Triangulate Orb Weaver
Late summer and fall woodland hikers can count on walking into this small spider's web. Its wheel-shaped web is small and delicate and generally positioned vertically. This orb weaver probably is less common than the spiny-bellied orb weaver, but it is just as strikingly colored and shaped.
On females, the carapace (head) is glossy chocolate brown and small compared to the similarly colored, triangular abdomen. A triangle of color almost completely covers the top of the abdomen, with the bottom angle pointing away from the spider's head; this triangle resembles a white, pink, or yellow flattened drop of shiny glue. This species is Missouri's only orb weaver that rests centered in its web head-up instead of head-down, and the legs are often folded up against the body.
Males are smaller and don't look very much like the females, as they lack the characteristic triangle on the abdomen. Males are rarely seen unless they are in a female's web either courting or mating with her.