six-spotted orbweaver

(Araniella displicata)

Conservation Status
six-spotted orbweaver
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Six-spotted orbweaver is a small cucumber spider. It occurs throughout Europe and North America and in parts of Asia. It is the only Araniella species in the United States, where it occurs in the east and the west but is mostly absent from the Great Plains and from the Gulf States. It is common in Minnesota. It is found on trees and shrubs and sometimes on fences.

Females are 316 to ¼ (4.8 to 7.2 mm) in length and have a to (10 to 17 mm) legspan. Males are smaller, to 316 (4.0 to 5.0 mm) in length. The color is highly variable but the spider is easily identified by its markings.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is large but smaller than the abdomen. The upper side (carapace) is smooth and almost hairless. It may be yellowish, brownish-yellow, or brown. There are no markings and there is no longitudinal depression in the middle. The head is low and wide.

There are eight eyes arranged in two parallel rows of four eyes each. The eyes are on black spots but are not on raised projections (tubercles). The rear row is slightly 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 (PMEs) are slightly smaller than the anterior median eyes (AMEs). 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 oval, widest in the middle. There are no humps in the shoulder area (humeral tubercles). The upper side is usually off-white or yellowish but may be also greenish, reddish, pinkish, or brownish, and often has areas of two or more of these colors. There are three pairs of small black spots ringed with white on the rear half near the sides. This is the feature that gives the spider the first part of its common name. There are often three pairs of tiny blackish spots in the middle. The leaf-shaped marking (folium) is usually absent, sometimes represented by irregular white lines.

The legs are short, stout, spiny, and the same color as the carapace but often lighter. They are not banded but are darker toward the end. The first pair of legs is the longest, the third pair is the shortest.

On the male the legs and carapace are darker. The spots on the abdomen are larger and more distinctly surrounded with white, which sometimes coalesces into a white stripe on each side. The legs are longer. The first segment (coxa) on the front pair of legs has a hook-like spur on the underside. This spur fits into a groove on the upper side of the third segment (femur) on the second pair of legs. The second segment (tibia) on the second pair of legs is neither curved nor thickened. The femur of each leg has a row of spines on the underside.

On juveniles the carapace, legs, and sometimes the abdomen, are often red.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Body Length: 316 to ¼ (4.8 to 7.2 mm)

Male Body Length: to 316 (4.0 to 5.0 mm)

Legspan: to (10 to 17 mm)

 
     
 

Web

 
 

The web is very small and is often enclosed by bending over a single large leaf. There is no retreat.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: May to fall.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The spider is active during the day. It sits in the center of its web and waits for prey.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Spiderlings in the final development stage (instar) overwinter.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  1/12/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Araneae (spiders)  
 

Suborder

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

Family

Araneidae (orb weavers)  
 

Subfamily

Araneinae (typical orbweavers)  
 

Genus

Araniella (cucumber spiders)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Aranea displicata

Araneus croaticus

Araneus cucurbitinus

Araneus displicatus

Epeira alba

Epeira cucurbitina

Epeira decipiens

Epeira displicata

Epeira ornata

Epeira sexpunctata

Epeira westringii

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

six-spotted orbweaver

six-spotted yellow orbweaver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Carapace

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.

 

Cephalothorax

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.

 

Folium

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

 

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

Tibia

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

 

Tubercle

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

 
    six-spotted orbweaver      
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Araniella Displicata - Six Spotted Orbweaver
TheTyro
 
   
 
About

Aug 10, 2011

On Lake Angeles in Olympic National Park

 
  Female Sixspotted Orbweaver Spider - Araniella displicata - Macro HD
Lisa Marie Carrick
 
   
 
About

Oct 11, 2018

This little spider is a female sixspotted orbweaver (Araniella displicata). It's quite small for an orbweaver, and in many ways resembles a juvenile spider. This orbweaver is, however, definitely an adult. A beautiful adult!

I took this video using an iPhone 5 in 2016. I used a laser pointer lens as a makeshift macro lens.

For more videos like this, follow me on IG at @garbage.nobility and/or check my personal arthropod related tag #garbagearthropodsetc to see all of my arthropod related posts in one place.

 
  Držím křižáka borového (Araniella displicata)
Václav Kroc
 
   
 
About

Feb 1, 2016

Natočeno: 26.1.2016

Tento druh křižáka žije převážně v lesích s mladými borovicemi. Jedná se o vzácnější druh, výskyt je ostrůvkovitý. Ve videu je mladý sameček.

Recorded: 26.1.2016

This species lives in forests on small pine trees. It is a bit rare species. There is a young male.

 

 

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  Alfredo Colon
5/30/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

six-spotted orbweaver  
           
 
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Created: 1/12/2022

Last Updated:

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