar Sanderson
 
   
 
About

Oct 2, 2017

An orb weaver making her web. She's not the neatest weaver, but very quick!

 
  Orbweaver (Araneidae) on Web
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

May 19, 2010

Photographed at Rydell NWR, Minnesota (18 May 2010).

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this arachnid.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Margot Avey
7/16/2022

Location: Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park

I took these photos on Saturday morning about 5:30 at the Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park. They were amazing!

orbweaver (Family Araneidae)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 8/3/2022

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2022 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.