spider ID?

Discussion in 'Nature' started by sallymack, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Anybody able to ID this tiny spider? S/he is about 1/4" long and seemed busily weaving a web around her/himself. There were similar webs nearby, each a little bundle of web with dead flies stuck to it. In some of the pictures, taken with a macro lens, I could see spider legs within the web. Found near a salt marsh in northern California The webs used plants as support and were all two or more feet above ground. Any ideas? Thanks. --Sally
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Photo isn't really clear, but a guess without going to the books, some variety of orb weaver.
  3. Thanks, Sandy. Do you have any suggestion where I should look for an ID? What book would you recommend? Sorry the photo isn't clearer, this is the best one I have. The spider is tiny, it was windy, and the spider was moving. This photo shows the markings which is why I posted it. This photo shows a different web where the spider's legs are clearly seen to the lower left of the web. Do you know any spiders which build webs like this? With a food source (flies, gnats) stuck to the outside?
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sally -- first and easiest, do a web search on Spider Identification California -- you will likely find it first there. One of the books I have & find useful is the Audubon Guide to North American Insects & Spiders. I am not a spider or bug guy, more of a generalist -- have a couple of shelves of Bird / Reptile / Tree / Insect / etc. references. Was not criticizing your photos -- simply explaining an issue in the I.D. Sorry! Good luck, a second enjoyable step is identifying the subject of your photo. Good Luck, Sandy
  5. Thanks, Sandy, I've been looking on-line, can't find anything resembling this spider or any that build webs like this. I'll see if the library has a useful book.
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sally -- I don't see a macro forum on photo.net, but you might try going to nature and sorting for spiders. Just a quick look showed several folks with pages of spiders. One of them might know. Sandy
  7. Sally,
    Another search idea is "spider california salt marsh", with and without CA. I did this and found some interesting results, including one from Marin. There might be eggs inside the round structures and the flies are food.....possibility, based on what I saw in the search. I'm not a bug person, as you know. I also found quite a bit of ecological writing pertaining to spiders in CA salt marshes. That might help also, just from a different direction. I'll try to help more, but I was getting creeped out with all those spiders all over my computer.
  8. Thanks, Laura, I'm still looking. Thanks for the suggestion, I'm using every combination of terms I can think of. You've given me another one.

    Yes, it seemed to me that there would possibly be eggs inside the web. Handy to have food stuck on your dwelling for hatchlings. Variation of the gingerbread house.

    I looked at a couple of books in the library. My goodness, there are a lot of legs in photos of spiders mating.

    Your specialty is fungi and you're creeped out by spiders? --Sally
  9. Could this be related?
  10. Thanks, Barry, I saw that and it could be related. I didn't see that the webs were connected to each other. At least some of them were too far apart. Will check next time I go out.

    As usual, I figured the answer was simple, it's something everybody but me knows. Most stuff falls into that category. --Sally
  11. Here is a google search. UC Berkeley and UC Irvine seem to cover quite a few with good photos. https://www.google.com/#q=california+spiders
  12. Sally,
    Yes, I get the heebie jeebies from big spiders. Little ones not so much. All summer I get webs in the face and spiders in my hair. I usually coexist with them, and peacefully at that. When I was young I didn't want to touch book or magazine pages with big images of spiders or menacing looking insects. A computer screen full of them gave me the same creeped out feeling.
    I saw the image that Barry linked and also wondered if it could be a possibility. You're in good company when it comes to things that it seems everyone knows even though you may feel in the dark. Happens to me all the time.
  13. Thanks, Laura, yes, the link Barry sent shows similar-looking webs. Technically, those webs may be more properly called "egg sacs." I don't know enough about spiders to use the correct terminology. I'm still asking around. Will let you know if I get a positive ID. --Sally
  14. Local "spider maven" ID's the spider as probably Metepeira, family Araneidae. That looks right to me, too. Thanks for your help.

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