Found on the Greenway: Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
By Jim Bogenschneider, Catawba Master Naturalist
Spiny Backed Orb Weaver: Gasteracantha cancriformis (Linnaeus)
Here it is almost the middle of December and the temperatures are in the mid 60’s, not bad for this time of the year. I was out walking near Lake Crandall enjoying the sun and low humidity, when I saw the light shining on a spider web. As I got closer I could see it was one of the orb weavers that are very common on the Greenway, a Spiny Backed orb weaver, named for their prominent spines. There are six spines on its abdomen that are red in color, and the abdomen itself is yellow with black spots. Another peculiar thing about this spider, is the shape of its body which is wider than it is long, not round like most orb weavers.
I hope the next time you are out on the Greenway you can spot one of these beautiful animals. I know I will be looking to see what else nature is up to and what can be found on the Greenway.