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spined micrathena spider

spined micrathena spider (Micrathena gracilis) [female]
Photo © Hank Guarisco

Features and Behaviors

The female is about 0.25 to slightly less than one-half inch in total body length. The male is much smaller, ranging in size from just over one-tenth inch to just less than one-tenth of an inch. A circle of dark dots can be seen on the center top of the abdomen. The lower side of the abdomen Is shaped like a cone. The abdomen is usually black, some combination of black and white, orange or yellow. The carapace is black or orange.

The web is built in forest or open woodlands. Males are active in late summer. Females are present from summer through fall. They do not wrap their prey.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native