Filmy Dome Spiders

2018 July 21
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Here’s a little black-and-yellow spider that I haven’t seen in our own yard, but that I found in two locations about 400 miles apart. The first was from our trip to Camp Nesbit on June 9. She was eating some unidentifiable gnat-like thing, and her web was practically invisible.


Then, when we were at Chutes Provincial Park on June 21, I spotted this web when the light caught it just right,


and the spider in it looked pretty much exactly like the one from Camp Nesbit



I had a little trouble hunting this down, because when you search for “Black and Yellow Spider” what you mostly get are pictures of the Yellow Garden Spider, which are big and obvious and photogenic and clearly not the same thing as what I have here at all.

No, instead I think these are “Filmy Dome Spiders”, Neriene radiata. They are named after the appearance of their web, which as we can see above is a nearly-invisible wispy dome shape. Their relatives have a variety of sheet, bowl, and dome-shaped webs that are distinct both from the very regular orb-weaver webs, and the messy, irregular cobwebs.

These particular spiders are both females, as the males of this species are smaller, thinner, and reddish instead of pale yellow. They certainly seem common in parks and campsites between here and Canada, so I don’t know why I haven’t seen them in our yard. Maybe they just like to be within shouting distance of a lake or river?

One Response
  1. August 1, 2018

    It might be the other spiders out-compete them in your area and they are rare. In San Diego, the brown widows dominate the other spiders.

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