Freaky spider
August 30, 2005 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Freaky Spider Filter: What the heck is THIS???
posted by LordSludge to Science & Nature (12 answers total)
That is a "crablike spiny orb weaver." They spin beautiful webs that they take apart and rebuild every day. I think they're really cool.
posted by adamrice at 7:54 AM on August 30, 2005

Hah! I freaked out when I first caught one of those too! There are a lot of them in the Ozarks.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:10 AM on August 30, 2005

Cool spiders!

I started reading up and looking for more pics, and the one you posted looks more like the Spined Micrathena than the Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver (although they're both in the "orb weaver" group).
posted by p3t3 at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2005

I tip my hat to p3t3--I wasn't aware that there were two such similar species.
posted by adamrice at 8:40 AM on August 30, 2005

That, my friend, is death on eight legs.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:46 AM on August 30, 2005

When in doubt, just check What's That Bug? It's a great site.
posted by waldo at 12:06 PM on August 30, 2005

That, my friend, is death on eight legs

orb weavers don't usually bite. they have very small fangs. If they do bite, it is NOT deadly to humans. At worst you will feel dizzy and/or have nausea IF you get bit.

Spiders are our friends
posted by nimsey lou at 1:00 PM on August 30, 2005

Cripes, like bugs don't freak me out enough already. Thanks for posting, LordSludge.
posted by DakotaPaul at 3:28 PM on August 30, 2005

Yep, that's a micrathena. I have those in my back yard. While their bite is nothing for us to worry about, do be careful to not swat or squash one with your hand. Those spines are HARD and can hurt like hell. The females seem to have larger abdomens and larger spines than the males.
posted by onhazier at 3:34 PM on August 30, 2005

they have very small fangs

which are more likely to break if they do try to bite human skin. And just for kicks, here's a picture of a curved spined spider.
posted by dhruva at 5:17 PM on August 30, 2005

Ooh, ooh! I know this ! (Frantic handwaving from back of room.)

Spined Micrathena is right. The only reason I know is that I sent a pic of one in my backyard to a spider guy once, and he said so.

They are common in the eastern part of the US he said, mine was in the Midwest and nobody seemed to know why. I've only seen one in our area, but he was quite positive that's what it was. They look a lot different from the top than they do from the side. Mine had a truly huge web, and stayed in the same place all summer.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 7:23 PM on August 30, 2005

We have oodles of them in my backyard here in the tropics. They're harmless but they have one heck of a bite.
posted by Francesnash at 3:43 PM on September 29, 2005

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