Asked October 18, 2021, 12:10 PM EDT
Wayne County Michigan
That looks like a Marbled orb weaver, Araneus marmoreus (Araneidae).
The following is provided courtesy of Pennsylvania State University website at http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/marbled-orbweaver
The genus Araneus has about 1,500 species worldwide, making it the largest of all the spider genera. Araneus marmoreus is found throughout all of Canada to Alaska, the northern Rockies, from North Dakota to Texas, and then east to the Atlantic. It is one of our showiest orbweavers.
Description: Adult female marbled orb weavers are 9 to 20 millimeters in length with very large abdomens that are mostly orange with brown to purple markings and spots of pale yellow. Occasionally the abdomens are nearly white in color. The cephalothorax is yellow to burnt-orange with a central dark line and dark lines down either side. The femora and patellae are orange. The other leg segments are yellow, becoming brown at the distal ends, as are all of the legs of the males.
Life History/Behavior The webs are found in trees, shrubs and tall weeds, and grasses in moist, wooded settings and can frequently be found along the banks of streams. The webs are oriented vertically and have a “signal” thread attached to the center that notifies the spider when prey has been captured. Unlike the Argiope garden spiders, Araneus marmoreus hides in a silken retreat to the side of the web (at the end of the signal thread). In adults, the retreat is made of leaves folded over and held together with silk. Immature spiders make their retreats out of silk only.
Egg cocoons, which contain several hundred eggs, are generally deposited in October and are constructed of white silk formed in a flattened sphere. Immature spiders emerge from the cocoons in spring. Adults are seen from midsummer until the first hard freeze of fall.
Medical Importance As with the other orb weavers, the marbled orb weaver is not considered a medically important species.
Authored by: Steve Jacobs, Sr. Extension Associate
March 2002 Revised 2015
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