Araneus Marmoreus – Marbled Orb Weaver

Araneus marmoreus, The marbled orb weaver is a colorful orb weaver species. Due to its orange color, it is sometimes also referred to as pumpkin spider. The marbled orb weaver can be found throughout the east of the United States and in Canada.

Marbled orb weaver description

The Marbled Orb Weaver can have several appearances. The coloring can be a bright orange, a mixture of lighter orange and beige, bright yellow with black, pale yellow and black, cream, to brown to even red.

Araneus Marmoreus - Marbled Orb Weaver picture
The marbled orb weaver. Photographed by: Louise Kotz – Linwood Michigan

Due to the sometimes bright orange abdomens that it received its nickname as the Pumpkin Spider. Another attributing factor for their nickname is the fact that they are most often seen in the fall time when pumpkins become popular. As the Fall sets in, their abdomens will enlarge, making them much more noticeable.

Marbled orb weaver spider Araneus marmoreus orange legs yellow black body in Virginia
A beautiful marbled orb weaver found by Jim in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Usually, mixed within the patterns on its abdomen, are two swirling darker stripes that run side by side down the middle. It is almost wrong to call them stripes because of how much they swirl, and often even touch each other. These patterns give the abdomen a marbled like appearance.

Size

Female marbled orb weavers can reach a size of up to one inch (24 mm).

Web

Like any orb weaver, the marbled orb weaver spins large webs to catch small flying insects. The spider rests in its web and feels the vibrations once a prey hits the web.

Bite

As is true for any orb weaver, the bite of the marbled orb weaver is not dangerous for humans. It may cause similar symptoms like a bee sting at worst.

Araneus marmoreus scientific classification

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

Distribution of the marbled orb weaver in the USA

The marbled orb weaver can be found all over the Northern United States from Coast to Coast, including Alaska. It ranges from Oregon down to Texas and the east coast from there. It hasn’t been sighted in Florida, however. That means that it can be found in the following states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Araneus Marmoreus – Marbled Orb Weaver

10 thoughts on “Araneus Marmoreus – Marbled Orb Weaver

  1. Body between .5 and 1 inch long, yellow abdomen and creamy salmon/orange thorax/head. Striped legs. Had a kinda circular web.

    1. Hello Lou, thanks for getting in touch. The colors look a bit interesting, indeed. The pattern looks like a marbled orb weaver (Araneus marmoreus). Here is an image with a very similar pattern:
      https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Finfinitespider.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F10%2F781px-Araneus_marmoreus-wiki.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Finfinitespider.com%2Fbig-orange-spider%2F&tbnid=_HyZgx5DpKbeGM&vet=12ahUKEwi_1sjz5O7xAhUc_rsIHUHeBe8QMyhAegQIARBf..i&docid=vdjGjBJL8gGaHM&w=781&h=600&q=yellow%20spider%20wisconsin&ved=2ahUKEwi_1sjz5O7xAhUc_rsIHUHeBe8QMyhAegQIARBf
      Here is our overview for the marbled orb weaver: https://usaspiders.com/araneus-marmoreus-marbled-orb-weaver/
      Was it that spider?

  2. My grandparents live in Anchorage, AK and have had this spider living in their doorway for a while. I haven’t been able to find a match to it anywhere, but I suspect it might be an orb weaver of some kind.

    1. Hi Merritt, you are right, this is a female orb weaver. It took me a little time to figure out which one it is since the color pattern is quite unique. I am fairly certain that this is a marbled orb weaver (Araneus marmoreus). It is usually orange or yellow but sometimes also black and white like the one your grandparents found. Here is a similar looking lady: https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/23839199

  3. I found this spider on my back porch in Wasilla Alaska. I am new to Alaska and have never seen anything like this before. He is extremely fast. Has a web and only came out when a fly got stuck. I found him after he wrapped the fly. I was trying to get pictures but he unhooked his dinner and took it back to his crack in the window seal. One side had a huge black dot and his other side had a different marking. Please help.. Thanks.

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