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Araneidae Araneus gemma

Order: Araneae

Family: Araneidae (orb weavers)

Genus: Araneus

This is one of the largest angulate (humped) species. The shoulder humps are found at the front corners of the abdomen, and have a black spot just in front of them. The spots may be connected by a dark line. The abdomen is globular and yellow to tan with a brownish triangular marking running down the center. Females are 9 to 25mm, and males 5.8 to 8.5mm.

Bushes and trees in temperate climates.

Orb Weavers are known for the large, flat, round web they spin. The basic web form consists of numerous spokes radiating from a central hub. On this base, the spider spins a spiral of viscous silk that ensnares prey that touches it. The spider, waiting either at the center hub or at the periphery, senses vibrations caused by prey caught in the web. Prey is bitten and brought back to either the center or the side of the web where it is eaten. The web is generally maintained for a long time, and repairs are made frequently. Araneus males can only be found for brief periods. A. gemma builds its webs in bushes or trees, with a retreat under a leaf.

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Last updated 12/13/2004