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TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Leucauge

Orchard Spider - Leucauge venusta - female Spider - Leucauge argyra Orchard Orbweaver? - Leucauge venusta Orbweaver??? - Leucauge venusta Unknown Spider - Leucauge venusta What Is This Colorful Spider? - Leucauge venusta I was told it's an Orchard Orbweaver - Leucauge venusta
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Tetragnathidae (Long-jawed Orb Weavers)
Genus Leucauge
Pronunciation
Loo-ka-u-gee
Numbers
3 species in North America:
argyra
argyrobapta
venusta
Identification
Comparison of L. argyra (left) and L. venusta (right):

The markings of L. venusta and L. argyrobapta are generally similar in shape. Where their ranges overlap (coastal southeast US except for most of Florida, where L. venusta is not found), a distinction can typically be made by looking at the markings on the dorsal ventral abdomen:
L. argyrobapta has bright orange/red markings.
L. venusta has silver or yellow markings.
This distinction is generally not visible in alcohol-preserved specimens.

If performing identification via genitalia, a mature male palp is needed to distinguish L. venusta from L. argyrobapta, as there are no reliable differences in female epigyna.(1)
Range
L. argyra - Florida to Brazil
L. argyrobapta - Coastal southeast US to Brazil
L. venusta - USA, Canada
Internet References
live adult image of L. venusta and other info (E.R. Degginger, enature.org)
live immature image of unidentified Leucauge species (A. Tanasevitch, American Museum of Natural History)
synonyms and distribution (Norman Platnick, The World Spider Catalog, American Museum of Natural History)
North American species list (Norman Platnick, Tetragnathidae; Spiders of North America)
Works Cited
1.Species delimitation of the North American orchard-spider Leucauge venusta
Jesus A. Ballesteros & Gustavo Hormiga. 2018. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 121:183-197.