Orb Weaver

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Joined August 2008

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Orb Weaver
East Greenbush, N.Y.
August 2008
The orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their common name is taken from the round shape of this typical web. Orb-weavers have eight similar eyes, legs hairy or spiny and no stridulating organs. The family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. There are more than 2,800 species in over 160 genera worldwide, making this the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae).

The oldest knowns true orb-weaver is Mesozygiella dunlopi, from the Lower Cretaceous. Several fossils provide direct evidence that the three major orb weaving families, namely Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Uloboridae, had evolved by this time, about 140 million years ago. They probably originated during the Jurassic (200-140 million years ago). All three families very likely have a common origin. (wiki)

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