Cucumber green spider-Araniella cucurbitina-Araña verde común

Cucumber green spider – Araniella cucurbitina – Araña verde común

  • English: Cucumber green spider
  • Scientific: Araniella cucurbitina
  • Spanish: Araña verde común
  • French: Épeire concombre
  • German: Kürbisspinne
  • Italian: Ragno verde del cetriolo
  • Portuguese: Tecedeira-melancia-comum
  • Distribution: The temperate regions of Eurasia. (Although described in the Americas, is suspected to have been inadvertently introduced by humans).

Description

The cucumber green spider- Araniella cucurbitina – Araña verde común has a yellowish/green to green colour that allows it to camouflage perfectly in foliage. Its head and thorax are yellowish brown. It has a large bright red spot located on the underside of the abdomen and a pattern of 12 small black dots on the upperside (4 central and 8 lateral – divided into two lines).

They can be seen from late spring through to autumn and measure 5.0 to 5.5 mm females and males smaller at 3.5-4.0 mm.

Cucumber green spider-Araniella cucurbitina-Araña verde común
Cucumber green spider-Araniella cucurbitina-Araña verde común – Note those black dots and the hairy legs.

They Inhabit shrub-land, tall bushes, thorny borders and woodland edges building a globe shaped web among leaves, about 10 cm in diameter and 15 to 30 radius. A very patient spider, they remain quite still in the centre of the web, waiting for flying insects to be caught.

Cucumber green spider-Araniella cucurbitina-Araña verde común - Note the red dot on the underside of the abdomen
Note the red dot on the underside of the abdomen

Breeding takes place in the summer when adults reach sexual maturity. The female places her eggs in a protective bag of silk, ‘an ootheca.’ Spiderlings which hatch in the autumn are dark red, they hide in crevices and cracks or amongst dense shrubs throughout the winter.


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