lattice orbweaver

(Araneus thaddeus)

Conservation Status
lattice orbweaver
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Lattice orbweaver is a small typical orbweaver. It occurs in the United States from Maine to Georgia, west to Minnesota, Colorado, and Arizona; in southern Canada from Quebec west to Manitoba; and in Mexico. It is found in forests and hedges, and on fences and ivy covered or bare walls.

The female is 316 to ¼ (5.0 to 7.0 mm) in length. The male is much smaller, to 316 (4.0 to 5.0 mm) long.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) of the female is much smaller than the abdomen. It may be yellow, orangish-yellow, or yellowish-brown. On most individuals it is unmarked and uniformly colored. On individuals with a dark abdomen the cephalothorax usually has a dark stripe in the middle. There are eight eyes arranged in two parallel rows of four eyes each. On each side the lateral eyes are widely separated from the middle (median) eyes and are almost touching each other. All of the eyes are small.

The abdomen is round, as wide as long, and variable in color. The front corners, the shoulder (humeral) areas, are smoothly rounded. There are no low rounded humps (tubercles) in the humeral area. The upper side is usually white or light yellow, but it is sometimes purple or pink. There is a row of six small dark spots on each side. The leaf-shaped markings (folium) are usually absent. Often just faint traces are visible. Sometimes the abdomen is mostly dark with four large white or yellow areas toward the front. On the under side of the abdomen of the female there is a white or yellow spot surrounded by a large dark area just behind the genital opening (epigynum).

The legs are short and spiny. The front two pairs project forward, the hind two pairs project backward. They may be yellow, orangish-yellow, or yellowish-brown. The third segment (femur) and fourth segment (patella) on all legs are uniformly colored and unmarked. The remaining segments are pale with dark rings. On the male the fifth segment (tibia) of the second pair of legs is only very slightly curved and thickened. It has only a few long spines and no short spines. The last segment (tarsus) on each leg is hairy and has three claws at the tip, though these are not visible to the naked eye.




Female Body Length: 316 to ¼ (5.0 to 7.0 mm)

Male Body Length: to 316 (4.0 to 5.5 mm)




The female spins a 6 to 8 (15 to 20 cm) in diameter web with about 25 radii. This web is called an “orb”, which gives this family of spiders its common name. The orb hangs vertically and is usually oblong, much taller than wide. At one side of the orb she builds a very elaborate retreat. The retreat is constructed on the underside of a leaf, and the edge of the leaf is folded over and fastened to protect it. The retreat is thimble-shaped with the narrow end open. From the closed end of the retreat, a silken, cylinder-shaped tube hangs downward. The tube is not solid but lattice-like, with many openings. This is the feature that gives the species its common name, and by which the spider is easily recognized. One or two signal threads extend from the upper edge of the orb to the retreat.


Similar Species


Forests, hedges, fences, and walls










Life Cycle


Eggs overwinter.






Distribution Map



24, 29, 30





  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  


Araneae (spiders)  


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


Araneidae (orbweavers)  


Araneinae (typical orbweavers)  


Araneus (angulate and roundshouldered orbweavers)  



Aranea thaddeus

Epeira thaddeus


Common Names


lattice orbweaver

lattice spider










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.



On some spiders, the leaf-shaped marking on the upper side of the abdomen,



The fourth segment of a spider leg, after the femur and before the tibia.



On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.



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



On plants and animals: a small, rounded, raised projection on the surface. On insects and spiders: a low, small, usually rounded, knob-like projection. On slugs: raised areas of skin between grooves covering the body.











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Alfredo Colon

    lattice orbweaver   lattice orbweaver  








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Other Videos
  Lattice Orbweaver In My Pergola... Eating
Justin Starr

Mar 17, 2020

Everything about this Araneus thaddeus was so rad. I got to watch something land in her web, watched as she ran out of her cylindrical treat incredibly fast, wrapped it up in no time at all, and then carried the victim to her retreat to be consumed. It was nighttime, which explains some of the quality. I did shine an LED light on her, which is why she can be seen at all.

This video was made before I had C-Log and also using Cyberlink PowerDirector, which does not handle edits of color and light nearly as well as Premiere Pro imho.

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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, MN

lattice orbweaver  






Created: 12/20/2021

Last Updated:

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