Hump-Backed Orb Weaver: How to identify

Eustala anastera, more commonly known as the hump-backed orb weaver, is a captivating species of spider that can be discovered in various regions across North and Central America. This remarkable creature weaves intricate webs from its silk and efficiently catches prey with speed and skill.

Hump-backed Orb weaver
Humpbacked Orbweaver – Eustala anastera. Photo credit:Christina Butler. License Creative Commons.

Hump-backed Orb Weaver

Belonging to the Araneidae family, Hump-backed Orb weavers are relatively tiny creatures with a body and carapace length of a little over 1/2 inch. As seen in all other orb-weaver species, males tend to be smaller than their female counterparts.

The Hump-backed orb weaver comprises two sections: The cephalothorax, where you can find eight eyes, legs, and mouthparts, and an abdomen – located at its posterior end.

The carapace of the hump-backed orb weaver often displays a dusky grey shade, with small patches of black distributed along the sides. The abdomen is notably plump and has an extensive range in its patterning and coloration; darker hues are most common, accompanied by drab yellow markings that create interesting blotches and geometric lines.

The underside of the Hump-backed orb weaver is a glossy black, strewn with four distinct yellow spots. Its gangly legs are covered in tiny bristles and segmented joints, allowing it to move swiftly when hunting or web spinning.

Hump-backed orb weaver: Web

The Hump-backed orb weaver spider weaves an elaborate web typically shaped like an orb, which can reach up to six feet in height! If you look carefully enough into this intricate trap built by the skilled arachnid, you may even find the cunning hunter at its center, patiently waiting for unsuspecting victims.

The Hump-backed orb weaver, with its poor eyesight due to its many eyes, depends mainly on vibration to detect prey and potential dangers. At the center of this intricate web is where they notice when a victim touches their sticky trap through vibrations made by that creature.

Once snared in this trap, these items are then cocooned for later consumption. Surprisingly enough, their primary food source is not moths or butterflies but flies and other little flying invertebrate creatures instead!

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Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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