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orange spider

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" Orange spiders make vertically oriented webs to catch prey ."

The marbled orb spider, commonly known as the orange spider, looks like a pumpkin with legs due to its pronounced orange color and distended abdomen. It is one of the most common garden spiders in North America. This species forms vertically oriented webs on trees, shrubs, and grass. Araneus marmoreus is a predator with a potent venom that paralyzes prey but rarely attacks humans.

Orange Spiders – Species, Types and Scientific Names

There are several different types of orange garden spiders. However, the most common orange spider is the marbled orb spider – Araneus marmoreus . This species is also sometimes called the pumpkin spider because of its distended abdomen and bright yellow color.

Marble orbweavers belong to the spider family. This is the third largest spider family with 3,108 species in 186 genera worldwide. Members of this family are known for the round wheeled nets they make in forest areas, fields, and gardens.

There are two main species of marbled orbweaver spiders in the world. The most popular is the orange spider, which has a distended orange abdomen and black or brown marbling. The second variety is the pyramid . This spider has a lighter orange color and may sometimes be white. Instead of marbling, its belly has a patch.

The two species rarely occur in the same location, with pyramidatus being more common in Europe and Araneus marmoreus being more common in North America.

Orange Spider Appearance – How to Identify an Orange Spider

orange spider pumpkin spider
Orange spiders have a yellow-orange swollen, pumpkin-shaped abdomen.

© iStock.com/earlydawnphotography

The most prominent part of this spider's appearance is its yellow-orange swollen, pumpkin-shaped abdomen. Some can be a deep orange and some can be solid yellow. It is quite literally one of the most colorful and attractive spiders in the world.

As with most spider species, female spiders are usually two to three times larger than males and are the most striking in appearance. Women's sizes measure between 0.35 to 0.7 inches in length and 0.09 to 0.18 inches in width. Males, on the other hand, are between 0.35 and 0.39 inches long and 0.09 to 0.1 inches wide.

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Orange spiders are known for their large, distended abdomens. The most common form of this spider has an orange belly with black or brown markings. However, colors and patterns may vary from person to person. They have a yellow to burnt orange cephalothorax with black lines on the sides. Their legs are usually bright red with black and white stripes at the ends. In some breeds, there are light brown stripes on the legs. Orange spiders have distinct black eyes that are often very sharp.

Spiders have a very short life span of only seven to eight months. Both males and females tend to die after breeding. Orange spiders are not aggressive and will run away if threatened or troublesome. It is mostly solitary until it finds a mate and begins to reproduce. They usually prefer to spin their webs in the morning and wait for their prey at night.

Habitat – Where To Find Orange Spiders

Araneus marmoreus is found in the American continent, eastern Britain, and various parts of Eastern and Central Europe. It has not been found in Northern Ireland. It lives in woodlands and spins webs on tall herbaceous vegetation, shrubs, and the lower branches of trees.

Orange spiders also inhabit the New North and Palearctic regions, the Gulf Coast and the Jeonbuk. Within these areas, you'll find them in forests, meadows, farmland, peat bogs, and rivers. They can also be found in man-made places like mailboxes, but rarely venture indoors.

The name "orb weaver" is a reference to the unique shape of this spider's web, which resembles a wheel. Orange spiders build their webs with support wires as the main frame. Silk threads attached to the main support wire radiate outward from the center of the web, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. They may also add some zigzag patterns to the web. When prey lands on the web, it vibrates to alert the spider.

Orange Spiders – Evolution and History

In general, spiders began their evolutionary journey around 400 million years ago during the Devonian period. That's 150 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared. Scientists believe that the earliest arachnids had a semi-aquatic lifestyle before fully landing on land. The ancestors of modern spiders were not as thin-waisted as today's species. They also have abdominal divisions, which are absent in modern spiders.

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About 380 million years ago, the first true spiders with spinnerets appeared. Members of the Mesothelae group (representing the oldest group of spiders) had their silk-producing organs located in the middle of the abdomen, rather than at the end as in modern spiders. These spiders are primarily ground-dwelling, living on forest floors during the Paleozoic era. Their diet included other primitive arthropods such as cockroaches, millipedes and silverfish.

Primitive spiders produce silk, but mainly to protect their eggs and line their burrows. Later, they developed the ability to build trapdoors to catch prey.

The use of two-dimensional and three-dimensional webs is one of the most notable adaptations that spiders have developed. Scientists believe that as plant and insect life diversified, they developed this adaptation. About 250 million years ago, spinnerets developed at the end of the spider's body, allowing the spider to build finer, sheet-like webs for catching prey on the ground and in trees.

By the Jurassic period (approximately 19.1 to 136 million years ago), flying insects became more abundant. Orb-weaving spiders like the orange spider developed the ability to make intricate aerial webs to catch these insects. The scientists are not sure which came first, the horizontally oriented 3D web builders, such as the tent-web spider, or the 2D web builders, such as the orange spider.

Diet – what and what does it eat?

What Do Orange Spiders Eat?

Araneus marmoreus is primarily an insectivore. They feed on insects captured with intricate webbing. Since they are orb weaver spiders, orange spiders are good at making superb webs using silk and non-silk threads to wrap their prey as tightly as possible. The web vibrates as it hooks prey. This alerts the spider to attack and paralyzes its prey with venom. The orange spider then injects digestive juices into the insects, softening the flesh before they start eating. Using this technique, they can catch up to 14 insects a day. Some of the insects that make up this spider's food include beetles, wasps, moths, and mosquitoes.

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What Eats Orange Spiders?

Large arthropods such as scorpions, centipedes, and wasps prey on spiders. Birds and certain reptiles also feed on them.


Orange spiders are harmless to humans. They are aggressive, but their venom is only effective on their prey. To humans, their venom is no more dangerous than a bee or wasp sting. They also don't go into the house, so there is very little contact with humans.

Other Spiders That May Be Called Orange Spiders

In addition to the marbled orb, other spiders are also known as orange spiders because of their bright orange color. They include:

  • European Garden Spider — Araneus diadematus
  • Woodworm Spider — Dysdera crocata
  • Clover Ball Weaver — Araneus trifolium
  • Striped bobcat spider — Oxyopes salticus
  • Orange Baboon Tarantula — Pterinochilus murinus
  • Spotted circular weaver – Neoscona crucifera
  • Arrowball Weaver — Verrucosa arenata

related animals

  • Celestial Weaver
  • redback spider
  • landlice spider

See all 65 animals that start with O

Orange spiders are almost harmless. They are non-aggressive, docile spiders that usually flee at the first sign of threat or trouble. Although they have venom, they are only dangerous to their prey and are harmless to humans.

Like all spiders, squash spiders have four pairs of legs. Their long legs have a velvety texture, which helps them quickly reach and catch prey on the web.

The easiest way to identify this spider is by its orange or yellowish color. However, since many other orb-weaving spiders have this bright coloration, you may keep an eye out for other identifying marks. One of the most distinctive features of this spider is the distinctive marbling on its enlarged abdomen.

You can use essential oils unless you don't like their harsh smell. Citrus powder is effective because spiders generally hate citrus. A mixture of half white vinegar and water can kill orange spiders that have a strong odor.

Since orange spiders are orb weavers, they are usually seen mating in late summer. In some other spider species, cannibalism occurs after mating, but not in the marbled orb spider.

Orange spiders have a relatively short lifespan. They usually live for about a year.