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Content tagged with "spider"

A Book of Bugs

I was showing my 84-year-old mother-in-law, Joan, the incredible book, “Show-Me Bugs,” that the Missouri Department of Conservation produced.

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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 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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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 (Female)

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

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image of a Harvester, Front View

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestman; Harvester)

Daddy longlegs, or harvestmen, are familiar Missouri animals. They are not spiders, but opilionids. Unlike spiders, they have a fused body form and lack silk and venom glands.

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Photo of duckweed and a spotted fishing spider on the water surface

Duckweed and Spotted Fishing Spider

Fishing spiders and duckweeds both live on the surface of water. A waxy coating on the top of duckweed fronds helps them shed water and stay afloat. Fishing spiders are able to run across the surface of water much like water striders and will dive for prey, including small tadpoles or aquatic insects. The spider encases its body in an air bubble in order to submerge itself, often for several minutes.

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Photo of a swift crab spider, female.

Foliage Flower Spiders

Mecaphesa spp. and Misumessus spp.
The more obvious differences between foliage crab spiders and other flower crab spiders is that these generally are smaller, and their carapaces, abdomens, and legs are spiny.

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