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Leucauge venusta (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Ordo: Araneae
Subordo: Opisthothelae
Infraordo: Araneomorphae
Taxon: Neocribellatae
Series: Entelegynae
Superfamilia: Araneoidea

Familia: Tetragnathidae
Subfamilia: Leucauginae
Genus: Leucauge
Species: Leucauge venusta

Leucauge venusta (Walckenaer, 1841)

Epeira venusta Walckenaer, 1841
Leucauge venusta (Walckenaer, 1841)
Linyphia (Leucauge) argyrobapta White, 1841 [Dimitrov & Hormiga, 2010: 24 (NEW SYNONYMY)]
Leucauge argyrobapta (White, 1841)

Type data

argyrobapta White: Neotype designated by Dimitrov & Hormiga (2010: 24): MNRJ 9038
Type kind: male
Type locality: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

cited sources

Dimitrov, D.; Hormiga, G. 2010: Mr. Darwin’s mysterious spider: on the type species of the genus Leucauge White, 1841 (Tetragnathidae, Araneae). Zootaxa, 2396: 19–36. Preview

Vernacular names
English: orchard spider

Leucauge venusta, known as the orchard spider, is a long-jawed orbweaver spider that occurs from southern Canada to Colombia, along the East coast, reaching into the central US, also in South Asia.The web is often oriented horizontally, with the spider hanging down in the center.

It is distinctively colored, with leaf-green legs and sides (which can sometimes vary to a dark green or even orange). The underside of its thorax is spotted with yellow and black, the top is silvery with brown and black streaks. The neon yellow, orange or red spots on the rear of the abdomen are variable in size among individuals and sometimes absent.

This species is parasitised by a wasp larva which attaches itself externally at the junction of the cephalothorax and abdomen.[1]
Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta) - male
Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) male and female
Orchard Orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) male and female cohabitating

A similar species in the same genus is Leucauge mariana.


BBC "Life in the Undergrowth"/"Intimate Relations"

Walckenaer, C. A. 1842. Histoire naturelle des Insects. Aptères. Paris, 2:1-549.


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