Spined Micrathena: How to Identify These Orb Weaver Spiders.

The Spined micrathena (Micrathena gracilis) is a spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), commonly known as castle-back orb weaver. This eight-legged creature creates an immense and tightly coiled web that can span up to 8 inches in diameter.

Spined Micrathena
Extreme close-up macro Spined Micrathena Spider on a pink flower. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com/EZUME images

Spined Micrathena: Description.

Spined micrathena spiders are generally tiny and measure .15 to.4 inches long. Fortunately, their venom is non-toxic for humans. The species’ defining features include a sizeable spiky abdomen and contrasting black and white bodies – certain members of this type may also display yellow markings on the sides of their bodies. These critters are most active during late summer/early fall, diurnal creatures that rarely appear at night.

Spined micrathena captivate with their bulbous abdomens and spines. Males of this species are notably different from females; they tend to be much smaller, lack the same number of spines, possess a flatter abdomen, and boast a softer hue. During courtship, males produce silk and engage in other mating rituals.

When constructing webs, the inner orbs of the Spined micrathena webs are changed every night; Nevertheless, the outer layer of their webbing can remain unchanged for days at a time.

Spined micrathena: Habitat and range.

Spined micrathena, native to North and Central America, are usually on the move. These spiders prefer a transient lifestyle and often settle into new webs for about 6-7 days before leaving in search of another home. Neotropical forests with Oak or Hickory trees provide ideal habitats for these arachnids; they love moist environments close to lagoons, ponds, or other small bodies of water.

Spined Micrathena: Reproduction.

As the new season comes around, Spined micrathena emerges as an adult. After months of growth throughout the summertime, females will lay their eggs in a sac that remains relatively immobile during winter. This species has an average life span of one year before its cycle starts again.

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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 ThePredatorHunter.com.

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