Home / Orb Weavers / Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis)

Spinybacked Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis)

Spiny-backed orb-weaver, a part of the orb-weaver family widely occurs in the New World. Their name is an outcome of the spine-like projections on their back.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.20 – 0.35 inches (0.5 – 0.88 cm) while males are smaller, measuring 0.39–0.51 inches (0.99 – 1.2 cm)

Color: The underside, legs, and carapace appear black, with white spots marked on the abdomen. The upper side of the abdomen could be white or yellow, and the color of the spines would vary accordingly. The white upperside would have black or red spines, whereas, in the case of the yellow variation it would be just black.

The coloration mentioned above is mostly seen in females, while the male species have a grayish abdomen, spotted in white .

Other Characteristic Features: The females have six abdominal projections, while in males it is reduced to four or five.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Size

Eggs

The eggs after laid on a silken sheet are wrapped in yellowish or white silken strands. They hatch within 13 days and have a pinkish-white coloration just before their first molt.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Egg Sac

Spiderlings

At the onset they appear bright and within 5 or 7 days become darker. The spiderlings usually emerge during the winter and disperse on their own in the following spring as they gain sexual maturity.

The Web

Female spiders make webs every night using silken strands, and then sit on it facing downwards waiting for their prey. The males hang from a single thread near the web to allure females.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Web

Is Gasteracantha cancriformis Venomous

Though not aggressive, they bite if disturbed or provoked, which, however is not venomous causing minimum symptoms.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Spider

Quick Facts

Other Names Spinybacked orb weaver, star spider
Distribution United States, Cuba, Jamaica
Habitat Shrubby gardens, woodlands edges, trees
Diet Moths, whiteflies, beetles, and drosophilids
Web Type Orb web
Predator Whiteflies, beetles, flies, moths
Lifespan Maximum 1 year
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Star Spider

Did You Know

  • Gasteracantha, its genus name comes from the Greek words “gaster” meaning belly and “acanthi” translating to thorn. The scientific name is an amalgamation of two Latin words “cancer” meaning crab and “forma” referring to shape.
Spinybacked Orb Weaver

Image Credits: Live.staticflickr.com, Bio.pisceswebdesign.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com, Bio.pisceswebdesign.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com,
I.pinimg.com

Spiny-backed orb-weaver, a part of the orb-weaver family widely occurs in the New World. Their name is an outcome of the spine-like projections on their back.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Females are 0.20 – 0.35 inches (0.5 – 0.88 cm) while males are smaller, measuring 0.39–0.51 inches (0.99 – 1.2 cm)

Color: The underside, legs, and carapace appear black, with white spots marked on the abdomen. The upper side of the abdomen could be white or yellow, and the color of the spines would vary accordingly. The white upperside would have black or red spines, whereas, in the case of the yellow variation it would be just black.

The coloration mentioned above is mostly seen in females, while the male species have a grayish abdomen, spotted in white .

Other Characteristic Features: The females have six abdominal projections, while in males it is reduced to four or five.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Size

Eggs

The eggs after laid on a silken sheet are wrapped in yellowish or white silken strands. They hatch within 13 days and have a pinkish-white coloration just before their first molt.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Egg Sac

Spiderlings

At the onset they appear bright and within 5 or 7 days become darker. The spiderlings usually emerge during the winter and disperse on their own in the following spring as they gain sexual maturity.

The Web

Female spiders make webs every night using silken strands, and then sit on it facing downwards waiting for their prey. The males hang from a single thread near the web to allure females.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Web

Is Gasteracantha cancriformis Venomous

Though not aggressive, they bite if disturbed or provoked, which, however is not venomous causing minimum symptoms.

Gasteracantha Cancriformis Spider

Quick Facts

Other Names Spinybacked orb weaver, star spider
Distribution United States, Cuba, Jamaica
Habitat Shrubby gardens, woodlands edges, trees
Diet Moths, whiteflies, beetles, and drosophilids
Web Type Orb web
Predator Whiteflies, beetles, flies, moths
Lifespan Maximum 1 year
IUCN Conservation Status Not listed
Star Spider

Did You Know

  • Gasteracantha, its genus name comes from the Greek words “gaster” meaning belly and “acanthi” translating to thorn. The scientific name is an amalgamation of two Latin words “cancer” meaning crab and “forma” referring to shape.
Spinybacked Orb Weaver

Image Credits: Live.staticflickr.com, Bio.pisceswebdesign.com, 4.bp.blogspot.com, Bio.pisceswebdesign.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com,
I.pinimg.com

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