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Orb Weaver

Metepeira sp.

Description:

This is a tiny orb weaver spider, from the genus "Metepeira". She's only about 5mm long (body and head). Possibly species "spinipes" but I'm not sure, so I'm leaving it as a genus i.d. Shown is a female, with sharply pointed legs, and bulbous abdomen. Coloration is a mix of white, tan, grey, and brown - with chevron pattern on abdomen.

Habitat:

Metepeira can be found "found from Argentina to Canada, including Caribbean islands." (Wiki) They range into all types of terrain, including deserts, shore, and mountains. Typically they aren't seen because of their small size and habit of hiding in web-built structures that provide camouflage.

Notes:

It's the web that makes this spider so interesting! Metepeira build orb webs and then live in raised webs off the orbs. In the second picture, you can see this spider hiding in her trash nest, holding tension on a drag line. If prey gets caught in the web she'll release tension to help trap the prey, and then run down quickly to go deal with it. This particular spider had found a really successful hunting ground! (Thanks to Bug Guide for the genus i.d. - my first Metepeira pics!)

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catgrin
Spotted by
catgrin

Rolling Hills, California, USA

Spotted on Oct 30, 2014
Submitted on Oct 31, 2014

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