Neoscona domiciliorum

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Neoscona domiciliorum
Neosconadomicilorum.jpg
Neoscona domiciliorum from Congaree National Park, South Carolina
Red-femurred Spotted Orbweaver - Neoscona domiciliorum, Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, Virginia.jpg
Neoscona domiciliorum from Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, Virginia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Neoscona
Species: N. domiciliorum
Binomial name
Neoscona domiciliorum
(Hentz, 1847)
Synonyms [1]
  • Epeira benjamina Mccook, 1894
  • Epeira domiciliorum Emerton, 1884
  • Neoscona benjamina Comstock, 1940
  • Araneus benjaminus Petrunkevitch, 1911

Neoscona domiciliorum, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver or redfemured spotted orbweaver, is a spider in the family Araneidae. The specific epithet domiciliorum means "of dwellings" in Latin and refers to the fact that this species is often found living on buildings.[2] It is endemic to the United States southeast of a line joining Texas, Indiana and Massachusetts.[3]

Description[edit]

The female spotted orbweaver is seven to sixteen millimetres long and is sparsely covered in short gray hairs. The grayish abdomen has lateral broad, black stripes on either side with a thin transverse white band near the front making a pale cruciform shape. The first segment of each leg is red while the remaining segments are banded in black and pale gray. The underside is dark with four white spots on the abdomen which is red at the tip.[4] The male is about eight millimetres long and has a relatively small, linear abdomen.[5] As in other species in the genus Neoscona, there is a characteristic longitudinal groove on the carapace which separates them from species in Araneus.[6]

Distribution[edit]

This species is endemic to southeastern parts of the United States and has been recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.[7]

Biology[edit]

This species is generally found in woodland habitats, particularly moist woods dominated by hardwood trees. It is also found on buildings, especially under the eaves where it may go unnoticed because of its nocturnal habits. The web is built by the female spotted orbweaver and is frequently replaced, being built at dusk and usually taken down before daybreak.[8] Late in the season the web may be left in place during the day, perhaps because the female has greater nutritional needs at this time when she is preparing for egg laying. The web is placed vertically in trees and shrubs or on a building. In contrast to webs built by species of Araneus, the hub is open and is crossed by only one or two threads. The orb of the web may be fifty centimetres in diameter with long frame lines attached to shrubs or to the ground. A retreat formed of leaves or debris bound together with silk is built near one end of a frame line.[9] This is for use during the day as at night the spider normally occupies the hub of the web and is alert to every tremor.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ZipCodeZoo
  2. ^ BugGuide
  3. ^ a b Featured Creatures
  4. ^ Florida Nature: Redfemured Spotted Orbweaver
  5. ^ Berman JD, Levi HW. 1971. The orb weaver genus Neoscona in North America (Araneae: Araneidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 141: 465-500.
  6. ^ University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum
  7. ^ Spiders of North America
  8. ^ Kaston BJ. 1976. Supplement to the Spiders of Connecticut. Journal of Arachnology 4: 1-72.
  9. ^ Carico, J. E. 1986. Web removal patterns in orb-weaving spiders. Pages 306-318 in W. A. Shear (ed.), Spiders: webs, behavior, and evolution. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 492 pages.