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Venusta Orchard Spider

Venusta Orchard Spider – Leucauge venusta Family Tetragnathidae Live adult spiders at DuPage County, Illinois, USA. The species epithet venusta comes from the Latin beautiful.

Venusta Orchard Spider

Venusta Orchard Spider

Many of the spiders in the Hartman Prehistoric Garden are quite small. The Orchard Spider is a 3/8 inch long orbweaver. The web is often oriented horizontally, with the spider hanging down in the center.

Orchard spiders have a silvery white body with green and black markings.Male 1/8″ (3-4 mm), female 1/4-3/8″ (5-8 mm).Males are half the size of females. They carry their egg-shaped abdomens high. The legs are very long. These spiders are considered non harmful.

The most striking features, however, are the neon yellow, orange, or red spots on the rear of the abdomen. These are variable in size among individuals and sometimes are not even present. An interesting feature that is only visible under magnification is a comb-like set of hairs along the front side of the back legs, right next to the spider’s body.

Venusta Orchard Spiders are found in habitats such as shrubby meadows, woodland edges, and hardwood hammocks, hanging under its horizontal web. Their webs are often connected to webs of similar spider species. They are very active during the autumn and summer months. Webs are horizontal to almost vertical in orientation.

Web Almost horizontal orb web with widely spaced, spiral adhesive strands usually in small shrubs or trees.

Venusta Orchard Spider

Venusta Orchard Spider

Life Cycle :Simple metamorphosis: like all spiders, young Venusta Orchard Spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults. They shed their skin as they grow. Most spiders in this family live for less than one year. They mate and lay eggs at the end of the summer. The young spiders hatch during the following spring.

Shown below is the shed-cuticle of a Venusta Orchard Spiders hanging from a grass blade. Like all insects and spiders, young Venusta Orchard Spiders must shed their cuticle as they grow, a process called “molting.” Most insects and spiders do not grow or molt once they become fully-grown adults, but some primitive spiders (like tarantulas) continue to grow and shed their their skins as they age.

Venusta Orchard Orb WeaverBite: This is one of the orb weaving spiders and are recognisable by their bright colourful abdomens. They are related to the long jawed orb weavers. They will bite if threatened but like other orb weavers, are not typically dangerous.

Venusta Orchard Spider

Venusta Orchard Spider

How to avoid being bitten?: Wear gloves when removing wood from a woodpile or moving furniture stored in a shed or garage. Shake out old clothing, gloves, shoes kept on porches or in sheds. Old furniture, pots, shoes, cots, clothing should be left in the sun for a couple of days before using. Widow spiders like dark places and will gladly abandon sunlit places..

First aid for spider bites: Relieve local swelling and pain by applying an ice pack, ammonia or alcohol directly to the bite area. In case of severe reaction, consult a doctor immediately and, if possible, take along the spider for positive identification. Specific antivenin is available to treat some widow spider bites.

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