Spined micrathena

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Spined micrathena
Micrathena gracilis fem.jpg
Scientific classification
M. gracilis
Binomial name
Micrathena gracilis
(Walckenaer, 1842)

Micrathena gracilis is a spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), commonly known as the spined micrathena. This spider spins a moderately large (can be 30 cm (11.81 in) or more across), very tightly coiled web, often in wooded or brushy areas. It is completely harmless to humans.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The central portion of a web of a Micrathena gracilis

The only web-building members of the species are the females. Females are 8–10 mm long. They exhibit a bulbous abdomen with a total of ten spines. Males exhibit a fair amount of sexual dimorphism. They tend to be around only half the size of the females. Also, they have fewer spines, a flatter abdomen, and a slightly lighter tone. Although males can produce silk, they mostly use it in the mating ritual, which frequently also proves fatal.

Spined micrathena view from underneath

Life cycle[edit]

Micrathena gracilis hatches in the spring, the image of an adult. After the summer's growth, the female lays eggs in a sack. These remain relatively dormant through the winter months. The general life span is one year in length.

External links[edit]