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Spider Photos - Cyclosa Conica

Cyclosa conica is a small spider with no common name. It is an orb weaver, and it is easily recognized by the way it strings together the dead bodies of insects and other debris and hangs it near the centre of its web. It hides on this string of debris, and its natural coloration makes it extremely difficult to see until it moves. One of its defences against predators is to blend in with this debris and to feign death when disturbed. These spiders are small. The females range from 5.3 mm. to 7.5 mm., and the males range from 3.6 mm. to 4 mm. It is an odd looking spider which has a single tubercle (hump) on the rear of its abdomen and builds a web with stabilimentum (lines across the centre of the web) which it often covers in dead insects. This spider can be quite variable in colour and pattern, however its shape is so distinctive that it is hard to mistake. The colouring oranges from deep orange to almost white and also green and brown. Here's some photos sent in by viewers.

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14 August, 2010:
Hello, I found your website while searching for info about spiders, and I'm hoping you can help ID the spider in the attached photos. The location is Lavaca County, Texas.
Thank you,
Austin, Texas



21 August, 2009:
Hey Glen, I e-mailed you about a month ago about a new spider I have seen overtaking and connecting there own webs to my backyard orb weavers webs. They only seem to be hanging out in our giant birds of paradise plants. They don't seem to be able to make a very good web. Only a few strands of silk in no consistent order. However, they now are all building egg sacks in the shape of a Christmas tree. About the size of a BB. Then they seem to ditch the eggs. I found that strange, considering most spiders guard there eggs or carry them. The ones I have seen are not very big, the pictures I have attached were taken with a digital microscope. One of the photos show the tip of a needle to give you a size comparison. They are definitely multiplying. I'm in San diego, Ca. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Jeff


Reply:  The one with the string of dead bodies is a cyclosa conica. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclosa_conica

6 August, 2006:
Hi Glen, I have some photos of some spiders Iíve photographed. I think I might be right on the ones Iíve identified but Iím not sure. If you wouldnít mind trying to figure out what these little guys are I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Quinten (Louie)

Cyclosa Conica

Reply: It looks like cyclosa conica.
18 April
, 2005:
Hi! I've searched as many sites as I could find and cannot identify this strange-looking spider. I live in Indiana (U.S.A.) and found it on my porch a few days ago (Spring). Could someone please help? Thanks, Julie