Spined Micrathena Orb Weaver Spider - Micrathena gracilis by MotherNature

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Spined Micrathena Orb Weaver Spider - Micrathena gracilis by 

This is good, uncomplicated information from Wikipedia. Here is the link


“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.

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.

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."

Anecdotal note:
We call them “bag spiders” because their abdomens look like sacks – LOL. It is generally their webs that cause us to get “web-faced” as we walk through the woods.

This picture was taken in Green Lane, Pennsylvania, USA, on September 2, 2012.

I love nature, science, poetry, prose, art, music – you name it! Now that I’m retired, time is mine to spend as I wish (pretty much), and I wish to take pictures of our natural world.

Bringing the outdoors in for others to see, especially those who may not get the opportunity to wander next to a pond, fish at the beach, or tramp in the woods, is a pleasure. I hope to build a window to the wonders of nature that fill our everyday lives.

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  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleabout 2 years ago

    Wow what a weird little spider. Fantastic!
    The info was great.

  • They are weird! As fierce as they look, they are completely harmless except for building webs where people walk into them:>)

    – MotherNature

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypennyabout 2 years ago

    Very well captured

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypennyabout 2 years ago

    (no pun intended)

  • You can be as punny as you wish, mmp! Thanks for the kind words and for making me laugh!!!

    – MotherNature

  • Nicole W.
    Nicole W.about 2 years ago

    wow, hope Ill never see that one upclose :-)))

  • LOL – These are relatively small although they couldn’t be much spookier even if they were huge! Harmless, though:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Marilyn Harris
    Marilyn Harrisabout 2 years ago

    Amazing capture! :o)

  • Thanks, Marilyn – hoping for a better pic this summer – maybe I’ll have a better camera. We can’t blame the photographer, can we – LOL

    – MotherNature

  • Manon Boily
    Manon Boilyabout 2 years ago

    what a weird creature… and so creepy!

  • Someday I’ll get a really decent picture and change this one out – meantime, let’s wallow in her creepiness:>) You can’t fool me – you love spiders!!!!! Thanks for the comment and the fave, spider woman.

    – MotherNature

  • vigor
    vigorabout 2 years ago

    What a great specimen and capture!!!

  • Now that you’ve made my head swell to twice it’s size, how will it fit through the doorway? I’ll have to sleep on the sofa!

    – MotherNature

  • vigor
    vigorabout 2 years ago

    I hope you can sleep ok on the sofa, I hope the head swell goes down by morning ha ha!!!

  • Elaine Game
    Elaine Gameabout 2 years ago

    Oh I think I like my orb spider variety much better.. I agree , nothing worse than running into a web in the evening stroll around the garden and wondering OH no.. where is the spider.. the web being on my face.. I would have nightmares if it was this one..

  • I’ll share – you can have both:>). I know that “Where is the spider?” feeling – LOL. Thank you for the chuckle and the nice comment!

    – MotherNature

  • Navigator
    Navigator6 months ago

    What a wondrous tin y beast! :)) Beautiful capture, mother nature!

  • Aren’t they AWESOME! Thank you for liking her:>)

    – MotherNature

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