Sightings – Spiders

Observer: Regen Jamieson

Observation Date: 8/11/09

Observation Location: Moose Hill in the meadow at the end of the “unnatural trail”.

Common Name: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Comments: Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.The female of the species grows much larger than the male. Females have large rounded bodies that may grow to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches), excluding the legs. If the length of the legs is added, the female can reach 75 mm (3″) in diameter. Males are thin-bodied and only 20 mm (¾”) long. Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female. She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost. (from Wikipedia)

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

Observer: April Forsman

Observation Date: 9/24/10

Observation Time: 10:15 a.m.

Observation Location: DPW

Common Name: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Comments: Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.The female of the species grows much larger than the male. Females have large rounded bodies that may grow to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches), excluding the legs. If the length of the legs is added, the female can reach 75 mm (3″) in diameter. Males are thin-bodied and only 20 mm (¾”) long. Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female. She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost. (from Wikipedia)

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/1/13

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Cross Orbweaver spider

Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus

Comments: Native to Europe, but common in North America. Its name comes from the sign of the cross on its abdomen.

More Information: GeoChemBio

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/5/12

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Cross Orbweaver spider

Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus

Comments: This common spider made a web right outside our garage door.

More Information: Focusing on Wildlife

Cross Orbweaver Spider

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/27/14

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Place: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Fishing Spider

Scientific Name: Dolomedes tenebrosus

Comments: Fishing Spiders get their name from their hunting behavior and occasional food source. They are adept at ambushing insects and other food items on land, but they are also able to submerge their bodies just under the surface of calm water and hunt for small fish and tadpoles. The bristly hairs on their body trap air bubbles that they use to breathe while underwater and waiting for something to swim by. They have been known to stay submerged for more than 30 minutes at a time when hunting in water.

More Information: Insect Identification

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/3/12

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: Fishing Spider

Scientific Name: Dolomedes vittatus

Comments: This huge spider (about 3″) was spotted in aquatic vegetation near the stone hut at the edge of Lower Leach Pond at Borderland State Park. A boy with a butterfly net scooped it up so I could get a photo of it. I got the identification from www.bugguide.net. The three pairs of yellow spots on the rear abdomen help identify this species.

More Information: BugGuide

Fishing Spider

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/18/12

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (basement)

Common Name: Funnel Weaver Spider

Scientific Name: Agelenidae family, Coras genus

Comments: Spiders give me the creeps, especially big ones like this specimen, but I could not resist taking a photo and getting an identification from bugguide.net.

More Information: BugGuide

Funnel Weaver Spider

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/2/13

Observation Time: 12:15 p.m.

Observation Place: Woods near Beaver Brook (near Sharon train station)

Common Name: Harvestman (Daddy Longlegs)

Scientific Name: Opiliones family

Comments: Harvestmen are 8-legged arachnids, but they are not true spiders. Their bodies are oval-shaped and have no waist like a spider. They do not produce venom, and they are harmless to humans. Harvestmen are omnivores, eating a variety of organic material, or scavengers, feeding on feces or carrion, but some are predatory on aphids and other small insects.

More Information: Missouri Department of Conservation

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/1/14

Observation Time: 12:10 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Nursery web spider

Scientific Name: Pisaurina mira

Comments: This large spider was on a tree trunk in my back yard.

More Information: Kentucky Spiders

Nursery Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/1/14

Observation Time: 12:25 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Orchard Orbweaver

Scientific Name: Leucauge venusta

Comments: I had a hard time focusing the camera on this tiny spider.

More Information: Wikipedia

Orchard Orbweaver

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Orchard Orbweaver spider

Scientific Name: Leucauge venusta

Comments: I had a hard time focusing the camera on this tiny spider and its gossamer web.

More Information: North of the Ridge

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/24/14

Observation Time: 11:20 a.m.

Observation Place: TTOR’s Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: Rabid Wolf Spider

Scientific Name: Rabidosa rabida

Comments: This species doesn’t build webs to catch prey. Instead, they ambush or chase their prey at night. They then wrap their prey in silk. Note the egg sac in the photo below, which was taken in late September.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/13

Observation Time: 5:50 p.m.

Observation Place: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Scientific Name: Dolomedes triton

Comments: Fishing Spiders get their name from their hunting behavior and occasional food source. They are adept at ambushing insects and other food items on land, but they are also able to submerge their bodies just under the surface of calm water and hunt for small fish and tadpoles. The bristly hairs on their body trap air bubbles that they use to breathe while underwater and waiting for something to swim by. They have been known to stay submerged for more than 30 minutes at a time when hunting in water.

More Information: iNaturalist

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/25/19

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (kitchen window)

Common Name: Tan Jumping Spider

Scientific Name: Platycryptus undatus

Comments: A member of Salticidae, this spider jumps to ambush its prey in lieu of creating webs to ensnare it. It is a fast runner and it pounces on top of the insect it plans to eat. As the Tan Jumping Spider leaps toward an insect, a strand of spider silk is shot at the target to keep it in tow should it escape. This strand is called a dragline. The spider also uses its spider silk to make a shelter out of dead leaves and other debris when it is not actively hunting. It is believed to overwinter and hibernate in large groups together until spring.

The hairy, brown Tan Jumping Spider is known to be friendly when handled gently by humans, and it has a reputation for being curious about people. It is not inclined to bite, but may do so if handled roughly. It has keen vision as far as spider sight is understood. Tan Jumping Spiders often stare at people and approach them for a closer look if they feel safe enough to do so.

More Information: Insect Identification

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/7/14

Observation Time: 12:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Tetragnatha Spider

Scientific Name: Tetragnatha sp.

Comments: Typically found near ponds and wetlands.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation Time: 3:55 p.m.

Observation Place: trail from Brook Road to Devil’s Rock

Common Name: Wolf spider

Scientific Name:  Gladicosa gulosa

Comments: This spider does not make a web.

More Information: Sweating the Small Stuff