Home / Orb Weavers / Cat-Faced (Araneus gemmoides)

Cat-Faced (Araneus gemmoides)

The cat-faced sider, also called the jewel spider, is a nocturnal spider species, with low toxicity levels. Belonging to the family of orb-weavers, they are said to weave wheel-shaped, spiral webs, a common feature of all spiders in this group.

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Males are between 5mm and 8 mm, while the females are larger, growing 13mm to 25 mm.

Color: These spiders differ in color, as some may be as pale as a straw while others could have a dark brown body. Red, white and ivory are the other possible colors they may be found in.

Cat Face Spider

Other Characteristic Features: Being a member of the Angulate orb-weaver genus, both sexes have a bulbous abdomen along with frontal projections on both sides, with a white line intersecting in between. They are often found in an upside-down posture as they prefer sitting with their head pointing towards the ground.

Cat Face Spider Male

Cat Face Spider Female

Eggs

Tiny, round or disc-shaped, contained in a small egg sac made of silk.

Cat Face Spider Eggs

Spiderlings

Small in size, they come out of the egg sac in 2 to 3 weeks’ time and disperse through the process of ballooning.

Cat Face Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the Cat-Faced Spider

It might inflict a pinching bite if handled, but it often does not penetrate the skin. In any case, there is little chance of any serious health hazard as the venom they produce is harmless to humans.

Cat Face Spider Images

Cat Face Spider Pictures

Quick Facts

Lifespan Few weeks ( Males mostly die post mating and females after producing the first egg sac)
Distribution United States (Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, California, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Wisconsin); Canada (Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec)
Habitat Near light fixtures, around buildings, underwoods, and animal burrows
Common predators Black and yellow mud-dauber (most prominent enemy), several insects and other spiders
Diet The younger ones eat their siblings, while the older ones thrive on small and large insects

Cat-Faced Spider

Pictures of a Cat Face Spider

Cat Face Spider Web

Cat Face Spider Size

Did You Know

  • This species shares its name (cat-faced) with the Araneus gemma, a comparatively smaller spider found in the US. Its other name, jewel spider, coincides with the Austracantha minax, found in Australia.
  • Most of the juvenile cat-faced spiders do not mature into adulthood as the spiderlings eat up their own siblings after they emerge from the silk sac.
  • These spiders serve as good pets, helping their owner keep his home and garden free of insects, especially in late summer.

Image Credits: Earthkind.com, Wildutah.us, Bugguide.net, I.pinimg.com, I.imgur.com, Freerangestock.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com

The cat-faced sider, also called the jewel spider, is a nocturnal spider species, with low toxicity levels. Belonging to the family of orb-weavers, they are said to weave wheel-shaped, spiral webs, a common feature of all spiders in this group.

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Males are between 5mm and 8 mm, while the females are larger, growing 13mm to 25 mm.

Color: These spiders differ in color, as some may be as pale as a straw while others could have a dark brown body. Red, white and ivory are the other possible colors they may be found in.

Cat Face Spider

Other Characteristic Features: Being a member of the Angulate orb-weaver genus, both sexes have a bulbous abdomen along with frontal projections on both sides, with a white line intersecting in between. They are often found in an upside-down posture as they prefer sitting with their head pointing towards the ground.

Cat Face Spider Male

Cat Face Spider Female

Eggs

Tiny, round or disc-shaped, contained in a small egg sac made of silk.

Cat Face Spider Eggs

Spiderlings

Small in size, they come out of the egg sac in 2 to 3 weeks’ time and disperse through the process of ballooning.

Cat Face Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the Cat-Faced Spider

It might inflict a pinching bite if handled, but it often does not penetrate the skin. In any case, there is little chance of any serious health hazard as the venom they produce is harmless to humans.

Cat Face Spider Images

Cat Face Spider Pictures

Quick Facts

Lifespan Few weeks ( Males mostly die post mating and females after producing the first egg sac)
Distribution United States (Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, California, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Wisconsin); Canada (Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec)
Habitat Near light fixtures, around buildings, underwoods, and animal burrows
Common predators Black and yellow mud-dauber (most prominent enemy), several insects and other spiders
Diet The younger ones eat their siblings, while the older ones thrive on small and large insects

Cat-Faced Spider

Pictures of a Cat Face Spider

Cat Face Spider Web

Cat Face Spider Size

Did You Know

  • This species shares its name (cat-faced) with the Araneus gemma, a comparatively smaller spider found in the US. Its other name, jewel spider, coincides with the Austracantha minax, found in Australia.
  • Most of the juvenile cat-faced spiders do not mature into adulthood as the spiderlings eat up their own siblings after they emerge from the silk sac.
  • These spiders serve as good pets, helping their owner keep his home and garden free of insects, especially in late summer.

Image Credits: Earthkind.com, Wildutah.us, Bugguide.net, I.pinimg.com, I.imgur.com, Freerangestock.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *