Barn Spider - Under an Eave at Evening

I found this Barn Spider (possibly a Neoscona crucifera) under the eave of a small building. This spider is an orb weaver and creates a large web of the traditional form. Webs of this spider can often be two or more feet in diameter.

Spiders can be notoriously difficult to identify precisely, and that is the case with this particular individual as well. Because of this, I group these kind of spiders under the more general name of “Barn Spider.” If anyone has a suggestion for a more precise identification, I would be very interested in hearing it.

See this article for more specifics about the identification difficulties: Journal – Indentifying Invertebrates is Hard

Wikipedia has this to say about Barn Spiders:

Neoscona crucifera is an orb-weaver spider in the family Araneidae. It is found in the United States from Maine to Florida in the east, to Minnesota in the Midwest, to Arizona in the southwest, and in Mexico. Its common names include Hentz’s orbweaver, and barn spider, though the latter nickname suggests the confusion that can result from using common names for spiders, as the name “barn spider” is also commonly used for the species Araneus cavaticus.

Generally nocturnal, females may become diurnal in the fall. Females are about 9.5–19 millimeters (0.37–0.75 in) long, while males are somewhat smaller. The upper surface of the abdomen is brown and hairy. The legs display alternating light and dark brown bands. The undersurface of the abdomen is black, with two white spots.

The orb part of the web may be nearly 2 feet (0.61 m) in diameter. The eggsac consists of fluffy yellow threads in a rolled leaf over a lenticular or spherical egg mass 5–12 mm (0.20–0.47 in) in diameter, which may contain up to 1,000 eggs. Juveniles are frequently preyed upon by mud daubers.

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