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Araneus juniperi adult female - Araneus juniperi - female

Araneus juniperi adult female - Araneus juniperi - Female
Edge of Appalachia Reserve, Adams County, Ohio, USA
April 21, 2005
Size: ~ 5 mm
This is an image of the dead spider preserved in alcohol. The spider was collected on 21 April 2005 by sweeping in the low branches of Thuja occidentalis (arbor vitae). The photograph was taken in 2011. I include this photo of a preserved spider because we have no others of the female of this species. In life the color was bright green and white.

More comments here.

Araneus juniperi adult female
Thank you so much. This is a great start to us figuring out what to look for.

Now what do you think of this one that we currently have under Araneus bivittatus

I 'measured' the abdomen on the picture and found it's longer than wide.... but you know with an image it's just not the same. I wonder if the two species really look this similar.... and I wonder if we can tell anything from other field markings like legs spines.

Araneus juniperi alive!

That is a perfect view of my "memory image" of the spider in my (preserved) photo while she was still fresh. I'd bet it is also Araneus juniperi. I wish I had been able to take a photo of the one I submitted alive, but she was killed by the trauma of the sweeping and it was a really hot day. I didn't want to risk not preserving her immediately. On my list of "things to do" is to go back and try to get more living examples and get real photos of the living beast. I've tried a couple of times at the same site with no success yet. These little Araneus seem very tough to find. I need to do more research on those other ID cues (leg spines, etc.).

Leg spots
Do you think it could be as simple as A. juniperi having solid legs while A. bivittatus has spotted legs?

probably not that simple
In the quote from Banks in Levi's (1973) paper it includes for A. juniperi "Legs greenish yellow; patellae, tibiae and metarsus of anterior pairs with elongate red spots, less distinct on hind pairs;..." So if the Banks (southern form) A. juniperi have leg spots we can't conclude that it is a characteristic of A. bivittatus. I just noticed that there is a black&white photo of A. bivittatus in Levi (page 519, plate 6 lower) that looks a lot like yours. Hmmm....

one more thing
Of course I should have mentioned that red pigments in spiders are often soluble, so the lack of red spots on the green legs of my specimen might be an artifact of preservation. Levi doesn't mention red spots on A. juniperi legs (nothern form), but implies that this is variation by including Banks' full description. I've never seen A. bivittatus, living or dead.

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