San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
Neoscona crucifera adult female. Photo copyright Jim Berrian
Adult female

Neoscona crucifera

ARANEIDAE

Description

Females of this species generally measure 8.5-19.7mm in total length while males are generally 4.5-15mm long. Males and females have the same color pattern. The carapace is yellowish with white hairs, and the abdomen is yellow to orange with a central light band; it may have marks that look like paired, dark commas along the light band. The abdomen does not have paired anterior dorsal humps.

Range and Habitat

Neoscona crucifera occurs in the United States from the Eastern seaboard to the South and west to Southern California. In San Diego County it is found in coastal and inland chaparral and oak habitats. It generally inhabits dryer habitats and open woods. It was introduced to California.

Natural History

The large orb webs are built in late summer and early fall. Near Ramona, webs made by these spiders have been observed to reach from power lines to the ground.

Related and Similar Species

A similar species is Neoscona arabesca which is smaller and has more pronounced black commas and other marks on the abdomen. An inspection of the genitalia is necessary to confirm identification.

References

Berman, J.D. and H.W. Levi. 1971. The orb-weaver genus Neoscona in North America (Araneae: Araneidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 141(8):465-550;

Dondale, C.D., J.H. Redner, P. Paquin, and H.W. Levi. 2003. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada, Part 23. The orb-weaving spiders of Canada and Alaska (Araneae: Uloboridae, Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, Theridiosomatidae). NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 371pp.

Text by Jim Berrian. Photo © Jim Berrian.

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