Araneus gemmoides left us a present last year

For the last few years, we’ve been graced with regular summertime visits by cat-faced spiders, Araneus gemmoides. They’re great big orbweavers, usually no trouble at all, although last year one of them took over our deck, stringing webs over the doors. We let her. When you’re that beautiful, you can get away with anything.

One of the reasons they’re no trouble is that they just lurk, and then when winter arrives, they die. Last year’s visitor crept up above our back door and left an egg sac in a dark corner. Here it is!

We got a step ladder to get closer, and I poked a lens right in there. The sac was partially torn open on one side (predation?), so I got a good view of the eggs inside.

Those are definitely spider eggs, but they aren’t very far along in development. It’s been chilly and snowy for the last few weeks, so it’s not surprising that they haven’t matured much. Maybe Minnesota will be kind and bring us a real spring soon?

I’ll keep you informed about this developing subject!


  1. StevoR says


    Will you let nature work naturally here or try to speed things up and help them develop faster – perhaps in better and more study-able conditions?

    Take even some eggs and grow them in your artificial spider homes / lab?

    Orb weavers -and their webs are impressive. Seen some good examples in my place too albiet only ever outside. Probly different species tho’.

  2. imback says

    last year one of them took over our deck, stringing webs over the doors

    Last summer, it seemed every night they built a web across our sliding door to the deck, and every morning I pushed through it to let out the dog. I don’t think I ever saw the actual spider or spiders. Perhaps they were fat and happy catching night insects and had already left by the time the sun rose?

  3. says

    One of our organization members with a very sick sense of humor created a video. It was made as a biting satire on magat science, with apologies to Prof. P.Z. Myers. We hope he doesn’t take offense. We intended none. It targets the MAGAT crowd. It is at

  4. birgerjohansson says

    My cats leave me presents of vomited stomach contents, hidden around the apartment. I wish they were into spinning webs instead.