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A surprise from Rachel and Trevor: a silver or horizontal orb weaver Leucauge dromedaria

Name: Diana
Species: Silver orb or Horizontal orb spider (Leucauge dromedaria)
Kingdom: Metazoa (multicellular)
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Acarina
Family: Tetranychidae
Color: Silver with black and yellow markings
Size: Body approximagely 1 cm (July 2, 2005)
Behavior: These spiders build nearly horizontal webs and hang underneath the web. They are extremely fast, with a defensive response of dropping rapidly down from their launching position. They are also a bit shy and when I speak loudly, they quickly leave their launching position and hide among nearby leaves.


July 2, 2005: Rachel and Trevor and Max moved from Allentown to Easton. Of course, we had to come and help - moving, painting, etc etc etc. But their new home is in the middle of a wooded area - and there are many interesting spiders. This morning, I found several orb weavers that built almost horizontal webs. Here are their photos.

While I was watching her, she caught a small fly. The light was low and this provided a good opportunity for improving low light macro photos.

Saturday morning, July 2, 2005 - the start of the Tour de France and more exploring Leucauge dromedaria

In the plane of the web

From the top

From the front

This web does not belong to the silver orb weaver. However, after last night's rain, the image of a web sagging from the attached water droplets was impossible to resist.

Spider observation can be hazardous as I discovered today. The web above was about 1 meter above a next of bald-face hornets. I managed to step near their nest - and discovered that they are very territorial. One managed to sting me through my t-shirt. I shall not forget this in the future.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer