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

116 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??

      1. I think mine might be this kind too Ashley. Hard to tell once dead, lol. I’m in western Kentucky. Lots of them out building webs right now. Ewww.

  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.

      1. Thanks so much!!! I’ve tried several sites and books and this is the first that helped me identify HER 🙂 and all the others like her around my house!

  12. This spider is making a web on the outside of my window in Hedgesville, WV. Beautiful Halloween-perfect web about 2 feet in diameter.

    1. Hello Connor, thanks for sharing this great shot! Yes, you’ve come to the right page – this is Neoscona crucifera.

  13. She has shown up at least three nights in a row and busies herself building a large web which is gone the next day. She is greenish in color with dark brown thighs and a dark belly with light markings. Timid in nature, but not easily run off.

  14. This spider hangs out in my doorway in Killeen, TX. During the day, it hides in a makeshift hole in my doorframe. Comes out at night. Nice web, but I too often walk through it or opening the door does damage. Wanted to ID the spider before I act.

  15. Found this outside my door in eastern New Mexico, I’ve been letting it live there rent free for a week and want to know more about if

  16. Found tonight in Austin, Texas. About the size of a dollar coin with its legs. The Seek app says it’s an orbweaver but i can’t find more than that.

  17. This spider was outside my screen door patio in upper right corner of the exterior door. He only comes out at night where he builds a large web.

  18. This individual on my porch in North Texas. Definitely an orb-weaver as it was, well, weaving an orb (with a stabilimentum). But I’ve searched and searched and can’t find a picture with these particular markings on the abdomen, which is about the size of a penny.

    1. Hello Alan, thanks for uploading this great shot! You are right, this is definitely an orbweaver. It is definitely one of the spotted orbweavers in the genus Neoscona. The pattern of your spider is right between Neoscona crucifera and Neoscona arabesca. I am leaning towards Neoscona crucifera. Here are two similar looking specimen of both species on bugguide:
      N. arabesca: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1022286
      N. crucifera: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1008996
      The size of the abdomen suggests that it might be pregnant.

  19. I saw this spider 🕷 n the side of my brick home in Oklahoma City. About an inch in size, I Would like to know what it is.

  20. Found out back at the back of our umbrella. Doesn’t seem like a wolf spider since there aren’t any visible markings, just curious what type this little dude is.

  21. My husband and I believe this is an orb weaver but are unsure. We live in Odenville, Alabama (30 miles east of Birmingham). He/she has a web just off our deck under one of our flood lights. We live in a very wooded area and have lots of insects and animals around. There is another one on the opposite end of our house that has been there for about a week now with a very large web also. We found another one today starting a web just off the side of our shop. He/she is a dark red/brown color. The legs and body both have hair on it. The body looks brown sometimes but red at other times. I have seen that he/she has rebuilt the web today and yesterday. Just curious if it is an orb weaver and if not what it is. Thanks!! I have a video also that I will try to send.

  22. Found this beauty outside my back door in a suburb of St. Louis, MO. Tried using your identification tools, and I’m assuming it’s some species of an Orb spider, but couldn’t land on the same back markings.
    His underside has two closely spaced white dots. I’ll try to upload that pic in another reply. Thank you!

  23. howdy from upstate South Carolina! Spotted this lovely under a leaf in our bushes, who has taken up residence as the guardian of our front porch. We want her to live out her days in peace, enjoying all of the bugs she wants to eat. Can you confirm that this is some type of orb weaver and harmless? Many thanks!

    1. Hello Nicole, thanks for getting in touch! Yes, this is definitely a harmless orb weaver. Very likely a spotted orb weaver (Neoscona crucifera), as you’ve ID’d correctly.

  24. Found in Lagrange, GA in late September and October.
    Web is usually between two trees.
    The spider appears more red than the picture shows.
    They seem to make webs every night.
    My guess is the spotted orb weaver.

  25. Central North Carolina, October 2021 — I found this about 8 feet in the air, along the edge of some woods and by a small river. While one of the greatest photos I’ve ever taken, it isn’t overly suited for an amateur new to arachnids to ID. This was taken with a telephoto lens from about 10 feet away, so I can only estimate the size of the body to be similar to a quarter, or perhaps a bit larger than that.

    I attempted to use the spider ID tool, and the closest I could get was the Neoscone crucifera, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit based on the body shape and leg girth.

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

    1. Hello Jacob, thanks for getting in touch! This is truly a spectacular photo. I’m fairly certain that this is a spotted orbweaver of the genus Neoscona – my best guess would be Neoscona curucifera, but it could also be Neoscona domiciliorum.

      1. Thank you very much; this is helpful! I found another photo of a Neoscona crucifera which I could compare this to and it supports that conclusion as well. I think I was initially comparing the female in my photo against that of a male, which is why it didn’t seem to fit. Have a great day!

  26. Found this cutie on my chicken coop. I said hi. Looks like it has sawdust all over it. In Loudon, TN. Any idea of what this little thing is? About the size of a dime. Thanks.

  27. Finding this orb weaver on the car door, I decided to figure out what species it might be. I wasn’t sure if it’s a Neoscona crucifera or a Neoscona domiciliorum. I would love for a professional identification. Please and thank you!

  28. Found in my basement in Guin, AL. Wanted to send another view of this spider. The height of the web made photograph quality not as clear as I wanted. Concerned this is a poisonous spider.

  29. Hey there I’m in Southern Alabama and I’ve been seeing these little sweethearts popping up all around the outside of my home.
    Mom doesn’t like them and thinks they’re poisonous, she wants them off the house would it be ok to relocate them to the woods that are further away from the house?

  30. Hello! Is this a triangulate cobweb spider? She’s been hanging out in my porch about a week now, and likes to build webs directly in front of my doorway…. I feel bad knocking them down (they easily span 2-3 feet!) but I have to go to work…. Starting to have a bit of a problem. One spider is fine but now I’m up to three hanging out on my porch. It’s a bit much, and with Halloween around the corner I don’t want anyone thinking they’re decorations! I’m in Oklahoma. This is the og spider friend, she’s maybe nickle-sized?

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