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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Fall Fund Drive


Genus Acanthepeira

Stella? - Acanthepeira stellata Acanthepeira stellata - female Spider sp? - Acanthepeira Acanthepeira stellata? - Acanthepeira Tan spider sp. - Acanthepeira cherokee Starbellied Orbweaver - Acanthepeira stellata Spider, frontal - Acanthepeira Acanthepeira stellata
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 Acanthepeira
4 species in the United States & Canada.

A. cherokee Levi, 1976
A. marion Levi, 1976
A. stellata (Walckenaer, 1805)
A. venusta (Banks, 1896)
It is exceedingly difficult to separate some Acanthepeira specimens from the southeastern United States and it appears that three species interbreed.(1)

A. cherokee - Females (8.5-10.5 mm) may differ from other species in this genus by having smaller/less distinct abdominal humps. Males (6.5-11 mm) have 4th coxa without tubercle. Habitat is moist bottomland woods.

A. marion - Females (10-15.5 mm) easily recognized by rounded humps. Males (7-10.5 mm) have 4th coxa with tubercle.

A. stellata - Females (7-15 mm) Larger than venusta, more rounded, darker, deeply colored abdomen. Of the 4 species this is the only one which has AMEs smaller than secondary eyes. Female scape can be variable, esp. those from FL. Males (5-8 mm) have 4th coxa with tubercle and retrolateral macrosetae of fourth femur about equal in size.

A. venusta - Females (6-10 mm) Can be distinguished by smaller size, narrow abdomen & lighter less contrasting pattern. This is the only species that might have ventral white marks. It might have a white transverse mark or two white spots behind the genital groove. Males (5-7.5 mm) have 4th coxa without tubercle.
A. cherokee - AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, MD, MO, MS, NC, TX, VA
A. marion - AL, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, PA, SC, TN
A. stellata - AL, AZ, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MB, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, ON, PQ, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
A. venusta - FL, GA, NC, SC, VA
Life Cycle
Egg sac is attached to a leaf and enclosed in a mass of loose brown silk.
Egg Sac Images
See Also
Males may resemble Wagneriana tauricornis.
Internet References
~ - List of species and ranges.

~ - Image of an Acanthepeira cherokee female from Kansas.
Works Cited
1.The Orb-weaver Genera Verrucosa, Acanthepeira, Wagneriana, Acacesia, Wixia, Scoloderus and Alpaida North of Mexico
H. W. Levi. 1976. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Vol 147 (8): 351-391.