Mabel Orchard Orb Weaver

Leucauge comes from Greek roots which mean “with a bright gleam”. The family is differentiated from other tetragnathid spiders by their oval bodies and the brilliant orange markings on the underside of the abdomen.

Honestly, this may also be a Leucauge venusta. The two species are essentially identical unless you want to get extremely intimate with the mouthparts of the male spider, so all I can do is guess. This is, however, definitely an adult female (the males are smaller, with elongated bodies).

Orchard orb weaver spiders, in general, are one of the most commonly found spiders in Florida. They are commonly found in orchards — hence the name — but they also frequent meadows, woodlands, and near houses. They eat all sorts of small insects, including mosquitoes, which makes them one of my favorite spiders.

These spiders like to hang upside-down in their webs, so it’s difficult to get a shot of their top side. This one was above me, resulting in a very interesting photo!

This one was at eye level, and turned to look at me as I got close for the photo, giving me a rare head-on portrait as well as another What the hell are you doing, tower of meat?!? expression for my collection. (Someday, I will have a gallery showing, and that will be the title.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.