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The pumpkin spider - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Pumpkin spider
Other names: /
Latin name: Araniella cucurbitina
class: Insects
size: 4 - 8 mm
mass: ?
Older: about 1 - 2 years
Appearance: yellow-green abdomen, dark green to brown legs
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Flying insects like flies, gnats or hoverflies
distribution: Europe, Asia, North America
original origin: Eurasia
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Meadows and forest edges, prefers coniferous forests
natural enemies: Insectivore
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: May - August
clutch size: 100 - 150 eggs
behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the pumpkin spider

  • The pumpkin spider or Araniella cucurbitina describes a species within the true spider webs, which is one of the most common spiders in Central Europe.
  • The pumpkin spider is widespread in much of Europe and Asia, where it prefers forest edges, coniferous forests and clearings, bogs, fields and meadows populated. She also lives in human settlements, where she is found in parks and gardens.
  • Their nets, which are about ten to twelve centimeters in diameter, make pumpkin spiders in dense vegetation such as shrubs and hedges at a height of no more than three meters.
  • The pumpkin spider owes its name to its yellow-orange or orange-brown colored thorax and its light green abdomen, which is reminiscent of a small pumpkin in shape. On it several longitudinal rows of tiny black dots are recognizable.
  • The long and thin legs are littered with innumerable spines. The spider gland shows a small, bright red spot.
  • The pumpkin spider reaches body lengths of up to eight millimeters, whereby the females are significantly larger than the males.
  • Pumpkin spiders are active in late spring and summer. During this time, they can be observed inside their nets, which they build between flowers and plant stems.
  • Due to their coloring pumpkin spiders are perfectly camouflaged in the plants.
  • They feed on various insects caught in their nets. These can be flying insects such as flies or bees as well as various soil-dwelling insects, since the nets are usually near the ground.
  • The mating takes place in early summer. Immediately after only a few seconds of mating with the motionless females, the males flee lightning fast, otherwise they are eaten by the partner.
  • The eggs grow in the bright yellow cocoons from which the young spiders hatch in August. They are first colored light red, in autumn the color changes to brownish to be better camouflaged underground. Only in the following spring, when the young spiders take food for the first time, the yellow-orange and green color forms.