Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Mecynogea lemniscata - Basilica Orbweaver

Basilica Spider - Mecynogea lemniscata - male Sheetweb Spider? - Mecynogea lemniscata - female Basilica spider, male - Mecynogea lemniscata Basilica Orbweaver Pair - Mecynogea lemniscata - male - female Basilica Orbweaver - Mecynogea lemniscata Orbweaver of Some  Kind II - Mecynogea lemniscata spider with victims - Mecynogea lemniscata Are these eggs sacks or wrapped up dinner? - Mecynogea lemniscata
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynes )
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)
Genus Mecynogea
Species lemniscata (Basilica Orbweaver)
Other Common Names
Basilica Spider
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Allepeira conferta (1).
Explanation of Names
The latin name, lemniscata, meaning "hanging ribbons", appears to be descriptive of the eggsacs.
The common name comes from the shape of the snare, resembling the domed ceilings inside some cathredrals (2).
Size
Female 6-9mm, Male 4-6.6mm (1)(3)(2)
Females to 13mm according to Levi (4)
Identification
Female


web & egg sac
Range
District of Columbia south to Florida and west to Colorado. (3)(1) The guide contains photos from points as far as mid-state New York, suggesting the range extends further north.
Habitat
Found in forest understories and bushes (3)(4)(2). I've photographed them in Leyland cypress adjacent to my house in Georgia. Females create an orb web pulled into a dome with an irregular shaped web nearby where she waits (3)(1).
Season
Summer and Autumn (2)
Life Cycle
The female attaches egg sacs to each other vertically in her dome shaped web.
Remarks
Specimens have been found in mud dauber nests (3).
There appears to be disagreement about whether the snares contain sticky silk. Jackman says no (3), but Edwards and Marshall say yes (2).
Print References
Excellent photos and information in Florida's Fabulous Spiders (2).
Internet References
Some photos at Florida Nature and Nick's Spiders.
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Spiders
B. J. Kaston. 1978. WCB/McGraw-Hill.
2.Florida's Fabulous Spiders
Sam Marshall, G. B. Edwards. 2002. World Publications.
3.A Field Guide to Spiders and Scorpions of Texas
John A. Jackman. 2002. Gulf Publishing.
4.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.