The spider in the middle of the opening page for this
web page is a very common spider throughout the northern hemisphere. In
Ohio it is found during the warm months of the year, usually in or near
woods. It is called the "marbled orbweaver" and its scientific name
is Araneus marmoreus.
Polymorphic - This spider has many color varieties.
The most common form has an orange front part of the body (cephalothorax)
with orange/white/black banded legs. The abdomen on this form is either
orange or yellow with a pattern that resembles a face to some observers.
Other color varieties include one that is very pale tan or yellow, sometimes
with a black spot in the middle of the abdomen.
Harmless - This species, as is common to members of
the orbweaver family, is not known to bite humans. It preys on a variety
of flying insects.
Nocturnal - The spiders build their web at dusk and
either wait in the web or in a retreat near the web at night for prey to
strike the web. Then the spider runs out and wraps the prey in silk. After
the prey is immobilized, the prey is bitten and eventually eaten.
Some individuals stay in their webs during the day, but this is not common.
They typically rebuild their web each day, or at least the sticky spiral