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Jewel Spider - USA

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I'm with you Monica :))) Thanks!


Thanks, photogent, for the summary. It makes sense. I associate exotic coloration and form with tropical environs, and this sounds like a tropical species which has successfully extended its range north. I'd guess it's a useful predator in orange groves - briefly, given its short lifespan.


I'll make sure NOT to visit any of the places where PG mentioned this spider would be! Yuck!


You take a bite tex :))) I'll watch from the side-lines!! Thanks!
Thanks Shirley.


Very pretty spider, Thanks Rob, and PG .


Lyndee's right, he does look he has a fancy cracker on his back! This is just too interesting, Rob, he's shaped like a star! What a weird one, but pretty and interesting. Thanks.


Phew!!! That's more than I read pg - thanks!!! When I initially found the photo it only said it was from the USA - but it's very wide-spread. Thanks for the extra details pg - much appreciated!!


Gasteracantha cancriformis (the star spider, spiny-backed orbweaver, spiny orbweaver spider, crab-like orbweaver spider, crab-like spiny orbweaver spider, jewel spider, spiny-bellied orbweaver, jewel box spider or smiley face spider) is a species of spider.
Females are 5?9 millimetres (0.20?0.35 in) long and 10?13 mm (0.39?0.51 in) wide. The six abdominal spine-like projections on the abdomen are characteristic. The carapace, legs and underside are black with white spots under the abdomen. Variations occur in the colour of the upperside of the abdomen: a white or yellow colour with both featuring black spots. A white upperside can have either red or black spines while a yellow upperside can only have black ones. Like in many other spiders, males are much smaller (2 to 3 mm long) and longer than wide. They are similar to the females in colour but have a gray abdomen with white spots and the spines are reduced to four or five stubby projections.
It is found across the southern part of the United States from California to Florida, as well as in Central America, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, South America and certain islands in the Bahamas. It has also been sighted in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia and Palawan, Philippines, as well as Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.
It lives in woodland edges and shrubby gardens. Many of the studies on this spider have taken place in citrus groves in Florida. They frequently live in trees or around trees in shrubs.
This species of spider does not live very long. In fact, the lifespan only lasts until reproduction, which usually takes place the spring following the winter when they hatched. Females die after producing an egg mass, and males die six days after a complete cycle of sperm induction to the female.
The genus name Gasteracantha derives from the Greek words ?????? (gaster, "belly") and ?????? (acantha, "thorn"), while the specific epithet cancriformis derives from the Latin words cancer ("crab") and forma ("shape, form, appearance").


Thanks fileusa & chickie - couldn't agree more!!


Just Eeeewwwww!


I second that.... beautiful but keep your distance please...


Thanks Jacques.
I agree dondi - fascinating - as long as it's not near me!!


How fascinating - and beautiful! I've never heard of this spider, and I'd have thought its exotic appearance would have caused some stir in the US, where most spiders are more prosaic. It's pretty amazing!


beautiful rob!


Me either lyndee!!
They are found in California across to Florida, Central America, Bahamas, South America, Australia, Hawaii &Philippines 3151ctp. Thanks.
Thanks Gracie.
Neither have I aggie - & I'd rather not see one in real life!!! Thanks.


Interesting looking creature.


Wow! beautiful and colorful creature!! thanks Rob


Lovely spider! Where is she from?


He looks like he has a fancy cracker on his back. He might be a jewel, but not the kind I would want! LOL