Entomology (Study of Bugs)/thorn spiders

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Question
I am a teacher looking for information on thorn spiders and have been unable to find anything.

If you have information or a website to suggest, it would be greatly appreciated.

Habitat
Diet
Reproduction

are a few categories that I am interested in.

Answer
Hi Patti
 These strange shaped spiders belong to the family Araneidae, the orb weavers. They are all insectivores. There two main Genera in the US.: Gastercantha and Micrathena. There habits are the same as all members if the Family. You can search the Genera for more details.
I remember as a kid finding a Micrathena for the first time.
Where do you work in Ohio. I teach biology at Lakeland College in Kirtland

There are a number of spiders that have happy faces including some orb weavers and the Bold jumping spider. The one found in Hawaii is the most bizarre. It's scientific name is Theridion grallator. It belongs in the Family Theridiiae. This family also includes the Black Widow.  

Orb weavers like the thorn spiders are found all around the world

If you want to see more smiling spiders goggle "happy face spiders"

I assume you are passing on your interest in spiders to your students. Great. I have spent years working with children about the importance of arachnids  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.

Experience

I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Publications
Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

Education/Credentials
B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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