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Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis). This is one of the most common spiders.  If you have ever run into a spider’s web in the woods, it was probably a micrathena’s web.  The female spider is usually the only one seen.  She has ten spines on her chunky abdomen and is about 1/2 inch long.  Predators include birds, toads, frogs, and lizards; however, the female micrathena builds an “escape line” into her web and also makes a low-pitched buzzing noise when disturbed to protect herself (FCPS).

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes