Western Orb Weaver Spider

Western Orb Weaver Spider

Western Orb Weaver Spider

I found a huge friend in my garden last night. This spider is so hairy with bright colors I think it’s the prettiest spider I ever seen in my yard. (lol)

I did alot of searching on Google last night till I finally found one that even resembled the spider in my yard. I not only have one huge spider but I think a whole family of them because there are 3 babies (not as brightly colored though) to the left and right of this one. I’m gonna assume this is a female because they say the female spiders get larger than the males .. gezzz if this is a male then the female where ever she is has got to be the size of Kiwi fruit. (I thought of a Kiwi because they are hairy) lol

Anyhows, I Googled and found a few websites with a spider that look close to this one and they call them Western Orb Weaver Spiders. Although, mine is alot prettier than anything I’ve seen online so far. This one has bright red on the legs closest to it’s body. My pictures don’t do this spider justice but I assure you, she has bright red on all legs. This spider is very very hairy too. If you look close enough at her some of her hairs are so thick they are almost like porcupine quills.

Heres another picture .. I’ll have to get better pictures tonight.

Western Orb Weaver Spider

Western Orb Weaver Spider

I learned the Orb Weaver Spider is in the Araneidae family and one of the 3 largest spider groups. They say these type spiders (Araneidae or Orb Weavers) webs may be quite large, spanning several feet in width. This spider has a web about 2.5 feet wide and about the same long. According to one website Orb Weavers have eight  eyes, arranged in two rows of four eyes each. I didn’t look to close at the eyes last night (lol) I was too afraid the spider would jump on me so I just sent the Android Camera in while I stood holding my arms out in hopes it wouldn’t jump. Another website says they can barely see sooo I guess I can get a closer look tonight. (lol) 8 eyes and can’t see very well ?

Apparently they only live one to two years max. Females build the webs, males run around looking for the web, female lays eggs, male fertilizes eggs, female eats the male, female wraps eggs in silk, female dies at first frost and babies hatch in the spring.

Orb Weavers can get rather large they say – large enough build a strong web and eat hummingbirds and frogs.

Orb Weavers are nocturnal and have venom which they use to stun prey.

I’m glad to see such a large spider in my yard to be honest, because the mosquitoes around here are big, maybe the size of this spider but nowhere near as stocky and strong. Now all I need is a few more of these big Western Orb Weavers hanging around and maybe then I can enjoy some coffee and pie while sitting in my garden at night. (without getting bit by huge mosquitoes)

Wishful thinking. I like my new garden friend. Ha Ha

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