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Fall Fund Drive

orange crab like spiny orb weaver - Gasteracantha cancriformis

orange crab like spiny orb weaver - Gasteracantha cancriformis
Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
September 18, 2006
I have had a bunch of spiny orb weavers in the yard this year but one of the bunch is a bright orange color. There are at least a dozen others and all of them are a buff to light yellow. The orange one really stands out from all the others. Is this a different spider or just a natural variation from the same brood of buff spiders?

spiny orb weaver
I just found one in the banana trees in the backyard of my office in S.W. Louisiana! I had to look it up to see what it was.... it is bright red... not orange... I have NEVER seen one like this around here. I spend alot of time watching nature... is it out of it's natural habitat? Is it poisonous?

A mostly tropical variation, I believe
Florida's Fabulous Spiders(1) says "in South America this species is yellow instead of white, and the spines are black instead of red" - sounds like yours. Nice shot! You can see some of the little tufts it adds to its web, too (supposedly as a warning to birds that it's there).

Figures, with the rest of the
Figures, with the rest of the invasion from South America it's only fitting their spiders should come along too...

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