MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: i found a hard-shelled spider. black on bottom/whitespecks top hockeymask,

Date: Wed Oct 4 16:20:58 2000
Posted By: David Richman, Staff, Entomology
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 970617399.Zo

I suspect that you have a specimen of the orb-weaving spider Gasteracantha 
cancriformis (sometimes called a "crab spider", although it is not related 
to the true crab spiders in the family Thomisidae). You are a little far 
north for this spider, but with the warm weather we have been having in 
the United States this year it is not impossible.  See for a 
drawing of a similar species.  All orb-weaving spiders in North America, 
including Gasteracantha, are apparently harmless.

Reference: Kaston, B. J. 1978. How to Know the Spiders. McGraw-Hill, Boston, Massachusetts.

Admin note:

David Richman later provided the following further information:

I made one mistake on this- I read Iowa instead of Louisiana as I think the person is from. In Louisiana it would probably not be unusual to find Gasteracantha.

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