|Orchard Spider (L. venusta)|
The genus was first documented in Scottish zoologist Adam White's 1841 Description of new or little known Arachnida. Charles Darwin had suggested the name of the genus and collected the first specimen in May 1832, later named L. argyrobapta.
Unfortunately a vague description and the loss of the only specimen left the genus ill-defined. Leucauge developed into something of a wastebasket taxon containing 300 loosely related species, until research in the year 2010 resolved L. argyrobapta as a synonym of the quite common L. venusta and allowed revision and reclassing of the genus.
The body and leg shapes and the silver, black and yellow markings of Leucauge females make identification of the genus relatively easy. They have two rows of long, slender curved hairs on the femurs of the fourth leg. In most cases the web is slanted rather than vertical and the spider rests in the middle of the web with its underside facing upwards.
The genus has 174 species as of 2017. This number includes:
- Leucauge argyra
- Leucauge celebesiana
- Leucauge decorata
- Leucauge digna – Worthy Orb-weaver – Saint Helena
- Leucauge dromedaria – Silver Orb-weaver, Horizontal Orb-weaver
- Leucauge mabelae
- Leucauge subblanda
- Leucauge subgemmea
- Leucauge tessellata
- Leucauge undulata
- Leucauge venusta – Orchard Spider, Orchard Orb-weaver
Greek leukos means "white".
Mabel orchard spider, L. mabelae, Jamaica
- Riparian insects and the diet of the riparian spider Leucauge celebisiana (Araneae: Tetragnathidae). PDF
- Friedman, Danny. "A Tangled Web" (PDF). George Washington University. GW Research. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- "Leucauge". World Spider Catalog. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- Ashmole, P. & Ashmole, M. 2000. St Helena and Ascension Island: a natural history. Anthony Nelson, Oswestry. 492p.ISBN 0 904614 61 1.
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