Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spider?



Hi Ed. So last night where I live in Connecticut right outside my bedroom window I could not help but notice a spider making a web that stuck to my window, screen, and air conditioner unit all outside my window. It seems to have different colors varying. I took some pics during nighttime with flashlight shined on it and some during early morning with just the dawn skylight and no flashlight. I can say that it looks like a white head, red or orange and white legs, and a tan and brown back or without flashlight shined upon, black back. Back has stripes and what looks like a cross shape when light shined upon. Can you study the pictures and tell me what spider this is? He is still there as of now and it is early morning. He spent the whole entire night there. This was the top story of the house, so he was far away from the ground. Take the time you need before getting back to me. If it helps its size is as big as a quarter.

Dear Douglas - this is Neoscona crucifer, an orb weaving spider in the family Araneidae. This is a very common and widespread species, and like all other orb weavers, harmless to humans. See http://tinyurl.com/poq7trw for images and more detailed information.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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