Araneidae
Orb Weaving Spiders

Diagnostic Features:

Eight eyes in two rows. The four middle eyes form a trapezoid shape and are slightly removed from the four lateral eyes which are next to each other (two on each side).

 

Family Distribution:

Araneids are found all over the world and are one of the largest families of spiders.

 

Interesting Natural History Notes:

Most Araneids make sheet webs to capture prey and are often found in the middle of them hanging upside down during the day. These webs are almost always taken down and re-created every night or morning depending on the species. They all have poor vision so find their prey through vibrations in the web. Unlike most other spiders Araneids chew their food.

 

Origin of Latin Name:

The name of this family is actually from the Latin words meaning spider (araneus) and spider web (aranea).

 

Genera found in the North Eastern United states:

Argiope, Mastophora, Mangora, Micrathena, Ocrepeira, Kara, Cyclosa, Cercidia, Acantheoeira, Verrucosa, Acacesia, Larinia, Metepeira, Eustala, Aculepeira, Eriophora, Araniella, Hypsosinga, Zygiella, Singa, Neoscona, Larinioides, Araneus marmoreus, Araneus diadematus, Neoscona