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Marbled Orbweaver - Araneus marmoreus - male

Marbled Orbweaver - Araneus marmoreus - Male
Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, USA
August 3, 2010
Found this guy in a heavily shaded area, about 3 feet off the ground, and moved him to the patio to take pictures.

Images of this individual: tag all
Marbled Orbweaver - Araneus marmoreus - male Marbled Orbweaver - Araneus marmoreus - male

This 'girl' appears to be a '
This 'girl' appears to be a 'boy' -- a subadult male. ;-)


Subadult male
Thanks for letting me know, Kevin. I based my determination of female on the description of male/female legs in "Spiders of the Eastern United States". Now that you've told me that this is a subadult male, I realize that I must have misunderstood the description in my book. Could you let me know what you see that indicates maleness to you? I'd love to learn more about this beautiful species, and I really appreciate your help.

Hmm, I see. But see here, for example...

As a male spider matures, the pedipalpae -- the foremost pair of extremeties, near the mouth and ahead of the first leg pair -- swell up and are transformed into secondary sex organs. The male charges these with semen before mating and then uses them to transfer the semen to the female during mating. Before maturity (while still subadult), the pedipalpae of male spiders are already enlarged -- you can see them in your first image -- they look a bit like crude plastic boxing gloves. (Do a search for "spider pedipalp".)


Now I get it!
Thank you so much! Now that you've taught me what to look for, I looked at other photos of this guy that I didn't post, and the swollen pedipalps are obvious. Thanks for helping me and teaching me something new! You're the best! :)

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