Barn spider

Barn spider

The barn spider (Araneus cavaticus) is a nocturnal, yellow and brown spider with striped legs and a marking on its underside that is typically a black background with two white marks inside the black, although color ranges can be quite magnificent. Like many other species of orb weavers, it takes down its web and rebuilds another web every evening. Its "orb" web is the archetypical web that contains symmetrical spokes connected by a spiral inside. They hide during the day and at night will sit in the middle of the web and wait for an insect to land on the web when hunting.

These spiders are aggressive toward each other (but not toward humans). They will attack each other if in close quarters, though many may inhabit the same structure or area at any given time. They are most commonly found in rafters and wooden structures in suburban and rural structures or areas, thus getting their name, "barn spider".

They are commonly found in humid parts of North America in late summer and through autumn. Barn spiders are most common in the Northeast US and Canada.

This spider was made well-known in the book, Charlotte's Web, with a particularly interesting point that the spider's full name is Charlotte A. Cavatica, and the barn spider's scientific name is Araneus cavaticus. Also, one of Charlotte's daughters, after asking what her mother's middle initial was, names herself Aranea.

When agitated (by a puff of air, for instance) these spiders sometimes bounce up and down in the center of their webs, possibly in an attempt to look larger and more threatening.

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