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Content tagged with "arachnid"

Photo of an arboreal orb weaver spider

Arboreal Orb Weaver

There are several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri, and some of these spiders are difficult to distinguish. They tend to have camouflage patterns, and all make the characteristic, delicate, wheel-shaped "orb" webs as nets for catching prey.

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Photo of an arboreal orb weaver spider

Arboreal Orb Weavers

Neoscona spp. and Araneus spp.
There are several species of Neoscona and Araneus orb weavers in Missouri, and some of these spiders are difficult to distinguish. They tend to have camouflage patterns, and all make the characteristic, delicate, wheel-shaped "orb" webs as nets for catching prey.

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Photo of arrow-shaped micrathena spider

Arrow-Shaped Micrathena

M. sagittata, the arrow-shaped micrathena, has striking reddish, black and yellow colors and has 3 pairs of tubercles, with the pair at the back end of the abdomen being rather large, forming two corners of the triangular (“arrow-shaped”) body.

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Photo of a barn spider, or spotted orbweaver, hiding in a corner

Barn Spider (Spotted Orb Weaver)

This “barn spider” is probably Neoscona crucifera, also called Hentz’s orbweaver and spotted orb weaver. It’s a widespread species that commonly builds its webs in woods and on the eaves of barns and other structures (including houses). The female takes down her web each morning, hides in cracks and corners during the day (as shown in this picture), and spins a new large, round web at dusk. This individual built her web next to a dusk-to-dawn porch light each night for several weeks one late summer, taking advantage of the host of flying insects attracted to the light.

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Image of a black widow

Black Widow Spider

Latrodectus mactans & Latrodectus variolus
The glossy, black-bodied female widows have distinctive red spots on the underside of their abdomens. In L. mactans this spot often is shaped like an hourglass; in L. variolus it is not. Faint red or white spots may also appear on top of the abdomen, as they do in males. Only the sedentary female black widow is capable of inflicting a potentially dangerous bite; the wandering and seldom-seen male is harmless.

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Black Widow Spider

Video of a black widow spider in the wild.

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Image of a female Argiope garden spider.

Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider

Argiope aurantia
This large, harmless spider sets up large, circular webs in gardens and grasslands. Lucky gardeners can host this remarkable pest-exterminator all season long.

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Image of a female Argiope garden spider.

Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider (Female)

A female black-and-yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) awaits prey in her web.

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Image of a brown recluse spider

Brown Recluse (Violin Spider)

Loxosceles recluse
Most spiders are unfairly feared and hated by humans, but the brown recluse is indeed one spider to avoid. The brown recluse is venomous, though a bite is almost never fatal. They are most commonly encountered in houses, where they occupy little-used drawers, closets and other small hiding spaces.

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