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Spider Photos - Micrathena

 The spider genus Micrathena contains more than hundred species, most of them Neotropical woodland orb-weavers. Only three species occur in the eastern United States: females of M. gracilis (the Spined Micrathena) have five pairs of conical tubercles on the abdomen, female M. mitrata have two short posterior pairs, and female M. sagittata (the Arrow-shaped Micrathena) have three pairs. There is a link to Arrow Shaped Micrathena below. Here's some other photos sent in by viewers.
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Spined Micrathena Arrow Shaped Micrathena


Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) is a spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), commonly known as the Spined Micrathena. This spider spins a moderately large (may be 30 cm or more across), very tightly coiled web, often in wooded or brushy areas. It is completely harmless to humans. Usually, it is only the female spider that is seen. She is about 1/2 inch long, with a chunky abdomen that has ten spines on it. The abdomen varies in color; usually it is whitish, yellow, or brownish-black. The cephalothorax (front section) is much smaller than the abdomen, and it is amber-colored. This spider's legs are glossy black. The male Spined Micrathena is about half the size of the female. It has only a couple of spines and a much flatter abdomen. Only females build webs. To trap prey, the Spined Micrathena builds her web between shrubs or small trees, three to seven feet off the ground. Insects that try to fly in between the trees don't see the web and get stuck. First, the micrathena weaves three main lines of web; then she builds her orb (circular part of the web). The orb is six to eight inches across. As soon as the sun goes down, she eats her web. When the sun comes up, she builds it again. The silk for the web comes from the tip of her abdomen. She weaves the silk with her hind legs. Predators of micrathenas include the usual spider-eaters, such as birds, toads, frogs, and lizards. Female micrathenas build an "escape line" into their web. They also make a low-pitched buzzing sound when they are disturbed. You can hear it if you're very close to the web.

28 July, 2015:
Please help me, these are scary



8 January, 2014:
Hi there! I live in Croydon, Victoria, Australia, and have just found this spider on my clothes line. Never seen anything like it before!! Your help in finding out what type it is would be great. Thank you in advance, Fiona, Scared of spiders!!

Click for a larger view.

26 August, 2012:
Glen, Here are some of the micrathena i seen today, they have some very nice colours and this forest we go to is infested with them and micrathena spiders we call the micrathena spiders spiky butt spiders and theyre EVERYWHERE in this forest. Casey


31 May, 2012:
Can you tell me what kind of spider this is please?


6 October, 2011:
Hi Glen, Great site. I caught that spider outside on my trashcan today… looked peculiar so I figured it could be a nice add-on to your collection. I live in Moorestown, NJ. Can you tell me what it is ?! (it makes very wide spiderwebs !) Thanks Stef


26 August, 2011:
Hi, I recently came in contact with this spider in the woods at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall Indiana. It has an odd triangle body. The sides of the spider contain yellow and black thin stripes. The picture was taken while it was on its side "playing opossum." The back legs were supporting the triangle shaped body and spot where the web comes out. Could you tell me more about the spider?? Thanks sooo much. Bryce from IN

Click for a larger view.

12 October, 2010:
Hi Glen— I wrote about a month ago and sent in two pictures of Rhoda, the spined micrathena that was living above my front bushes. After our last super-severe thunderstorm, she was gone, but I did get several more better pictures of her beforehand, building one of her webs. They’re attached. A few days after Rhoda’s disappearance, there was another spider hanging in her place, which I (think) correctly identified as a garden orbweaver. I named her Lindsay Lohan since she’s out at night and red. I attach a pic of her at night and one during the day when she was hiding in a leaf of the tree her web was attached to. Unfortunately, she is also gone now. A friend of mine yesterday posted a picture on Facebook of what I think is a black and yellow argiope that she found hanging in her garden. Her husband thinks it’s a St. Andrew’s Cross, but I’m pretty sure it’s a black and yellow argiope. Which one is it? I love your site! I’ve been able to identify grass/funnel spiders all around my apartment building and am now curious every time I see any spider about what kind it is. You can use these pics for you site if you wish. Thanks again— Andrea

Click for a larger view

14 August, 2010:
Hi— I found your website a few days ago after Googling “Spined Micrathena Spider.” I have a Facebook friend who is into bugs, herps, birds, etc., and after I posted a picture of this spider I have living above my front bushes, he suggested it might be the spined micrathena. In fact, it is! I just wanted to share a couple of pictures I took of *her* (since I now know it is a female). Feel free to publish them to your micrathena page if you wish. I know there are already a few on your page that look similar, but thought I’d submit these anyway. It’s interesting to see the kind of spiders people get photos of. (I named her Rhoda.) Thanks! Andrea


4 September, 2008:
Thanks so much Glen, I attach photos of a couple of other spiders I have seen recently. Feel free to upload them to your web if you like them!! Thanks again!! edu

Click for a larger view.


