Micrathena gracilis
(Spined Micrathena)

Picture ID 126108

Picture of Micrathena gracilis (Spined Micrathena) - Female - Lateral,Webs

Comments & ID Thoughts

These are Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis), but I’m really confused as to why I found two females fighting on one web. Anyone who knows more about arachnids than me care to explain?

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TangledWeb

@ItsyBitsy Great photo! It might be a good candidate for our photo gallery.I think this is a female and fairly large male mating. I’ve seen another species mate dangling from a silk strand like this. Male spiders use appendages near their heads, the pedipalps, for mating. The palps have suction cup bulbs at the ends that they use to pick up and carry semen they deposit on a web. That’s a way to identify a spider as a male – he has swollen bulbs on his pedipalps. It is thought to be possibly attractive to females. The opening, epigyne, in… Read more »

ItsyBitsy
ItsyBitsy

I agree it looks like two females, the males of this species are different looking, proportionally longer, and not so spiny. I have no way of knowing what really led up to this but would speculate that they built their webs too close together, or one got displaced and ended up in a bad place.

TangledWeb

Thanks! That was my second guess, a female battle, pretty cool!

Additional Pictures

Picture of Micrathena gracilis (Spined Micrathena) Enlarge Picture
Picture of Micrathena gracilis (Spined Micrathena) Enlarge Picture
Picture of Micrathena gracilis (Spined Micrathena) - Female - Lateral Enlarge Picture
Picture of Micrathena gracilis (Spined Micrathena) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture