Araneus Gemmoides – Cat-Faced Spider or Jewel Spider

The Araneus Gemmoides is an orb weaver species that occurs in the Western United States. It is also known under the common names cat-faced spider or jewel spider.

Both common names reflect the special traits of the body of araneus gemmoides. The abdomen is large and if seen from the front, cat-faced. Others consider the shape of the spider’s body diamond- or jewel-shaped. Hence, its other common name.

Araneus Gemmoides seen in Montana
This cat-faced spider was photographed by Jaimie in Montana.

Size of the Cat-Faced Spider

The Araneus Gemmoides spider usually grows between 0.2 and 1 inch long (5-25 mm). It has comparably short legs and a large-sized abdomen.

Araneus Gemmoides Bite

The fact Araneus Gemmoides are Orb Weavers means they are not dangerous to humans. They are nearly as harmless as it gets with spiders. They are extremely timid spiders and will always try to get away rather than fight. They are clumsy moving outside of their webs, and even if they do bite, their venom will do nothing more than cause a small blemish that will fade. At their worst, they may cause a slight welt.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Genus: Araneus
  • Species: Araneus gemmoides

Distribution of the cat-faced spider in the USA

The cat-faced spider can be found in the following states in the Western USA: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Cat-faced orb weaver spider
Photography by: Patty Weigand – Glorieta, New Mexico
Araneus Gemmoides – Cat-Faced Spider or Jewel Spider

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