4 September, 2008:
Hi, Thanks for you very nice site. I’m living in Holland, and in our Holliday in Venezuela I made a photo of this spider,. Can you tell me what it is? Regards from Holland, Eric

Click for a larger view.


22 August, 2008:
Hello my name is Chad, I live in Corpus Christi, and found this spider today and was wondering if you could help me ID it. Thanks

Click for a larger view.

11 August, 2007:
Hi, I was wondering if you could help my dad and I identify this spider. We found him under our porch. Shana from Guilford, Connecticut

5 August, 2007:
hi, I live in northern new jersey.  came across your website trying to find what type of spider I was looking at.  great site by the way.. any information would be helpful, thanks. Blake

4 September, 2006:
I live in Northwest Indiana, and I was wondering what kind of spider this is. It is a really small spider, about the size of a pinky nail. No more than a quarter inch. Thanks.
19 August, 2006:
Dear Friends, I took these pictures this afternoon in our backyard in Southeastern PA. My first thought was that it looked like a crab, with a hard body. But it doesn't seem to be a "crab spider." Do you recognize it? Deb

19 August, 2006:
what are these?

6 November, 2005:
Hi Glen, I have some photos of some spiders I’ve photographed. I think I might be right on the ones I’ve identified but I’m not sure. If you wouldn’t mind trying to figure out what these little guys are I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Quinten (Louie) Adams
6 November, 2005:
I found a weird spider and was wondering what it is? I live in New Jersey if that helps at all.



6 October, 2005:
Hi there, I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of spider this is. I found him outside around my porch he is upside down, but appears to have a some kind of thorny thing on his back, on his belly it does have some coloring. Is this harmless? Thanks,DD

14 September, 2005:
This guy is on my back porch. I live in Southwestern Pennsylvania, specifically Donora, Washington County. Please email me if you can tell me about it. Also, I cut this pic to 800x600 if you want a cool background.

Eric E. Allard

Reply: Micrathena gracilis, the spiny/
spined micrathena. Nathan Hepworth

1 August, 2005:
I've attached a picture of spider I found on a bush outside my house (I live in western PA). I've looked everywhere on the web, but haven't been able to identify it. I've never seen anything like it before. Can you help?


Reply: That is a species of Micrathena, possibly Micrathena gracilis. It is not dangerous. Nathan Hepworth

5 November, 2004:
Hi: My name is Victor Carpizo, I photographed this weird specimen near Mexico City and I would like to know if it´s dangerous. Best Regards,

Victor Carpizo

Reply: That is a spined Micrathena, species Micrathena  gracilis. A harmless oddity. Nathan Hepworth

15 September, 2004:
I live in Ohio.. Could you tell me what kind of spider this is?? thanks, Ami Todd


Reply: This looks like some sort of spiny Micrathena.

14 September, 2004:
My son pointed this spider out to me today. I haven't seen this before. Can you tell me what it is?? Thanks!


18 July, 2004:
I'm sorry now I didn't take the time to take more photos of this spider which I found on an orb shaped web suspended in the doorway of a tool shed. I'd noticed the web earlier but then later walked through it in a hurry to find a tool I needed. The spider ended up on
my arm and when I brushed it away I noticed it was unusual. I found it crawling on the floor and at that time it's back looked very much like the photo's Arya A. Sadhana took and that are posted on your site. It reminded me of a large fly when looking at the back.
I live in central West Virginia in the US. I left it suspended on a web strand hanging from the bail of a small bucket where it had
crawled and appeared to have settled in for the afternoon. Tonight it is gone and I hope to find it in a web somewhere on my back porch in the morning.  I'd love to know what the heck this spider is called.
Wes Jones


Reply: It looks like a spiny micrathena.


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