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Cellar Spiders

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Nocturnal Orb Weaving Spider


Nocturnal Orb Weaving Spider Larinioides sclopetarius lives near water and frequently builds webs on bridges.this species is particularly abundant along the artificially lit handrails of a footbridge. Fewer individuals placed their webs on structurally identical but unlit handrails of the same footbridge. A census of the potential prey available to the spiders and the actual prey captured in the webs revealed that insect activity was significantly greater and consequently webs captured significantly more prey in the lit habitat compared to the unlit habitat.


Daddy Long Legs Spiders

Orb Weaving Spider

Legs are banded with reddish-brown and pale yellow markings, but those of N. crucifera have brown femora, whereas N. domiciliorum have red femora. In N. crucifera, the second tibia of the male has two rows of clasping macrosetae (N. domiciliorum has three rows) and the epigynal scape (part of the female genitalia) has two pairs of bulges . Female N. crucifera range from 8.5 to 19.7 mm in length; males from 4.5 to 15 mm in length. Usually, specimens are in the upper part of the size range, making them one of the largest orb-weaving spiders in the state. Female N. domiciliorum range from 7.2 to 16.2 mm in length; males from 8.0 to 9.0 mm in length


Adult female spiders actively choose artificially lit sites for web construction. Furthermore, this behaviour appears to be genetically predetermined rather than learned, as laboratory-reared individuals which had previously never foraged in artificial light exhibited the same preference. This orb-web spider seems to have evolved a foraging behaviour that exploits the attraction of insects to artificial lights.


The webs are characteristic of different species and may help capture different types of insect prey. Webs are typically rebuilt daily. Many day-active put white decorations in their webs to deter birds from flying through the webs. Orb weavers have poor vision but are extremely sensitive to vibrations in the web. Araneus is probably the most abundant nocturnal spider, while Argiope is commonly seen during the day..

Sheet Web Weavers spider

Orb Weaving Female Spider


Life Cycle :Juvenile stages usually begin making vertical orbwebs about dusk and take the orbs down shortly after dawn. During the day, each spider stays in a retreat made of leaves curled together and tied with silk, located at the attachment of an upper frame thread; frame threads are sometimes left in place. Adult females often leave their webs up and hunt during the day. This may be due to their need for additional food for developing eggs along with a decrease of nocturnal prey in the cooler fall nights.


The orb part of the web of N. crucifera may be nearly 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter; that of N. domiciliorum usually is somewhat smaller. The eggsac of N. crucifera consists of fluffy yellow threads in a rolled leaf over a lenticular or spherical egg mass 5-12 mm in diameter, which may contain up to 1,000 eggs. Juveniles are frequently preyed upon by mud daubers, especially Trypargilum politum.


Sheet Web Weavers

Orb Weaving Spider

Both species of orb weavers are often found on or near buildings. The human occupants may not even be aware of the spiders' presence unless they walk outside after dark and see the web in a lighted area or walk into the web in the dark. Often, the edge of an eave is used as an upper support, with the bottom frame lines attached to a shrub or the ground. A simple silken retreat under the eave may serve as a diurnal shelter. Specimens may be seen in open woodlands by observing webs strung between trees in late fall, or earlier in the year by finding webs at night with a headlight.



Control:One key feature of spider control is to reduce the available food source. Adequate insect control through proper sanitation, maintenance and insecticide use will help prevent spiders from becoming established. Lowering the relative humidity in the area where cellar spiders are found may help eliminate them because lower humidity will deter insects from entering the building. Humidity can be controlled in many ways such as a dehumidifier or through proper ventilation


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