The Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider

   10.10.17

If you have walked though the woods in late spring / early fall, chances are you’ve walked into, or at least saw, a spider web. The spider which spun that web was probably a member of the orb-weaver family. One well-known orb-weaver is the Banana Spider. A lesser-known member is the Spiny Orb-Weaver.

The Spiny Orb-Weaver is rather small, measuring about the size of a dime. Though small, they have an ominous look with spikes along the back and a crab-like appearance. The spider may have bright colors, such as white or red. Since we often associate color with danger, it is easy to think the Spiny Orb-Weaver is dangerous.

Unlike the famous Brown Recluse and Black Widow, the Spiny Orb-Weaver is relatively harmless. On the rare occasions when a Spiny Orb-Weaver does bite, the venom is not usually considered dangerous.

From Texas A&M: Spiny orb weaver.

Orbweavers are generally harmless and can be a nuisance when they build large webs in places inconvenient for humans.

Despite their formidable appearance, orb weaver spiders are not considered dangerous.

So the next time you are walking through the woods and run into a spider web with a horned or crabby-looking spider in it, don’t freak out. Chances are it is a Spiny Orb-Weaver, and it wants to get away from you as badly as you want to get away from it.

When they come into contact with people, the Spiny Orb-Weaver will usually attempt to get away.

Its diet consists of bugs which get caught in the web, including as mosquitoes and biting flies.  For this reason, orb-weavers are beneficial, so you should definitely think twice before you kill one.

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