Fulup's picture

Orb web spider

Observed: 21st July 2012 By: FulupFulup’s reputation in InvertebratesFulup’s reputation in InvertebratesFulup’s reputation in Invertebrates
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Species interactions

No interactions present.


rimo's picture

The view you need to

The view you need to distinguish the species is pretty much that first photo though - I think this is curcurbitina, but it's not a group I know hugely well

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Martin Harvey's picture

Araniella ID

I'm not an expert on these either, but my understanding is that A. cucurbitina and A. opistographa are very, very similar. The individual shown here is a female, and what you need to see to distinguish the two species is the epigyne - if you click through from the first photo above to see it at full size you can see a brown mark just below the red spot, which is where the spinners are, and the at the front of the abdomen there is another, samller, brown mark that is the location of the epigyne.

However, despite these being good clear photos, I don't think you can see enough detail in the epigyne to make a judgement about these two species, and to be honest I find it very hard to appreciate what the differences are even in the illustrations given in the ID guides! I suspect you need to be familiar with looking at a range of individuals under the microscope to be able to pick out the two species reliably.

The epigynes are illustrated here:

and here:

but I'm not able to say exactly what the distinguishing features are - would be good to hear from anyone who can explain this.

Having said all that it's a lovely spider nonetheless!

Entomologist and biological recorder