Other Common Names
Foliate orbweaver - referring to the distinct dorsal pattern (1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Formerly genus Nuctenea
Three species in the US: cornutus, patagiatus, sericatus (formerly sclopetarius). All are fairly widespread.
- Females 6.5 to 14 mm, Males 4.7 to 8.5 mm (2)
- Females 5.5 to 11 mm, Males 5.8 to 6.5 mm (2)
- Females 8-14 mm, Males 6-7 mm (2)
L. cornutus have a shiny, bald appearance and shorter legs, and no middle band on metatarsus IV.
L. patagiatus have a more jagged border and a less shiny appearance. It has two pattern forms, but overall is more variable than the other two which is why it can look similar to both other species. L. patagiatus also has a dark middle band on metatarsus IV.
have longer legs than the other two species, and it has a dark middle band on metatarsus IV. It also has a darker pattern & a carapace with more white on its borders. It is the least common of the three species. This species is not found in the southeastern states.(2)
The Gray Cross spider male (sclopetarius) can be ID'd by the lack of the cluster of macrosetae, and tibia II is not swollen. Both other species have clusters of macrosetae on tibia II. Compare macrosetae on tibia II here:
L. cornutus (in my opinion this one has shorter, stouter legs)
L. sericatus (tibia also not swollen)
L. cornutus is more common in the eastern US, the other two are more common in the northern and western states.(1)