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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
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Texas spider - Metepeira comanche

Texas spider - Metepeira comanche
McAllen, Texas, USA
October 21, 2004

Yes, well....
Levi mentions the red color for labyrinthea and doesn't for comanche or minima. He doesn't say they aren't red, he just doesn't mention it. Piel says the legs of comanche are "ringed". He says the legs of minima are the "same color as the carapace, darker on distal ends of articles". Both Levi and Piel show comanche as being very light in the center of the folium, where minima is dark. From the images, I would have picked minima, based on all the black, but I don't know what to make of the legs. If that eliminates minima, I suppose I would say labyrinthea. Looking through the guide pages for them certainly shows them as quite variable. Not much help -eh? Will try again tomorrow.

Darker folium
I see your point on the folium. Both labyrinthea & minima have a darker center to the folium in the references. However, look at how the two main pairs of sweeping white lines are positioned on the spider's back. The lines are wide and the ends curve back towards the spider's head. Also both sets of white lines are surrounded by black or dark brown, appearing the same width the length of the line. In labyrinthea the more posterior set of white lines is rather thick and almost triangular. Also I believe comanche is darker on the front of the abdomen which matches this specimen. Minima is also darker in the front of the abdomen, but the drawings show that the two white lines beginning where the carapace meet the abdomen are much farther apart than both of the other species (Piel, but not Levi). And again in minima (Levi) the second set of white dorsal lines appear to be wide (Levi, not Piel). Finally, in minima I think the first set of white lines are not very wide or sweeping (both Levi & Piel). That being said, I am still not sure. I don't know how much weight to put on each factor.

Comanche does appear to have quite a short wide abdomen compared to the other two.

Tom did you take any other shots?

Moved from Labyrinth Orbweaver.
Lynette, this was the only picture I took of this spider. I see you created the new Metepeira comanche page, and since you think this is the best match, I moved it. Thanks for the new info.

It might be a little premature, but let's leave it here for now. I'd like to know what John Balaban thinks.

This is in the range for comanche & minina as well. I don't suppose you took a ventral shot? I think the pattern matches comanche best out of the three.

Reminds us once again of the cluster of similar images

I have been browsing
the pages you requested. This is a Metepeira Sp.

That's great, Jeff
We'll move things around in the guide as you identify them. Please feel free to comment when we move things too quickly, before they're definite. Thanks, the spider pages needed help.
In addition to the base Araneae pages (there are over three pages there of unidentified spiders), it also looks like Leucage needs help here with spiders of different shapes on the same page.