Home / Orb Weavers / Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)

Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)

Spined micrathena belonging to the family of orb-weavers has a unique appearance because of its black and white body and a spiky abdomen. This diurnal species rarely seen at night can mostly be spotted at the end of summer and onset of autumn.

Spined Micrathena

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: They are 0.16 to 0.42 inches (4.2 to 10.8 mm) in length, with females being bigger than their male counterparts.

Scientific Classification

Color: Most of the spined micrathena spiders have a black and white body, while some may display yellow patches to their sides. They also have an amber carapace and glossy, black legs.

Other Characteristic Features: Their big, spined abdomen appears to be their defining feature. The size, however, differs in both the sexes as it is bulbous in the females and flattened in males who even have fewer spines.

Spined Micrathena Spider

Eggs

The eggs are round and small, laid in a sac, hidden carefully in the web, mostly to the sides.

Spiderlings

Not much is known about the spiderlings of the spined micrathena. However, like most other species, the spiderlings go through several molts before attaining maturation.

The Web

They have a tightly coiled spiral or circular webs positioned vertically. Like other orb-weavers, the spined micrathena rebuilds its webs daily, changing the inner orbs every night. At the same time, the outer layers remain in the same for a specified period. They keep shifting and do not stay at a particular web site for more than a week.

Spined Micrathena Spider Web

Are Spined Micrathena Spiders Venomous

They are rarely known to bite, and if provoked, these spiders mostly prefer scurrying away to one end of their web instead of attacking. Their venom is also rendered harmless to humans.

Quick Facts

DistributionArgentina and eastern and northern North America
HabitatHardwood forests having hickory and oak trees; near ponds, lagoons, lakes or other small water bodies since they prefer moist places; 
DietBirds, flies, and other small insects
LifespanApproximately 1 -2 years (females live longer than males)
Female Spined Micrathena

Did You Know

  • Because of its spiral appearance, when it hangs from trees, it resembles a CD.

Image Source: Nature.mdc.mo.gov, Content.eol.org, Objects.liquidweb.services, Ak.picdn.net

Spined micrathena belonging to the family of orb-weavers has a unique appearance because of its black and white body and a spiky abdomen. This diurnal species rarely seen at night can mostly be spotted at the end of summer and onset of autumn.

Spined Micrathena

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: They are 0.16 to 0.42 inches (4.2 to 10.8 mm) in length, with females being bigger than their male counterparts.

Color: Most of the spined micrathena spiders have a black and white body, while some may display yellow patches to their sides. They also have an amber carapace and glossy, black legs.

Other Characteristic Features: Their big, spined abdomen appears to be their defining feature. The size, however, differs in both the sexes as it is bulbous in the females and flattened in males who even have fewer spines.

Spined Micrathena Spider

Eggs

The eggs are round and small, laid in a sac, hidden carefully in the web, mostly to the sides.

Spiderlings

Not much is known about the spiderlings of the spined micrathena. However, like most other species, the spiderlings go through several molts before attaining maturation.

The Web

They have a tightly coiled spiral or circular webs positioned vertically. Like other orb-weavers, the spined micrathena rebuilds its webs daily, changing the inner orbs every night. At the same time, the outer layers remain in the same for a specified period. They keep shifting and do not stay at a particular web site for more than a week.

Spined Micrathena Spider Web

Are Spined Micrathena Spiders Venomous

They are rarely known to bite, and if provoked, these spiders mostly prefer scurrying away to one end of their web instead of attacking. Their venom is also rendered harmless to humans.

Quick Facts

DistributionArgentina and eastern and northern North America
HabitatHardwood forests having hickory and oak trees; near ponds, lagoons, lakes or other small water bodies since they prefer moist places; 
DietBirds, flies, and other small insects
LifespanApproximately 1 -2 years (females live longer than males)
Female Spined Micrathena

Did You Know

  • Because of its spiral appearance, when it hangs from trees, it resembles a CD.

Image Source: Nature.mdc.mo.gov, Content.eol.org, Objects.liquidweb.services, Ak.picdn.net

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