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Celestial Weaver

Orb Weaver Facts

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Orb Weaver is a spider commonly found outside homes, in hedges, tall grass and trees.

They are helpful predators that feed on pests we don't like, such as mosquitoes, beetles and other annoying flying insects. They produce delicate round webs and are most common in late summer and early fall. They are neither poisonous nor poisonous.

5 Incredible Orb Weaver Facts!

  • There are more than 3000 weavers in the world.
  • Females are significantly larger than males.
  • Several species cannibalize the males after mating.
  • They are docile, non-aggressive and rarely bite.
  • They get their name because orb means round, and their webs are large and round, in most cases, though they adapt to round webs as they mature.

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species and scientific name

There are more than 3000 species of orb weaver spiders in nearly 200 genera worldwide. The common scientific name for orb weavers is Araneidae .

Evolution and Origin

Spiders probably evolved from ancestors of the arachnids during the Early Paleozoic Era, about 400 million years ago. The progenitor was a thick-waisted insect that likely just emerged from a life spent in the water. Many early spider fossils suggest that the primitive spiders known as Mesothelae were ground-dwelling spiders because their spinnerets were located below the middle of their abdomens, whereas today's spiders have spinnerets at the end of their abdomens.

The spinnerets located in the hind abdomen did not appear in spiders until the end of the Paleozoic Era, 250 million years ago. That's what helped them develop sophisticated antennas   A net that enables them to catch flying insects. Today's arachnid fauna have been found to be similar to those that existed more than 30 million years ago.



type

Orb spiders belong to a family of more than 3,000 species.

  • Yellow Garden Spider ( Argiope aurantia )
  • Banded garden spider ( Argiope trifasciata )
  • Cross Orbweaver ( Araneus diadematus )
  • Marble Weaver Spider ( Araneus marmoreus )
  • CloverOrbweaver ( Araneus trifolium )
  • Giant lichen Orbweaver ( Araneus bicentenarius )
  • Cat-face weaver ( Araneus gemmoides )

appearance

Arrowhead Orb Weaver
A close-up of a colorful Orb Weaver spider.

©Cui Huijing/Shutterstock.com

With so many species, with so many body adaptations and variations in appearance, it's impossible to detail them all here. Some are brightly colored, even gold, and have adaptations, such as spiny bodies. Others have smooth bodies with no spines at all. Males tend to be drab and brown. For non-venomous spiders, females tend to be larger, and their heads are much smaller than their abdomens, but aside from their large orb webs, one species may look quite different from another.

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However, it is very easy to identify the most common female garden spider, or Orb Weaver, in the United States. They make large, intricate webs, often in zigzag patterns, behind which they hide during the day. She is mostly yellow or gold, white and black, with a striped and dotted pattern on the front of her belly and an almost zebra pattern on the back with a yellow box in the middle. The head is off-white with a skull-like pattern on the front and a yellow stripe in the middle on the back.

Her belly is much bigger than her head. Her body is about an inch to an inch and a half long. Her belly was in the air like a skeleton wearing a pope hat. Her legs typically span between two and three inches and are almost X-shaped at rest. She has a large belly, somewhat flattened rather than rounded at the top, while noticeably tapering at the bottom with rounded ends.

Male Orb Weavers look very different from females. His body is usually less than half an inch long, and the legs only extend about half an inch closer to his body. He's usually a drab brown or gray with a shorter, more pointed belly, but still flat in the middle. His web is similarly intricate, but it is usually much smaller and not as twisty as the female's. They like to spin their webs on top of eaves and doorways.

Habitat

Beautiful golden orb weaver spider in the forest.
The beautiful golden orb weaver spider prefers to live on the ground, often spinning webs up to four feet in the air.

© makuromi/Shutterstock.com

When Orb Weavers build their nets on a home property, they usually like to stretch their nets between two things, such as between hedges, from a wall to a hedge, or between the sides of a corner. In their natural habitat, they make webs between tree branches or blades of tall grass. They prefer to be above the ground, usually making their webs four feet in the air, but sometimes they will make their webs within a foot or two of the ground, depending on where the prey is located.

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diet

A garden spider spins a web around a spotted lanternfly
This garden spider wraps up a spotted lanternfly for her next meal.

©cwieders/Shutterstock.com

Orb Weavers are very beneficial spiders because they eat many insects that we consider pests, such as mosquitoes, small insects, and flies. They also love beetles, and some species will eat hummingbirds if they become trapped in their nests.

prevention

The Orb Weaver (Araneus diadematus) sitting on a spider web.
Orb Weavers (Araneus diadematus) are harmless to humans and there is no need to get rid of them.

©novama/Shutterstock.com

There's really no need to get rid of orb spiders or take preventative measures, as they don't bite unless cornered in rare cases, and they eat a lot of annoying insects. However, if you have a phobia of spiders or they web on sidewalks, the easiest preventative way to stop them webbing near your home is to use a long stick to remove the anchor chain of their web. This should be done gently so as not to agitate the spider too much. Breaking the network in this way will let them know it's not a safe place to build their home and prevent them from building there again. They usually leave the network or just run away.

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about the author


I was born in New York, got my journalism degree from Boston University, took a detour to San Diego, and am now back in New York. I love traveling with my husband, but always miss my favorite little Peanuts, half Chihuahua/half Jack Russell, all the trouble. We are certified to dive so one day we can dive with great white sharks and I hope I can swim with orcas too. If my house fits it, I'll add a pig – or a sloth.

Orb Weaver FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are orb spiders poisonous?

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Orb weavers are neither edible nor poisonous to humans, and they rarely bite.

Is the celestial spider okay?

They are very beneficial as they help keep pests like mosquitoes out of your garden and yard.

How big can the sphere loom be?

These spiders can be up to 4 inches in diameter.

Can you keep a loom as a pet?

It can be difficult to keep Orb Weavers as pets due to their need to build such large nests and eat extensively.

How long do ball weavers live?

Their life cycle lasts about 12 months.

Where do circular looms go in winter?

Most ball weavers die over the winter after laying their last clutch of eggs.

Where do orb spiders live?

Orb weavers' habitat is vegetation. They live in webs between branches, shrubs and walls.

How do I get rid of orb weaver spiders?

They are beneficial spiders and it is recommended that you leave them in place if possible. However, if they interfere with your daily life, breaking their main chain with a stick will tell them that the area is unsafe and encourage them to move elsewhere.

What is the largest spherical spider web ever discovered?

The largest spider web ever discovered is made by an orb spider called Darwin's bark spider. This is a giant 82-foot net spanning a river in Madagascar.

What is the difference between an orb spider and a banana spider?

The most notable differences between orb spiders and banana spiders include their size, color, and habitat.

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source
  1. Ehrlich, available here: https://www.connorspest.com/pest-info/spiders/orbweaver-spider/
  2. North American Insects and Spiders, available here: https://www.cirrusimage.com/orb-weaver-spiders/
  3. Bug guide, available here: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1972
  4. ask! Wet & Forget, available here: https://askwetandforget.com/where-do-spiders-go-in-the-winter/
  5. Wildlife Heritage Foundation, available here: https://www.wildlifeheritage.org/orb-weaver-spider/
  6. Get rid of everything, available here: https://www.getridofallthings.com/how-to-get-rid-of-orb-weaver-spiders-naturally/