Identify a spider with white spots, striped legs, yellow, white design abdomen stomach – Orb-weaver

This spider’s wheel shaped round web made identifying this striped legged spider easier.  Orb-weaver spiders are the most common garden spiders and love to hangout in the middle of their round webs.

spiders with striped long legs
spiders with white markings abdomen, Orb Weaver spiders

This chromatic spider made a web marvel between two large yucca plants.  It was a medium sized spider, a bit scary looking up close; but I was so intrigued with her massive silky web!

orb weaver spider
striped legs spider with large abdomen markings is an orbweaver
Orbweaver spider
spider striped legs abdomen yellow design

The insect that wonders into the female Orb weaver’s viscid web will receive a quick stunning bite.  This spider has over 3,000 species and belongs to the family Araneidae. 

spiders with white marks on belly stomach
Common spiders with striped legs and white spots markings
spider 4-6 spots on abdomen
spider with white spots on abdomen

Within a few minutes an insect settled on her web and provided a meal for this female Orb weaving spider.  All Orbweavers spin webs.  According to bugguide.net:  Female Orb-weavers spin the webs and are seen more often than the male spiders.

a baby orb weaver garden spider
white spider with black markings, a young orb weaver spider

It is late summer and spiders are everywhere!  Fall is typically the time the female Orb weaving spiders will lay their last clutch of eggs.   The spider eggs survive the winter and will hatch in the spring.

Orbweaver
gray spider white markings orbweaver

Another female Orb weaver was nearby on her wheel shaped web.  This spider was gray colored with striped legs and a white design on the abdomen.   The white design on the spider’s abdomen is clear in the photo below.

abdomen with white design
brown gray spider with white markings

Orb-weaver spiders only bite if they feel threatened.  Their venom is not harmful to humans.   The bite of Orb weaving spiders feels like a bee sting.  They stay active at night rebuilding and repairing their round shaped webs.

Are Orb-weaver spiders poisonous?    Spiders have venom.  Orb-weaver venom is potent but this spider venom is NOT dangerous to humans.    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_an_orb_weaver_poisonous

eight eyes
eyes of an orbweaver spider

Orb-weavers and all members of the family Araneidae have eight similar eyes in 2 rows of four.  The spider’s eyes are pretty clear in the photo above.

large abdomen with markings
round spider web with yellow on a large abdomen – orbweaver spider
Orb-weaver spider
spider with white spots on abdomen

In the picture above, this species has 2 white spots on a large abdomen.  

Orb-weaver spiders can help control your mosquito population and are considered beneficial to have around!

orbweaver spider
spider yellow markings striped legs large belly

For identifying the spiders I posted today:

  • gray, brown colors
  • striped legs
  • spider with yellow markings on the abdomen
  • 2-5 white spots underneath the belly
  • spider with white markings on a gray abdomen

A large, hairy gray spider – Wolf Spider in my Lantana

Wolf spiders are expert hunters and pretty easy to identify due to their large size and hairy bodies.  If touched or threatened a Wolf spider will bite.   I was careful while observing this large gray, grey, Wolf spider that made his home in our Lantana plant.

Arizona hairy spider
grey hairy Arizona Wolf Spider

Wolf Spiders have over 2,000 species and are members of the Lycosidae family. They live mostly solitary lives and hunt alone. Some Wolf spiders will chase their prey and others will wait in their burrow for passing prey.  Wolf spiders are fast runners.

hairy spiders Arizona
Wolf Spiders, Lycosidae Family

Arizona Wolf spiders are generally hairy with varying colors from browns and grays.  Sometimes this spider will have a pattern along the back of the abdomen and head.  Wolf spiders have good camouflage for living in the desert.  They depend on camouflage for protection.

wolf spider
Gray Wolf Spider Eyes

The photo above and below shows the eyes of the Wolf spider.  They have eight eyes in three horizontal rows;  with 4 small eyes on the bottom, 2 large eyes in the middle and 2 medium eyes on the top.

eyes of hairy wolf spider
Arizona Wolf Spider, eyes
desert Wolf Spider
AZ Wolf spider row of eyes,  fangs – chelicera

The light from the flashlight has been reflected from the Wolf spider’s eyes producing a glow in the photo below.  According to the Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum, the eye shine is caused by a tapetum in the eye which reflects light rays back through the eye retina and probably enhances the spider’s night vision. Wolf spiders are primarily nocturnal predators and are rarely seen during the day.

wolf spider eyes glow
wolf spiders eyes glow with the flashlight
desert spiders long legs
large gray male wolf spider

The male Wolf spider has two additional leg-like appendages, called palps, that are attached behind the mouthparts.  These palps are used to hold and position prey and in the mating ritual.  Female Wolf spiders are larger than males.

palp of a male wolf spider
visible Palp of a Male Wolf Spider

Female Wolf spiders carry their egg case at the end of the abdomen by attaching it to their spinnerets.  The female spider holds her abdomen up in the air so the egg sac doesn’t drag on the ground.  When the spiderlings hatch they climb onto the female Wolf spider’s abdomen and hold her hairs.

Wolf spiders are capable of defensive bites if provoked.  Symptoms of the Wolf Spider’s venomous bite include swelling, pain, redness and itching.  The skin area at the Wolf spider bite may turn black. Swelling and pain can last up to ten days.

hairy light brown spider
wolf spiders in the desert southwest

Nevertheless, having wolf spiders is considered favorable because they consume undesirable arachnids.  I’m quite happy to have this Wolf spider guarding our large Lantana shrub.