- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Suborder: Araneomorphae
- Family: Tetragnathidae
- Genus: Leucauge
- Species: Leucauge venusta
Common Name (AAS)
Other Common Names
Orchard Spider, Longjawed Orbweaver, Venusta Orchard Spider
Charles Athanase Walckenaer, 1841
There have been 75 confirmed sightings of Leucauge venusta (Orchard Orb-weaver), with the most recent sighting submitted on July 8, 2019 by Spider ID member demaiolo. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 75 sightings because of certain Leucauge venusta sightings reporting incomplete data.
- Web: 91% of the time, Leucauge venusta spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 53)
- Sex: 19 female and 6 male.
- Environment: Leucauge venusta has been sighted 64 times outdoors, and 3 times indoors.
- Outdoors: Man-made structure (33). Low foliage (18). High foliage (4). Ground layer (2). Freshwater river, lake, stream (2). Open field, pasture, grassland (1). Forest (4).
Location and Range
Leucauge venusta (Orchard Orb-weaver) has been sighted in the following countries: United States.
Leucauge venusta has also been sighted in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Leucauge venusta has been primarily sighted during the month of May.
- March: 7
- April: 9
- May: 29
- June: 18
- July: 2
- August: 1
- September: 2
- October: 1
- Abdominal coloration is silvery-white with a dark line in the middle, from which four pairs of more-or-less distinct bars branch to the side. There are also shimmery green, yellow-gold, and orange markings on the sides.
- On the underside of the abdomen, there may be two bright orange-red or copper colored triangles, especially in immature specimens. It doesn’t happen very often, but the species may occasionally by confused for a “black widow” because of this marking.
- In Florida, there is a nearly identical species called Leucauge argyra. The two can be officially separated by the details of their genitalia, but there is also a noticeable difference in the dorsal and ventral abdominal patterning.
- Sometimes mistaken for Mecynogea lemniscata (the “Basilica Orbweaver,” family Araneidae) because of the similar body shape and coloration, but the webs of these two species are very different, as are the egg sacs.
- Orb web is typically horizontal (or slightly inclined), and has an irregular barrier of threads below it.
- Egg sac is constructed of loose, fluffy orange-white silk and can be made inside a rolled up leaf off to the side of the web, or attached to a twig. One sac was recorded as being 8-9 millimeters in diameter and containing several hundred reddish-orange eggs loosely stuck together, each one about 0.4 millimeters in diameter (Levi 1980).