Baby 6-spotted orbweaver

2022 September 18

On September 11, 2022, I happened to notice a little speck on the bathroom wall next to the shower. Looking a bit closer, I could just barely make out that it was a tiny spider about the size of a pinhead. So I got the macro camera out to get a better look than I could manage with the naked eye.

Based on the six prominent black spots on the sides of the abdomen, I think this is most likely a Six Spotted Orb Weaver, (Arianella displicata) a spider that I last photographed back in 2010. Although, the previous one was either an adult or nearly an adult, while this one is so tiny that I think it is most likely nearly a hatchling. Their color is all over the place, but the six spots on the abdomen are pretty characteristic of the species.

It was hard to get a look at the face while it was on the wall, so I nudged it onto a piece of paper and took it to the dining room table. Where it promptly scurried off of the paper and onto the tablecloth. This might give a better idea of scale, the weave of the cloth in the tablecloth is actually fairly fine, but in this picture it looks like the spider is crawling over massive ropes.

I did eventually get a face shot, so that we can see the eye pattern. There is a square of four eyes in the center of the face, and on either side is two eyes kind of squished together. Looking at Bug Guide’s spider eye pattern page, this looks like the typical pattern for orb weavers, so I am pretty confident that I have at least the family (Araneidae) correct.

So anyway, this is not one of the species that routinely survives long-term inside a house, so I put it out in the garden instead. Given how late in the season this was found, I expect that they are one of the species that hangs out under the snow in the winter, preying on things like springtails.

2 Responses
  1. October 16, 2022

    This contradicts the assertion that baby animals are cute.

  2. October 16, 2022

    I guess it depends on what you learned to think was “cute” when you were a child. Both of my daughters say that this spider is quite cute (although not as cute as the baby jumping spiders with their enormous eyes).

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