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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What kind of spider is this?


Hi Mr. Eaton,

Are you able to identify the spider in this picture attached?  I live in San Diego, CA.

Hi, Kayla:

The spider is an orbweaver in the family Araneidae, probably in the genus Araneus .  The image shows the *underside* of the spider, and most all orbweavers look like this from the bottom.  So, without a picture of the back of the spider (instead of its belly), I cannot be more specific.

The above link gives a little more information about orbweavers.  If you are concerned that it might be dangerously venomous, it is *not*.  No species of orbweaver poses a threat to the average healthy human being or pet.


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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