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.
Due to the sometimes bright orange abdomens that it received its nick name 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.
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.
Female marbled orb weavers can reach a size of up to one inch (24mm).
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.
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 eastern part of the United States. It ranges from North Dakota down to Texas and the entire eastern states from there. That means that it can be found in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.