Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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The Larger Male Orb Weavers

I'm starting this to help us sort out the male orb-weavers. This is mainly for Araneus & Neoscona at this time.


Swollen Legs

Araneus diadematus - 8 mm, Tibia II strong with strong short spines
- No Dorsal Humps

Araneus diadematus

Araneus marmoreus - 6-8 mm, Tibia II swollen with many short stout macrosetae on the prolateral surface
- No Dorsal Humps
- males have black markings one edge of carapace, dorsal pattern very variable
- abdomen has dark posterior oblique marks

Araneus marmoreus

Araneus nordmanni - 8-10 mm, Tibia II swollen/bent with strong macrosetae

Araneus nordmanni

Araneus saevus - 12-14 mm, Tibia II swollen with macrosetae

Araneus saevus

Neoscona crucifera - 9-12 mm, Tibia II swollen prolatterally near base, with 2 uneven rows of short stout mactrosetae
- No Dorsal Humps
- mostly an eastern species, but found across the US in the south
- males have black bands on sides of carapace

Neoscona crucifera

No Swollen Legs

Araneus gemmoides - 5.5-8 mm, legs not modified
- only in the west are some specimens black

Araneus gemmoides

Araneus trifolium - 5-8 mm
- No Dorsal Humps
- abdomen usually white

Araneus trifolium

Eustala anastera - 4-6 mm, femur II with 3-5 ventral macrosetae
- No Dorsal Humps
- dorsal tubercle
- triangular abdomen

Eustala anastera

Neoscona arabesca - 4-9 mm, Tibia II usually curved in northern specimens
- The conspicuous presence of a large number of macrosetae on ventral surface of tibia II is characteristic
- No Dorsal Humps

Neoscona arabesca


Swollen Legs

Araneus andrewsi - 11 mm, Tibia II strong and bent with macrosetae

No Swollen Legs

Araneus gemma - 6-8.5 mm, legs not modified

Araneus gemma

Araneus illaudatus - 5-9 mm, legs not modified
- anterior median white line (most confused with male gemma)

Araneus illaudatus

Neoscona oaxacensis

Neoscona oaxacensis

Eriophora edax - 8-12 mm, legs not modified
- very southern species (TX, AZ, CA)
- light brown with white pigment and tiny black spots at base of setae
- carapace with deep longitudinal groove
- distinct posterior hump


Swollen Legs

Araneus bicentenarius

Araneus bicentenarius

Araneus corticarius - 5 mm, Tibia II swollen
- heavy black border, & mid-line on carapace
- eastern US, but wider dist. in Canada, also in Alaska

Araneus corticarius

Araneus washingtoni - 5 mm, Tibia II swollen with strong setae
- limited to the northern tip of eastern US

Eriophora ravilla - 9-13 mm, Tibia II swollen at base, and basitarsus curved
- very southern species, Gulf coast
- legs banded
- capapace with deep longitudinal groove

Eriophora ravilla

No Swollen Legs

Araneus cavaticus - 10-19 mm, no modified legs
- can easily be recognized by their huge size and long legs

Araneus cavaticus

Araneus iviei - 7 mm (resembles male trifolium)
- black border on carapace
- eastern US, but wider dist. in Canada

Eustala emertoni - 4-5 mm, Femur II lacking macrosetae
- No Dorsal Humps
- No posterior tubercle
- triangular abdomen

Eustala cepina - 3-4 mm, Femur II lacking macrosetae, per Kevin Pfeiffer - no ventral macrosetae on femur I.
- No Dorsal Humps
- Posterior tubercle
- triangular abdomen

Eustala cepina

Neoscona domiciliorum - 8-9 mm, Tibia II nearly straight with 3 rows of clasping spines
- No Dorsal Humps
- May not be brightly colored like females

(1) The Diadematus Group of the Orb-Weaving Genus Araneus North of Mexico, Levi, 1971.
(2) The Orb Weaver Genus Neoscona in North America by Berman & Levi, 1971. - PDF Here.
(3) The Insects and Arachnids of Canada Part 23, Dondale, Redner, Paquin & Levi, 2003.
(4) The Ravilla Group of the Orbweaver Genus Eriophora in North America by Levi, 1970. PDF Here

If possible can we change ...
the male nordmanni to the voucher image? I moved it to saevus a while back.

Better late than never!

Wow! This is great.
You are really beginning to make sense of these males!

male orb-weavers
Well, I don't have them down yet. I figure sorting them out here will help me figure them out as I go. Any comments you have about any of the male orb-weavers will be appreciated. =]

How do you ...
make the bordered images with the centered text underneath? I can't edit these pages so I can't peek to see how it was done. Edit: Never mind, Lisa B. found it for me. :)

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