- Common Name(s): Spotted Orb Weaver, Barn Spider, Hentz Orb Weaver
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Araneidae
- Common Species: Neoscona crucifera
- Commonly Confused With: Other Spiders
How to Identify?
Barn spiders possess a rusty red to brown abdomen (back section of a spider), usually with less of a pattern than other orb weavers in the Neoscona genus, and a cephalothorax (front section of a spider) that is covered with small rusty red to brow hairs. The legs are typically lighter than the body in color and have a red to brown coloration closer towards the spider’s body (the femora). The body of a barn spider is between 1-2 centimeters in length for females and 0.5-1.5 centimeters for males.
Where do they live?
These spiders are only going to be found inside as incidental pests. They will usually be found outdoors in gardens, in between bushes, trees, on gutters, and other areas that get plenty of insects. If a barn spider does happen to make its way into your home it was not intentional and it will not be able to survive.
What do they eat?
Barn spiders are predators of insects and other arthropods (insects, spiders, crustaceans, millipedes, etc). They are not hunting spiders like some other species but instead spend most of their time on their webs or hiding.
What do they do?
These spiders like to build webs in areas that can inconvenience people as they go about daily activities. They can get in areas such as windows, door frames, walking paths, and other areas around the home. Most people are scared of them because of their features and size, but they are beneficial predators and will not bite unless provoked. If bitten, the pain will be similar to that of a bee sting, but the bite is not medically significant unless the person is allergic or the bite becomes infected.
These spiders have a pretty unique behavior when it comes to building their webs. They will build their webs close to dusk and will take it back down at dawn by consuming the web (Kaston 1976). When they are not on their webs they can be found hiding around gutters, eaves, and other safe, dry locations.
- Kaston B. J.. 1976. Supplement to the Spiders of Connecticut. Journal of Arachnology 4: 1–72.
Author: G. Wyatt West–A University of Georgia Graduate of Entomology
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