The Spiny Orb Weaver, also referred to as Spiny Spiders, are very unique in appearance. They are small; approximately ½” in length, or less. They are very brightly colored and are distinguishable by a hard, shell-like abdomen that has six points, or spines, around the perimeter. They are pale yellow or white, and they have black or red markings along the edge of their spines.
Spiny Orb Weavers get their name from the webs that they spin, which are orb-shaped and flat, as well as the spines they have on their abdomens. Their webs are usually located high off of the ground, perhaps in the bushes, on trees, along the gutters of a home, or underneath outside light sources. They feed on insects, both crawling and flying insects, that venture too close to their webs. This type of spider is non-aggressive towards humans.
|Other Common Names:||Crab-like orbweaver, spinybacked orbweaver and spiny orbweaver spider|
|Genus / Species:||Gasteracantha cancriformis|
|Size:||Males 1/16″-1/8″; females 3/8″|
|Web:||Orb webs up to 10-12” across. Larger webs have ten to 30 radii|
|Type of Beneficial:||Insect predator|
|Prey:||Orb Weave Spiders are preditors to a wide range of flying prey including flies, moths, small beetles, wasps, bees, mosquitoes and more.|
|Distribution:||Widespread across the Galveston-Houston region but are also represented in Florida.|
|Additional Notes:||Spiny orb weavers have a broad, hard abdomen that can be white, orange, or yellow with red markings.|
The Spiny Orb Weaver is a beneficial spider because they eat on other pests, such as flies, mosquitos, beetles, and moths. If at all possible, they should be left alone, so they can help keep the population down of other pests that are bothersome for property owners. If, however, you have a lot of Spiny Orb Weavers around your property, you may wish to investigate why you have so many insects around for them to eat. An abundance of other pests may need targeted treatment by a professional.
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