Araneus Orb Weaver is a species of spider that's native to North America. It has eight eyes and grows up to three inches in length. The species is typically characterized by its round, white body with black markings on the top side. The Araneus Orb Weaver is known for building circular webs with an open center. Araneus species are noted for their numberless creation of iridescent circular webs. These spiders come in many various types conforming both to their physical and visual appearances. Many of them have four small eyes that are flush with triangular pupils in the center of the head, and two even farther outward from each.
One such nocturnal spider worth mentioning is the Garden Orb-weavers (Eriophora species) with its unusual web. These spiders sit quietly in their webs 24 hours a day waiting for prey. The Cross Spiders (Argiope species) and the Garden Orb-weavers' [relatives], the Golden Orb-weavers (Nephila and Trichonephila species), also sit for long periods in their webs. Many animals which hang out on the chain are vibrant or are camouflaged, making them hard for a predator to reach. During the day, those that are active tend to stay hidden from birds.
Some species in the group do not construct webs, but have developed various ingenious methods to capture their prey. Bolas cobras such as the Magnificent Spider (Ordgarius magnificus) whirl a thread with a bola of little sheath of glue-like silk on the end to catch moths. Others such as the Bird-dropping Spider (Celaenia excavata) merely lure their prey directly to them by releasing a blend of olive oil, wax, gum arabic, and singe dust. By releasing chemicals similar to those used by female moths to attract mates , they can also be considered sexual mimics. The most famous example is probably the orb weaver spider Araneus diadematus which has been observed luring male flies into its web using pheromones released through glands located at the base of each leg. The spider then waits patiently until its victim lands nearby before it pounces.
The genus Araneus has about 1,500 species worldwide, making it the largest of all the spider genera. The majority are found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is now found throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Central America, Mexico, and parts of California. Orb weavers are extremely passive, non-aggressive spiders that will immediately scamper away from danger.
Araneus Orb Weaver habitat range is anywhere near water, they can also be found in moist forests and marshes. The Araneus Orb Weaver spins webs in many different places, including near water. This is because the web stretches are used to catch prey, it helps if they are close to water so their prey will be swimming.
Araneus Orb Weaver is a terrestrial spider that builds webs in trees and tall grasses. The spider's "spinnerets" project what scientists call "biologic silk" threads on the webs. The spider receives advance notice of prey when it energetically winds its thread into a sling.
They eat aquatic invertebrates, insects and spiders that are unlucky enough to land on their web. Araneus Orb Weaver diet is not well known but it is believed they feed mostly on water bugs like midges, mosquitoes, black gnats, and chironomids. Their diet can also consist of small arthropods such as ants, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, butterflies, wasps, bees, dragonflies, damselflies, caddisflies, mayfly nymphs, and other aquatic insect larvae. The species also eats some terrestrial arthropod prey including centipedes, millipedes, cockroaches, scorpions, spiderlings, and earthworms.
Araneus orb weavers deposit egg sacs in autumn every year, containing several hundred eggs. The sacs are woven of white silk to shape a flattened sphere. Spiders hatching from the sacs emerge in spring, and they stick around through late summer and until the first hard cold weather. They then spin their own cocoons for overwintering. In early spring, when temperatures rise again, spiders hatch out of their cocoon shells. These newly hatched adults begin building new webs by spinning small balls of webbing on nearby vegetation or twigs. As these young arachnids grow larger, they build more elaborate webs that eventually become large enough to support themselves as adult spiders.
Araneus Orb Weaver Araneus spiders are characterized by their mild toxicity to humans.
Bites are unlikely unless people handle a female with a nest of eggs. Even that results in much less discomfort than a bee or wasps sting for most people. The bite is painful but not dangerous and rarely requires medical attention. If you do get bitten, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Do NOT use alcohol-based products such as rubbing alcohol because it can irritate the skin further. You may also want to apply an ice pack if your spider has been sitting on your arm for some time before being removed.