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Can Anyone Identify this Spider - Araneus diadematus - female

Can Anyone Identify this Spider - Araneus diadematus - Female
San Francisco, San Fransisco County, California, USA
October 31, 2010
Size: between 1/2 in. & 1 in.
I found this spider outside my door and what a surprise! I've always been a fan of spiders (I think they are truly amazing) and this is the first one I've ever seen on the street or in my home that actually gave me the creeps. I've never seen a spider like this before and I am very curious. If anyone can lend an expert opinion I would greatly appreciate it. I hope that the picture gives enough detail! Thanks in advance and Happy Halloween!

Thank You
Thank you very much for the help everyone!

Moved from ID Request. I cropped and rotated the image for easier viewing.

We would agree with your suggestion
of A. diadematus.

Araneus sp.
I think this is a member of the orb-weaver genus Araneus. There are lots of species (about 30 represented in BugGuide).

How about A. diadematus, the Cross Spider? There are a zillion of these right now on the SF Peninsula a bit south of you, though the ones that I see have a slightly different pattern and color. Was the color really that rusty, as opposed to plain brown?

Also maybe A. trifolium, the Shamrock Spider? The shield pattern narrowing posteriorly isn't, I think, typical of the species, though.

Lynette? Balabans? What do you think?

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