White Micrathena

Photo of a white micrathena spider in her web
Scientific Name
Micrathena mitrata
Araneidae (orb weavers) in the order Araneae (spiders)

The white micrathena has 2 short pairs of tubercles and a white abdomen with a few distinct black blotches on the upper side. In an odd way, it looks like it's wearing a turban, which is what its scientific name, mitrata, refers to. This is one of three Missouri species of micrathenas, also called spiny orbweavers.

Like the vast majority of Missouri’s spiders, white micrathenas are a welcome help to gardeners. Micrathenas, with their closely spaced webs, are especially good at capturing mosquitoes, gnats, and other small flying insects.

Learn more about Missouri’s spiny orbweavers on their group page.


Length: to about ½ inch (excluding legs).

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About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.