Alaskan spider

Recty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
11
I posted here about 10 months ago, it was last summer that I took some spider pictures and asked for an ID here.

I took some more last night, this was a beautiful little spider. Pretty big for Alaska though, it was about the size of a quarter with legs extended.

Notice in the 2nd picture it has something gray in it's mouth? That is actually a ball of webbing, it fell into the cup with the spider. It actually laid on it's back at one point and ate all the old webbing, then got back onto it's legs and started moving around. Pretty weird, I thought anyway :)





 

Recty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
11
No idea, I'm not real big on the science, I just like taking photographs.
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Apr 11, 2007
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5,450
Some species of Araneus, I believe. I'm no good at ID'ing them to a species though. The genus is all over North America and probably the rest of the world too. I'm in MD and we have some Araneus here that look very much like your specimen.

What part of Alaska are you in?
 

jsloan

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Jun 22, 2004
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972
You're right about it being an orb weaver. This is an adult female Araneus marmoreus. Where there is one there are likely to be many others. They come in a variety of patterns and colors, some so different you might think you were looking at different species (I even found a pink one last year). I've ID'd a ton of them here in Alberta.

Here's a link that shows some of the variation possible in this attractive species:http://bugguide.net/node/view/2016
 

Recty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
11
Thanks very much for the ID. I ended up sending this picture around to some of my friends/family and then some people at work, it was nice to be able to tell them a little about what it was I was photographing besides "it's a spider".
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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Apr 11, 2007
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As a side note, if you've ever been walking around at night and caught a gigantic spider web in the face, a web that extends from ground level to a low hanging bough with dimensions and scope that seem impossible for a little spider... it was probably one of these guys who made it. They undertake fantastic construction projects every night and trash it at dawn the next day. Then start all over again at dusk...
 

jsloan

Arachnoangel
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Jun 22, 2004
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They undertake fantastic construction projects every night and trash it at dawn the next day. Then start all over again at dusk...
Some orbweavers do this, but (in northern regions, at least, where the summer season is shorter) this particular species keeps a web 24/7 (unless it's been destroyed by large prey, weather, etc). The dozen or so I visit daily around my place almost always have a web up (I usually visit them in the middle of the afternoon and sometimes after midnight; so, both might and day).

Most web-building activity does seem to take place at night, though. I have seen some individuals of this species building webs during the day, but that seems to be an exception. The old webs, if still intact, are dismantled just before building the new one. On the other hand, many a web destroyed during the day is not replaced until nightfall. I think it may depend on how hungry the spider is.
 
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