The Arrowshaped Micrathena: How to identify

The Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata) is an orb weaver from the Family Araneidae. They are best known for their “rock guitar” resemblance.

arrowshaped micrathena
Arrowshaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittate) orb weaver spider isolated on a white background. Photo credit: McVey

The Arrowshaped Micrathena: Identification.

Females of this species possess dazzling hues, such as red, black, and yellow. The top surface is typically a vibrant yellow, while the three pairs of tubercles are tipped with jet black at the base and blood red near their apex. Directly behind these tubercles lie two large protrusions that protrude outward just enough to create an arrow-shaped body – one could even imagine it resembles a classical “Flying V” electric guitar!

The females can grow to about ½ inch (excluding legs).

The Arrowshaped Micrathena: Webs and mating.

As spring approaches, female Arrowshaped Micrathenas begin to spin their intricate circular webs and can be seen taking rest in them. Usually living for just one year, they hatch from egg cases, disperse and go through several molts as they develop.

Females are twice the size of males and tend to get more attention due to their vibrant webs; male spiders come to visit these females, but courtship is often fatal since their bodies nourish both mates and future offspring. As summer rolls by, females feed on insects before forming egg cases, eventually passing away when winter draws near.

The powerful Arrowshaped micrathenas employ sticky webs to trap small insects, then inject venomous bites to subdue and disintegrate the prey from within. Afterward, they wait for their meal of liquified innards before returning later. Their dense web patterning is tailored explicitly for mosquitoes and leafhoppers – demonstrating how ferocious these eight-legged predators can be against more minor bugs! Nevertheless, rest assured that humans have nothing to worry about when facing off a micrathena – they are harmless to us!

Further recommended reading about spiders.

Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.

Can house spiders hurt you? Are house spiders Venomous?

Do Spiders Sleep? Do They Dream like Humans?

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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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