Neoscona crucifera – Spotted Orb Weaver

Neoscona crucifera, commonly known as the spotted orbweaver, is an orb weaver species indigenous to the Eastern part of North America.

Description of the spotted orb weaver

The abdomen, which is usually a shade of brown or reddish brown, has a slight pattern but nothing that stands out, and is usually covered with thick hairs. The legs will have brown or red-brown coloring closer to the body and have black and white / tan bands on the half furthest away from the cephalothorax.

Neoscona crucifera - Spotted Orbweaver
A male spotted orbweaver. Photography by: Randy Richardson – Flat Rock, Michigan

In Texas, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, the range of the spotted orb weaver overlaps with the western spotted orb weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis). Most of the time, these two species can be distinguished. However, since the western spotted orb weaver can take on various appearances, it might look similar to Neoscona crucifera. Both of these spiders are not medically significant.

Size

The body of the female adult will grow to ¾ of an inch (19 mm). If you include the legs, they can reach around 1 ½ inches (38 mm).

Web

As any orb weaver, the spotted orb weaver spins webs to catch small insects. The web is orb-shaped and is rebuild every day.

A more lightly colored spotted orb weaver found by Marc.

Bite

The spotted orb weaver is not an aggressive spider. However, in some situations, it occurs that it bites a human or a pet. The symptoms are usually comparable with a bee sting and will not have any long term negative effects.

Neoscona Crucifera spotted orb weaver female brown orange beige colors found in New Jersey
A spotted orb weaver found by Maria in Rahway, New Jersey

Neoscona crucifera scientific classification

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

Common Names

Most commonly, Neoscona crucifera are called spotted orbweavers. Other common names are Hentz orbweaver and barn spider.

A spotted orbweaver found by Bonnie in Upstate New York.

Distribution of spotted orbweavers in the USA

Neoscona crucifera – Spotted Orb Weaver range

The spotted orbweaver appears in the eastern United States. It is commonly found all over the east coast, to Minnesota in the north and until eastern Arizona in the South. The spotted orb weaver can be found in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Neoscona crucifera – Spotted Orb Weaver

39 thoughts on “Neoscona crucifera – Spotted Orb Weaver

  1. Hello John, thank you for getting in touch! This is a spotted orb weaver. It is not a medical concern for humans and great to have around for insect control. I’ve moved the comment to our info page about the spotted orb weaver.
    Let us know if you have any other questions.
    Best
    USAspiders

  2. Found a Hentz’s (the pale tan/khaki ones) tonight (1/2 hr ago), of all the places, in my dining room, weaving a web from the patio curtains to the pull chain fob on the ceiling fan, a good 3 feet reach.

    We live in the country, and I would wager that while I was working this afternoon, someone (likely the 10 yr old) left the patio screen door open a crack, and she walked in.web had to be 90% done when I found it, was kind of a shame to have to knock it down while I caught her up on a house broom, then managed to deposit her outside on the patio where she belongs.
    Didn’t think to get a picture until too late, oh well.

    I was actually headed over to close the patio glass before going to bed, which is why I found it.

    We kill Recluses in the house mercilessly, but we don’t see too many IMO because we deliberately try not to kill off wolves and jumpers that find their way indoors (and especially into the basement).

    1. Hello Aaron,
      Thanks for not killing the orb weaver and setting it free outside. It will be able to find a new place to set up its web and catch some insects. They are quick at setting up a web.
      Best
      USAspiders

    1. Hello Paula, thanks for reaching out. This is definitely a harmless orb weaver. Since the abdomen is a little dark in the picture, I can’t say for sure what species. I would say a Neoscona sp. orb weaver. Possibly spotted orb weaver (http://usaspiders.com/neoscona-crucifera-spotted-orb-weaver/). The two visible white markings look a bit like Neoscona oaxacaensis but since you found the spider in Virginia that would be out of their natural range and rather unlikely.

  3. This is Spidey Widey. It has been around since it was a baby. Has made beautiful webs!! Has disappeared a couple of times due to cooler weather but has reappeared when it warms up. He/She is not building the web it once was..just want to confirm that it is a spotted orb weaver and ask if its possibly pregnant??

  4. This is a dark picture, but this girl was outside on some foamular insulation in our yard. She has a brown, shiny, translucent thorax with a matte (haired?) darker abdomen with a very faint, lighter chevron pattern. Long legs that alternate from brown to black in segments. I thought the mouth parts were interesting…there seem to be two sets?

  5. Can you tell me the name of this spider? Comes out at night on our back patio. Spinning a web between lawn chair and table. Red with unique square on abdomen with a fat cross shape inside. Almost looks like torso and neck end shoulders of a person shape in the box. Banded red and white or cream legs.

  6. Can someone tell me how long this type of spider lives and how many egg sacs one can produce? I currently have one living in the side mirror of my car with 6 egg sacs! She’s been many places with me. I was also wondering if it’s possible to transplant the egg sacs to a different location? I don’t want to harm them but I really need to wash my car.

    1. Hello Rachel, thanks for getting in touch! I can’t really say how many egg sacs the spider will produce, that can depend on from a lot of factors. The egg sac can be relocated safely. Ideally, they should be placed in a place that provides some protection from winter temperatures. Possibly high grass or hedges.
      The grown spider will probably live until the colder temperatures arrive and die before winter.
      Btw. to me, this spider looks a bit more like Neoscona arabesca than Neoscona crucifera: https://usaspiders.com/neoscona-arabesca-arabesque-orb-weaver/ – but it’s hard to definitely tell them apart.

  7. Appears cream colored from a distance. Hangs or builds webs at night only from porch beams

  8. This is in my house and I don’t think I can sleep. It’s perched right above my kid’s toys or I’d try to kill it. I don’t want it falling in his toys and not being dead and biting my son. Please help!

    1. Hello Tanner, thanks for getting in touch! This spider is generally nothing to worry about. It’s a male orb weaver (Araenidae family). They are very reluctant to bite and in rare cases when a bite occurs, symptoms are comparable to a mild bee sting. He can be scooped up with a glass and a piece of paper and transported outside.
      The patterns and body shape are not visible clearly enough for an ID on a species level. It could be a spotted orb weaver (Neoscona crucifera): https://usaspiders.com/neoscona-crucifera-spotted-orb-weaver/

  9. Nightly web in same spot for about 10 days now every evening. Never seen during the day.
    Cottageville SC. Still seems to be growing, but body about 1”.

  10. Hello! This spider is just outside of our place in Annandale, VA. Black in color with yellow dots on rear and yellow bands on legs. It’s about an inch long with equal-sized legs (somewhat hairy). Web was fairly intricate, albeit small. Any ideas? Thank you!

  11. There are loads of these little fellas at night in our yard in Texas and I love watching them sit in the middle of their massive webs patiently waiting. On one rare early morning I came across one still in the web and was struck by how lovely he/she is. I know the spider is a orb weaver, but I’m not sure what kinda. I’d greatly appreciate any help identifying my little buds. Thanks.

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