marbled orbweaver

(Araneus marmoreus)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

marbled orbweaver


NNR - Unranked


not listed




Spring to the first hard freeze in fall


Shrubs, tree branches, or tall grass; woodland edges, stream banks, gardens, fences, bridges, and other human-made constructions


Female Body Length: to 11 16


Male Body Length: ¼ to

Legspan: 11 16 to 17 16

Photo by Christa Rittberg


This is a medium-sized orb weaver spider. Females are much larger than males, to 11 16 long and 1 16 to ¼ wide, with a legspan up to 17 16. Males are about half as big, ¼ to long and 1 16 to wide.

Like all spiders, it has two body parts. The hardened plate (carapace) covering the front part (cephalothorax) is light brown or orange with a narrow dark stripe down the middle and on each side.

The abdomen is and rounded and smooth, with no bumps toward the rear. On the female it is large and rounded. On the male it is proportionately smaller and more elongated. The color and pattern of the abdomen is highly variable both regionally and seasonally. It has a white, yellow, orange, brownish, or pink background color. There are always highly contrasted black, gray, and white markings, at least at the front edge, that give it a marbled appearance. These markings may fade as the season progresses.

The legs are 11 16 to 17 16 long and spiny. Males have proportionally longer legs than females. The ends of the legs are banded with black and either clear or white. The third (femur) and fourth (patella) leg segments are often light brown or orange, the same color as the carapace. Sometimes these segments are banded.

The face is small. There are eight eyes, all of them small, in two rows.




Flying insects

Life Cycle

Several hundred orange eggs are deposited in a mass and then wrapped in silk producing a flattened spherical egg sac. The egg sac is then attached to nearby vegetation or to the spider’s retreat. Some eggs hatch in late summer or fall, others overwinter in egg sacs. Spiderlings disperse by “ballooning”. They climb a branch, blade of grass, or fencepost, and release a long thread of silk. The silk thread catches the wind or even a light breeze and the spiderling floats to a new site.

Adults are active from mid-summer to the first hard freeze in fall.


They spin a large circular web that hangs vertically. This web is called an “orb”, which gives this family of spiders its common name. The orb is typically a closed hub, 20 to 30 in diameter, with 15 to 35 spokes (radii) that are not sticky. The radii extend to the center of the hub. They are connected to each other by sticky threads that spiral outward from the center. The spider also makes a retreat out of silk near one edge of the orb. The retreat is connected by a signal thread to the center of the web, allowing the spider to feel vibrations of prey. The web is usually consumed and a new web constructed each evening.

They will drop to the ground and hide if approached.

Males are unable to capture prey larger than themselves.

Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 24, 29, 30.





Araneae (spiders)





No Rank:

Entelegynae (eight-eyed spiders)


No Rank:







Araneidae (orb weavers)

Subordinate Taxa

marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus marmoreus)

marbled orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus trapezius [=Araneus marmoreus pyramidatus?])


Araneus raji

Araneus raji betulae

Araneus tusigia


marbled orb weaver

marbled orbweaver

marbled orb-weaver










The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises.



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.




Visitor Photos

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She found a corner in my little greenhouse on the deck.

  marbled orbweaver    

Larry Waddell

A female was found dining on its catch in a flower garden in our backyard.

  marbled orbweaver    

Holly B.

  marbled orbweaver    

Aaron Hebeisen

Female found building vertical web in closet doorway. 1/2” long, quarter-sized spread out.

  marbled orbweaver    

Craig & Cheryl Olson

Spotted yesterday in Houston County MN close to Hokah.

  marbled orbweaver    

Christa Rittberg

  marbled orbweaver   marbled orbweaver
  marbled orbweaver    







  Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus)
Bill Keim




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Marbled Orb Weaver (Araneus Marmoreus) Handling

Published on Jan 2, 2015

Here is a video of me handling a Marbled Orb-weaving spider. This was filmed in North Carolina. I know this species also exists in Upstate New York. Thanks for watching!

  Marbled Orb Weaver Spider
Carl Rasmussen

Published on Oct 11, 2013

We saw several of these Spider weaving there webs in Uhwarrie National Forest in North Carolina.

Taken with a Fugi film XP Waterproof camera

  Marbled Orb Weaver Spider - Araneus marmoreus

Published on Oct 5, 2011

Found this little lady perched up on my downspout, happily working away on a beetle of some kind. While filming her, I got lucky and got a shot of another beetle flying into her web and her going after it!

for more info on the Marbled Orb Weaver Spider :

music : Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"

  Araneus Marmoreus Var. Pyramidatus found in my garden!

Published on Oct 22, 2014

A beautiful spider that I found in my garden: it's an araneus marmoreus var. pyramidatus. It's big!

  Marbled orb-weaver - Araneus marmoreus

Published on Sep 8, 2015

A female Marbled orb-weaver hanging and climbing.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
Lens: Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm 1:3.5.





Visitor Sightings

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Jane P

Location: Eden Prairie, MN

She was all curled up in a ball in our landscaping rocks. I thought is was a fancy acorn. I brought it in the house and the legs came out!! Wow!


Location: Faribault, MN, Rice county

She was strolling slowly along our outside doormat. So beautiful! I've lived in the country a long time and I've never seen one prior to today. I've learned a lot about them on this website - thank you!

Jennan Kellogg

Location: Crosby Farm Regional Park, St. Paul, MN

The Marbled Orb-weaver made a large web in the fork of a tree trunk near the Wetland Trail of the Crosby Farm Regional Park. It's web showed signs of damage with evidence that the spider--a female, if I'm not mistaken--had repaired it. 

Larry Waddell

Location: Oak Grove, MN

A female was found dining on its catch in a flower garden in our backyard.

marbled orbweaver

Holly B.

Location: Elk River, MN

marbled orbweaver

Aaron Hebeisen

Location: Lake City, MN

Female found building vertical web in closet doorway. 1/2” long, quarter-sized spread out.

marbled orbweaver


Location: Oak Grove, MN - Anoka County

It was spinning a web on the side of our motor-home.

Sawyer Olson

Location: Scott County

Found 7 feet up in a maple tree near its web. It had made a home inside a curved leaf.

Erich and
Jacque Saul


Location: our doorframe! Montgomery,MN... Le Seuer co.

Beautifully bright spider!  The first time I have ever seen one, striking! 

Craig & Cheryl Olson

Location: Houston County, MN

Spotted yesterday in Houston County MN close to Hokah.

marbled orbweaver






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