Neoscona crucifera (Spotted Orbweaver)

About Neoscona crucifera

Taxonomic Hierarchy

→ Kingdom: Animalia
→ Phylum: Arthropoda
→ Class: Arachnida
→ Order: Araneae
→ Family: Araneidae
→ Genus: Neoscona
→ Species: Neoscona crucifera

Common Name (Official / AAS)

Spotted Orbweaver

Other Common Names

Orbweaver, Hentz Orbweaver

Author

Author of species name: Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. First year published: 1838, as Epeira crucifera.

Pronunciation

nee-oh-SKOH-nuh kroo-sih-FAIR-uh

Meaning

The French arachnologist Eugène Simon was the author of the genus name “Neoscona” in 1864. The literal Greek translation of the word is something like “spinning a reed,” but because Simon was only 16 years old at the time that he created the name and he did not speak Greek very well, the name was incorrectly written. His intended meaning was “spinning among the reeds,” since he had seen the spiders living near the water’s edge (Cameron 2005). As for crucifera, the Latin translation would be “cross bearer,” from cruci- (cross) and fer- (to bear; carry). However, we were not able to consult Lucas’ original description of the species, so could not confirm if that was his intended meaning or if he even mentions the translation (the Latin seems fairly obvious, though). This species does have a pale cross pattern on its abdomen.

Notable Previous Names

Neoscona hentzi
Neoscona hentzii
Neoscona benjamina

Identifying Traits of Neoscona crucifera

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 8-20 mm; adult males range from 4-15 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Neoscona crucifera

Eyes

Total of eight eyes. The median eyes are grouped together in a trapezoid shape, while the lateral eyes are some distance away. See eye arrangement diagram for clarification.

Legs

Legs relatively thick and very spiny, as well as banded in a variety of colors, like white, orange, black, brown, red, and yellow. First leg is longest, third is shortest.The adult males have much longer legs in relation to body size than do the adult females. The tarsi (tips of legs) have 3 claws.

Body

Range of Neoscona crucifera

Neoscona crucifera can be found in the following states, provinces and territories across the United States and Canada. Our current understanding of each spider's distribution is drawn from numerous scientific publications and online spider submissions, in order to be as accurate as possible. It is important to remember that spiders do not adhere to the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore these ranges are subject to change.

Important Range Notes

In addition to the ranges below, this species is also found on Madeira and the Canary Islands.

United States

Canada

Additional Information

Habitat

Web is often constructed on buildings and other man-made structures, especially near outdoor lights. You can also find this orbweaver in shrubs and open woodland areas, though they are not common among tall grasses.

Web

Large, vertical, orb-shaped web is usually built at least a few feet off the ground amid shrubs, trees, fences, buildings, etc; they are opportunistic and will use whatever “framework” they can. Moulder (1992) notes that the web can be as much as six to eight feet off the ground. The diameter of the web is about 2 feet or less; it has about 27 radii and 63 spiral threads, as reported by Kaston (1977). Web may be attached to buildings or fences in urban and suburban areas. The spider occupies the hub (center) of the web, hanging head down, during the night; it usually hides during the day, though in the summer or fall when they are full-grown, they may spend some daylight hours in the web, as well. Like many orbweavers, this species takes down its web each morning by eating it, thus recycling the proteins within it and using them to re-build a fresh web for the night.

Season

Most specimens reach maturity in mid summer: July and August (Kaston 1948).

Food

Prey is flying or jumping insects that are intercepted by the vertical orb web.

Lifecycle

Female deposits eggs in late summer or early fall. The egg sac is made of fluffy yellow or orange silk and is attached to a rolled up leaf or some other protected place near the spider’s web. It can be spherical or lens-shaped and anywhere from 5-12 mm in diameter (Kaston 1948). A single sac can contain up to 1,000 individual eggs, each one a tiny oval about 1mm in diameter (Kaston 1948). Typically, only one egg sac is made per female. Spiderlings emerge from the sac the following spring and remain clumped together for a day or two, after which they disperse. Some spiderlings “balloon” to other locations by riding the air currents, while others stay relatively close to where they were “born.” Spiderlings are bright yellow or orange with a black triangle toward the rear of the abdomen (though this is a generic pattern among many very young orb weavers). Even the spiderlings create a very cute, tiny, orb-shaped web.

Pictures of Neoscona crucifera (Spotted Orbweaver)

General

Female Spiders

Male Spiders

Filtering options are grayed out when we do not have pictures for the given perspective. If you are a spider photographer, you can submit pictures of spiders to help fill any voids in our ever expanding library.
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County
  • State: Indiana
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Stockbridge
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes, Lateral
  • State: Maryland
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Douglasville
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • State: Kentucky
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • State: Kentucky
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Spiderlings
  • State: New York
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: Male, FemaleMale, Female
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Sussex County
  • State: New Jersey
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Sussex County
  • State: New Jersey
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Dallas
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Caldwell County
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Webs
  • City/Region: Norman
  • State: Oklahoma
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Yorba Linda, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Fullerton, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Santa Ana, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Fullerton, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Fullerton, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Long Beach
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Fullerton
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Anaheim, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Yorba Linda, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Anaheim, Orange County
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Caldwell County
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Oka Ponds, Los Gatos
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: Oka Ponds, Los Gatos
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral, Ventral
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Pittsburgh
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Lakewood
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Eyes, Webs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • State: Michigan
  • Country: United States
  • Neoscona crucifera
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Michigan
  • Country: United States

References and Further Reading

Various Research Papers

Scientific Diagrams and Keys for Identification

References for the Casual Reader

Species guide last updated: January 21, 2014

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