Marbled Orb Weaver Spider
Size = Female 15mm. Male = 8mm
Family Araneidae | Spiders Index Orb weavers comprise a huge family of spiders, with 3500 species worldwide, 180 of which call North America home. These spiders vary greatly in color, shape and size. They have eight eyes arranged in two horizontal rows of four eyes each. Orb weaver males are generally much smaller than the females and commonly lack the showy coloring of their fairer sex.
If you look closely, you can see the spider’s claws gripping one of the web support strands at lower left. Spiders are naturally adept at handling their silk, and frequently appear to be hanging in thin air. The claws at the ends of their eight legs are a big part of how they do it.
This gal later got busy capturing queen ants from a nearby ant swarm. She had dozens all wrapped and ready for eating in just a few hours. What a gorgeous creature and awesome predator!Male is just about half the size of the female, and has a different pattern and coloring on his abdomen. I found this guy hanging around in low foliage near his prospective mate. Males generally avoid their girlfriends unless they are looking to mate, since they risk being eaten.Orb weavers show the greatest range of sizes and appearance than any other family of spiders. Their presence on human’s structures and their conspicuous web probably account for their less-than-welcome status among people otherwise uninterested in such matters. Orb weavers are completely harmless to human and their pets, but still inspire fear in most people.