pachygnatha orb weaver Picture

The Pachygnatha is technically part of the Orb Weaver family. However, it does not spin a web and is a wandering hunter in the likes of the Wolf Spider. I cannot help but to think of this as the oxymoron of the spider world.

Pachygnatha Description

The spiders of the pachygnatha genus have a very large and round abdomen. Their legs are between dark and light brown. Sometimes, they may even have a transparent look, similar to the leaf-curling sac spider.

On the usually dark olive green or brown back, they have a distinctive white mark filled with brown patterns. These may seem like three small crosses in a row.

pachygnatha orb weaver Picture
Photography by: Alex Vandermeulen
Flora Wisconsin


The largest species of the Pachygnatha genus grow up to 0,3 inches (7 mm). Male specimen are usually a bit smaller than female.


Being a part of the Orb Weaver family, this spider is not dangerous. Though it being a hunter, it may not be as timid as other Orb Weavers, its venom is not considered harmful to humans.

Scientific Classification of Pachygnatha

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Tetragnathidae
  • Genus: Pachygnatha

Pachygnatha Distribution in the USA

Pachygnata range USA

Members of various Pachygnatha species can be found throughout the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming


5 thoughts on “Pachygnatha

  1. Grabbed up one of these amazing spiders yesterday in Hollis NH in Beaver Brook Trail. It was running across the trail path and I saw it amazingly because it blended in so we’ll with the leaf litter. I caught it in my baseball hat and got pics and video of it on my smartphone! I was at a complete loss as to why an obvious orb-weaving spider was hoffong it on the ground. Now I know what that’s all about ????

    1. Hello Jd, this is a male orb weaver of the genus Neoscona. Depending on where you found it, it might be a western spotted orbweaver (Neoscona oaxacensis) or an arabesque orbweaver (Neoscona arabesca).

  2. Well, it’s definitely not this spider. Did you find it on its web or was it running around on the ground? If it didn’t have a web, it’s might be a wolf spider.

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