|Spiny Orb Weaver by biologie-me.blogspot.com © 2010|
The Spiny Orb Weaver, also called the spiny backed orb weaver, is known in Texas as a beneficial spider for the garden because they eat flies and mosquitoes. A lot of people refer to these spiders as "crab spiders", however, they are actually orb weavers. They make the beautiful circular spiderwebs that catch the morning dew.
These little spiny spiders may look spooky but they are not considered dangerous. While hiking in the woods outside Austin you may come across these guys in abundance! They usually like to spin their webs in forested areas although they can be found anywhere - like on my canna lilies in my backyard where I found this one! She would spin her web between the leaves of the lilies. I visited her daily while I watered my flowerbed and missed her when she disappeared.
The spiny backed orb weavers have six pointed projections on their back, commonly referred to as "spines" and are very easily identified by this characteristic, as well as the patterned "face-shaped" coloring which can be white, yellow, orange, or red. Some of these spiders have a white pattern with red spines.
If you've been following my blog you may remember Peaches (a true crab spider) and my post on the Western Spotted Orb Weaver (also a true orb weaver like our little spiny backed friend).
What kinds of bugs have you seen lately?