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Giant Lichen Orbweaver

Araneus bicentenarius


After first discovering the natural habitat for this orbweaver I decided to go back and study this spider further. I watched the spider work on a massive web that stretched across a hiking trail at least eight foot from one side of the trail to the other. It anchored its web on the limbs of hemlock trees on one side of the trail and on a small maple sapling on the other. I was amazed by the copious amounts of silk the spider was able to use in this process. Upon finishing its web it secured the final strands and just when I thought the spider would use a leaf for hiding under and detecting prey it secured itself to the side of a small hemlock tree and appeared as if it was just a piece of lichen. With one of its legs held high above the abdomen and attached to the web it now awaited for its prey.


Deciduous forest. However, this spider is often referred to as a "backyard spider" its natural habitat is in the forest. On the return trip along the trail I discovered several other of these spiders making it pretty obvious that this spider was thriving in this habitat.


Spotted in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

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JC_Forester 10 years ago

Thanks! Their webs are huge! :-)

BrandyMurray 10 years ago

Wow. I could barely see this amazing spider! Looks just like part of the tree.

JC_Forester 10 years ago

Thank-you Mona. :-)

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 10 years ago

Very nice series..

Spotted by

Kentucky, USA

Spotted on Jul 14, 2013
Submitted on Jul 14, 2013

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