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Genus Larinioides - Furrow spiders

side view with green midge - Larinioides cornutus - male Epigynum (typ. Spider - Larinioides patagiatus Furrow Orb Weaver Spider - Larinioides cornutus - female Orb Weaver - Larinioides Orb weaver - Larinioides patagiatus - male Spider - Larinioides Furrow Spider? - Larinioides patagiatus - female
Classification
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 Larinioides (Furrow spiders)
Other Common Names
Foliate orbweaver - referring to the distinct dorsal pattern (1)
Pronunciation
lar-i-nee-OY-deez
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Formerly genus Nuctenea
Numbers
Three species in the US: cornutus, patagiatus, sericatus (formerly sclopetarius). All are fairly widespread.
Size
L. cornutus - Females 6.5 to 14 mm, Males 4.7 to 8.5 mm (2)
L. patagiatus - Females 5.5 to 11 mm, Males 5.8 to 6.5 mm (2)
L. sericatus - Females 8-14 mm, Males 6-7 mm (2)
Identification
Separating Females:
L. cornutus have a shiny, bald appearance and shorter legs, and no middle band on metatarsus IV.


L. patagiatus have a more jagged border and a less shiny appearance. It has two pattern forms, but overall is more variable than the other two which is why it can look similar to both other species. L. patagiatus also has a dark middle band on metatarsus IV.


L. sericatus have longer legs than the other two species, and it has a dark middle band on metatarsus IV. It also has a darker pattern & a carapace with more white on its borders. It is the least common of the three species. This species is not found in the southeastern states.(2)



Separating Males:

The Gray Cross spider male (sclopetarius) can be ID'd by the lack of the cluster of macrosetae, and tibia II is not swollen. Both other species have clusters of macrosetae on tibia II. Compare macrosetae on tibia II here:

L. cornutus (in my opinion this one has shorter, stouter legs)


L. patagiatus


L. sericatus (tibia also not swollen)
Range
L. cornutus is more common in the eastern US, the other two are more common in the northern and western states.(1) All three species are Holarctic.
Works Cited
1.Spiders of the Eastern US, A Photographic Guide
W. Mike Howell and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. pearson education.
2.The orb-weaver genera Araniella and Nuctenea
H.W. Levi. 1974. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 146(6): 291-316.