Random Spider #712311 - Ask Extension

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Random Spider #712311

Asked August 11, 2020, 8:37 PM EDT

We live in central Florida, and we saw this spider and can’t figure out what kind it is

Hillsborough County Florida

Expert Response

Thank you for your question. Without being able to see the spider's body, it's difficult to make an identification. Identifying insects and spiders based solely on a photograph can be difficult, because you often can't make out distinguishing characteristics necessary to make a positive identification.

Based on the banding and spines on the legs, this may be one of spiders in the genus Neoscona. Possibly Neoscona crucifera, commonly referred to as the Hentz orbweaver or the arboreal orbweaver.

This species is common around homes and other structures. It is primarily nocturnal, and builds its web near porch lights or outside windows that have indoor lighting. The lighting attracts insects and increases the chance that insects will be trapped in its web. During the day, they hide on limbs and leaves in trees or under the eaves of buildings.

This species is found from Canada, through the eastern U.S., west to the Rockies and south to Mexico. It is most common in the south.

Here's a link to the University of Florida's Entomology and Nematology Department's web page on orb weavers, where you can see photographs of this species and others common to Florida:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/spiders/neoscona.htm

I hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim






Jim Burke Replied August 18, 2020, 10:23 AM EDT

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