arabesque orbweaver

(Neoscona arabesca)

Conservation Status
arabesque orbweaver
Photo by Babette Kis
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


There are 123 spotted orbweaver species (genus Neoscona) worldwide. They are among the most common and abundant orb weaver spiders worldwide, and are among the most common of all spiders in North America. Only 8 species occur in North America north of Mexico. Of these, arabesque orbweaver is the most common. It is also one of the most common of all orb weaver spiders.

Arabesque orbweaver is a small, spotted orbweaver. It occurs throughout North America and in Central America. It is most common in the United States east of the Great Plains. It is common in Minnesota. It is found in forests, fields, and meadows in tall grasses and on low bushes, and on buildings.

The female can be 316 to ½ (5.2 to 12.3 mm) in length with a 1116 to 1316 (18 to 30 mm) legspan, but is usually less than 516 (8.2 mm) in length. The male is slightly smaller, to (4.2 to 9.2 mm) long.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is much smaller than the abdomen. The upper side (carapace) has a longitudinal furrow in the middle. The color may be yellow, orangish-yellow, or brown. There is a brown stripe in the middle and another near each lateral margin.

There are eight eyes arranged in two parallel rows of four eyes each. The rear row is curved forward, the front row is straight or slightly curved backward. All of the eyes are small, but the median eyes are larger than the lateral eyes, and the posterior median eyes (PME) are slightly smaller than the anterior median eyes (AME). On each side the lateral eyes are widely separated from the middle (median) eyes and are almost touching each other. The median ocular area (MOA), the area defined by the middle four eyes, is longer than wide and narrower in front than behind.

The abdomen is large, oval, rounded, and higher toward the rear. There are no low rounded humps (tubercles) in the shoulder (humeral) area. The color and pattern on the upper side is highly variable. It is most often mottled brown or brown and red with white and yellow markings. There is an irregular, triangular, forward pointing patch at the base that is often separated in the middle into two oblique spots. Behind this is a similar smaller but wider patch. Behind the second patch there is a narrow white band that extends to the rear of the abdomen. This line is sometimes split by a thin dark line, sometimes broken into distinct spots. On the rear half of the abdomen there are four pairs of dark oblique lines. The lines are sometimes partially surrounded by a white patch. The pattern of spots and lines on the abdomen is arabesque-like. This is the feature that gives the spider the first part of its common name. Occasionally, some or most of these markings are obscure or missing. The underside of the abdomen is black and is bordered on the sides with white spots.

The legs are spiny and pale, with dark bands on the third and fourth pairs. The first pair of legs is the longest, the third pair is the shortest. The fifth segment (tibia) of the second pair of legs has a large number of conspicuous hairs on the lower surface. The male is distinguished by the following differences on the legs. The first segment (coxa) on the front pair of legs has a spur on the underside. The third segment (femur) on the second pair of legs has a groove on the upper side. There are spines on the underside of the femur on the second, third, and fourth pairs of legs, but none on the first pair. The tibia on the second pair of legs is curved; the outer lateral surface has several spines on the first half and just a single row of long stout spines on the second half; and the underside has only a few spines.




Female Body Length: 316 to ½ (5.2 to 12.3 mm)

Male Body Length: to (4.2 to 9.2 mm)

Legspan: 1116 to 1316 (18 to 30 mm)




A 6 to 18 (15 to 45 cm) in diameter hunting web is constructed in tall grass, on a low shrub, or on a building. It is called an “orb”, which gives this family of spiders its common name. The orb is vertical and has 18 to 20 radii. The center (hub) is open and is crossed with only 1 or 2 threads. A retreat is constructed at one side of the web consisting of a leaf folded over and secured with silk threads.


Similar Species


Forests, fields, meadows and buildings




One generation per year: June to November




The spider spends the day in the retreat and hunts at night. When hunting, it sits in the center of the web with the tip of its abdomen pushed through an open space in the hub.


Life Cycle








Distribution Map



24, 29, 30, 82.





  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  


Araneae (spiders)  


Araneomorphae (typical spiders)  
  Infraorder Entelegynae (entelegyne spiders)  
  Superfamily Araneoidea (araneoid spiders)  


Araneidae (orbweavers)  


Araneinae (typical orbweavers)  


Neoscona (spotted orbweavers)  



Araneus arabesca

Araneus minimus

Araneus singularis

Epeira arabesca

Epeira singularis

Epeira trivittata

Neoscona minima


Common Names


arabesque orbweaver












The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. On crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax. On spiders, the top of the cephalothorax made from a series of fused sclerites.



The front part of a spider’s body, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.



On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.




Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon

    arabesque orbweaver      
    arabesque orbweaver   arabesque orbweaver  
    arabesque orbweaver   arabesque orbweaver  
    arabesque orbweaver   arabesque orbweaver  
    arabesque orbweaver   arabesque orbweaver  

Babette Kis


Neoscona arabesca arabesque orbweaver

    arabesque orbweaver   arabesque orbweaver  








Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Orb Weaver Spider Neoscona arabesca Sutton Massachusetts
Sutton Massachusetts

Sep 8, 2009

This orb weaver spider, Neoscona arabesca, is spinning a spiral web in Sutton Massachusetts. The first half of the video shows the spider diligently working on its spider web. The second half shows the orb weaver preparing a caterpillar that somehow was gently flung into its web as a snack.

For more local animal photos and videos visit

Sutton is located in south central Massachusetts. Massachusetts is located in the northeastern corner of the United States.

  Neoscona arabesca
Som Raj Tripathi

Nov 5, 2021

this is another kind of spider known as Neoscona arabesca. for further details

  Neoscona arabesca spider is sleeping on the tip of the plant
L board கத்துக்குட்டி

Sep 26, 2021

Neoscona arabesca spider is sleeping on the tip of the plant #lboard #spider #jumpingspider




Visitor Sightings

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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

arabesque orbweaver  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Albany, NY

arabesque orbweaver  
  Babette Kis

Location: Barnes Prairie, Racine Co., WI

arabesque orbweaver  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

arabesque orbweaver  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

arabesque orbweaver  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

arabesque orbweaver  
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

arabesque orbweaver  






Created: 1/3/2022

Last Updated:

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