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Backyard Scare - Neoscona crucifera

Backyard Scare - Neoscona crucifera
Papillion, Sarpy County, Nebraska, USA
August 9, 2007
Size: ~0.5in body, ~1.0in legs
This fella had a web stretched up in the dark in a spot unusual for a spider web. The top main line is about ten feet long, huge for this little slice of suburbia. There's about two to three feet of spiral, with the owner hanging out in a downward facing position. The line is very fine. I couldn't get a good picture of the underside unfortunately. Never seen one like this around here, the fur especially sent me here looking for answers.

Moved from Spotted Orbweavers.

Moved from Spiders.

Orb-Web Weaver
A member of the Family Araneidae. Many of them weave their webs at night, then "recycle" them in the morning by eating the silk, and hide during the day- so there may be a lot more of them around than you think.

In spite of the fearsome appearance, these prefer to run and hide, biting only as a very last resort. Unless you're allergic, the bite is no worse than a bee or wasp sting.

If it's weaving its web where you don't want it, just use a stick or a broom handle to break the structural lines. After at most a time or two of that, it'll go find someplace else to set up.

A couple of other points: from the fat abdomen, I would say it's a good bet your "fella" is female, and the "fur" is really lots of little bristles.

Thank you
Aaah, ok. I'd been to the orb-web weaver page before, just forgot how many different looks they can have. There's another in there just like this one spotted in Virginia a couple of years ago.

Good to know there's nothing special to worry about safety wise. We love our spiders on this back porch, they do excellent work, and we coexist well. I spend 40+ hours a week out here and I've only three bug bites since late May. One of this lady's (I should have guessed female) relatives gave birth a few days back and I've been shoo-ing and relocating barely visible hatchlings for the last few days, hehe.

This one's size and unusual choice of web location (for what we're used to) caught my mother off guard as she nearly walked into the web. She's always been deathly afraid of spiders, but willing to let them be. The bristly look caught me off guard too, I'd only seen it before in tarantulas.

Thanks again for setting this bug newbie on the right path. :)

I think I'll put up some twine and see if I can tempt her into setting up shop out of my mom's path around the house. That, and get my mom a nice wide beam flashlight. :D

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