Neoscona crucifera is an orb-weaver spider in the family Araneidae. It is found in the United States from Maine to Florida in the east, to Minnesota in the Midwest, to Arizona in the southwest, and in Mexico. Its common names include Hentz orbweaver, spotted orbweaver, and barn spider, though the latter nickname suggests the confusion that can result from using common names for spiders, as the name "barn spider" is also commonly used for the species Araneus cavaticus.
Generally nocturnal, females may become diurnal in the fall. Females are about 9.5–19 millimeters (0.37–0.75 in) long, while males are somewhat smaller. The upper surface of the abdomen is brown and hairy. The legs display alternating light and dark brown bands. The undersurface of the abdomen is black, with two white spots.
This species is relatively variable in color and sometimes pattern, but is most commonly seen sporting a rusty-red or golden orange color. The orb-shaped web is very large and is often constructed on buildings and other man-made structures, especially near outdoor lights. This species is most conspicuous in late summer and early fall.
The orb part of the web may be nearly 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter. The eggsac consists of fluffy yellow threads in a rolled leaf over a lenticular or spherical egg mass 5–12 mm (0.20–0.47 in) in diameter, which may contain up to 1,000 eggs. Juveniles are frequently preyed upon by mud daubers.
- Aranea crucifera albimaculata Strand, 1908
- Epeira crucifera Keyserling, 1864
- Epeira domiciliorum Emerton, 1884
- Epeira hentzii Keyserling 1864
- Epeira lentiginosa Blackwall 1862
- Neoscona arkansa Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942
- Neoscona benjamina Comstock 1940
- Neoscona hentzi Kaston 1977
- Neoscona nebraskensis Chamberlin & Ivie, 1942
- Neoscona sacra Chamberlin & Ivie, 1944
- "Hentz's orbweaver". University of Arkansas. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- "Neoscona crucifera". Zipcode Zoo. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- G. B. Edwards, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. "Orb Weavers". Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- http://www.spiders.us/species/neoscona-crucifera/. Retrieved July 21, 2015. Missing or empty
- B. J. Kaston (1976). "Supplement to the Spiders of Connecticut" (PDF). Journal of Arachnology. 4 (1): 1–72.
- B. J. Kaston (1948). "Spiders of Connecticut". Bulletin of the Connecticut State Geological and Natural History Survey. 70: 1–874.
- Media related to Neoscona crucifera at Wikimedia Commons
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