Arachnids of North Carolina
Scientific Name: Common Name: Family (Alpha):
« »
View Araneidae Members: NC Records

Araneus trifolium - Shamrock orbweaver

No image for this species.
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Araneidae                                                                                 
Species Comment: Another common name Pumpkin Spider.
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide Google, iNaturalist, Wikipedia, GBIFTechnical Description: Spiders of North America - Bradley; Spiders of the Carolinas – Gaddy; Bugguide
Comments: The name of this spider is derived from the distinct pattern of light spots on the abdomen, said to resemble a shamrock. The base color of the abdomen is often cream colored, but may be green yellow or red. The cephalathorax is distinctly marked with three broad dark lines, one down the center expanding to cover the head region, the other two along the side of the carapace. The legs are boldly banded.
Total Length: Large, female total body length 9-20 mm, male total body length 5-8 mmAdult ID: identifiable by photo
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: Most common in mountain region of North Carolina. Ranges across Canada, south to California, New England to North Carolina. Adults July through October.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: open habitats, particuraly moist areas, marshes, swamps and bogs, grass bald, forest edge and old fields.
Observation Methods: Web built in low bushes or grasses. This spider can change color of the body to match the background. The red form is found among red or orange colored leaves in the autumn. The spider waits in its retreat among the vegetation near the web, holding a signal line connected to the hub. The large egg sac with a great many eggs is laid in autumn. The young usually emerge in spring but sometimes in late fall.
Abundance/Frequency: Occasional
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks:
State Protection: