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marbled orb-weaver

marbled orb-weaver (Araneus marmoreus)
Photo © Christopher D. Benda

Features and Behaviors

The large, oval abdomen of the marbled orb-weaver spider is yellow above with a brown-to-purple central band. The sides of the abdomen have dark spots. The belly of this spider has a dark central area surrounded by light marks. The eight eyes are arranged in two rows. Female marbled orb-weaver spiders’ legs have bright orange color on them. The segments of the male’s legs are yellow at the base and dark at the tip. The female is about one-fourth to three-fourths inch in length while the male is about one-fourth inch long.

The marbled orb-weaver spider may be found statewide in Illinois. It lives in woods or the edges of woods in trees and shrubs. It hides above its vertical web in a retreat built of leaves held together by silk. The spider holds a signal line that runs to the web. When the line vibrates, the spider knows that something has disturbed the web, possibly a prey item. Adults are active from the middle of summer through the middle of fall. Egg sacs are produced in October.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Chelicerata
Order: Araneae
Family: Araneidae

Illinois Status: common, native