Arachnids of North Carolina
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View Araneidae Members: NC Records

Metepeira labyrinthea - Labyrinth orbweaver


Taxonomy
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Araneidae                                                                                 
Identification
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide, Google Images, iNaturalist, WikipediaTechnical Description: Spiders of North America - Bradley; Bugguide
Comments: Coloration variable, abdomen is hairy, brown with a black lobed folium, edged in white, that gets smaller towards posterior. Variable white markings in black folium on front of abdomen, making cross or arrow type markings similar to some Neoscona. Cephalothorax dark and covered in hairs. Legs have brown-orange base, hairy with some faint black and white bands. The underside has a white line behind the epigynum and another down the middle of the sternum. The Spiders of the Eastern US says that the Metepeira labyrinthea can be distinguished from other orbweavers by having longer terminal leg segments "(tarsus plus metatarsus longer than tibia plus patella)".
Total Length: Small, female total body length 4.0-8.6 mm, male total body length 3.0-6.8 mmAdult ID: identifiable by photo
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: Frequent and widespread throughout North Carolina and the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions. Females spring through autumn, males spring and summer.
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: shrubs in forest understory, open woodlands, forest edges, man made structures and rock walls.
Observation Methods: Identified readily by web, adults can be teased out of retreat with a paintbrush.
Abundance/Frequency: Frequent.
Silk / Web: Orb web along massive tangle of lines, the labyrinth. Retreat is thimble shaped and covered in detritus.
Predators: Spider wasps prey on adults, parasitic wasps invade egg sacs.
Behavior: 5-6 cone shaped egg cases of the female are covered in brown paper like silk and are incorporated into the detritus above a tubular retreat in the tangle. After emerging from an egg case, the spiderlings may reside in the labyrinth and even feed on insects captured in the web.
Status in North Carolina
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Photo Gallery for Metepeira labyrinthea - Labyrinth orbweaver

Recorded by: Simpson Eason
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Donald Zepp
Johnston Co.
Comment: Adult female taken from characteristic web in bush.
Recorded by: B. McRae
Macon Co.
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Recorded by: B. McRae
Macon Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn, Kyle Kittelberger
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stanly Co.
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Recorded by: j.wyche
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI - Cypress Point Trail in web with egg sac
Recorded by: FKW
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Catawba Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Halifax Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Stanly Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Iredell Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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