Spiny-backed Orbweaver Spiders, Their Marvelous Webs and Their Lessons, Indian River Lagoon

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
—Chief Seattle, Duwanish Tribe, Washington

spiny orb spider
Spiny-backed orbweaver spider. (Public photo)

As I have mentioned before, living close the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, I look to nature for inspiration and this year inspiration has surrounded my house in the form of tiny spiny-backed orbweaver spiders. My husband and I have seen these very small spiders, half the size of a dime, throw a connecting web to their interior design at least  twenty feet if not more. It is absolutely remarkable, seemingly impossible, that these little creatures can do this.

Although you can't see it, the spiny orb spiker has a across the trees in the front of our house. From one side to another at least 15 feet.
Although you can’t see it, the spiny-backed  orb weaver spider has a web across the trees in the front of our house. From one side to another between the trees is at least 15 feet. (Photo JTL)

Their beautiful webs blow in the wind reflecting sunshine like baskets catching insects. From what I have read, it is the female that makes the web and though I have never seen one, the smaller male is somewhere hanging on a single thread beside her.

Web in our yard...
Web in our yard…(Photo JTL)
Inner web up close… (Public photo)

I learn a lot watching these little spider. First of all, that “you can do something seemly impossible”–it’s in you—. Second, I often see their webs which must have taken hours to weave get destroyed by birds, rain, wind or even me accidentally running into them–they just “quickly crawl back up and start right over again”…This is a good life lesson.

I have also learned that butterflies must be able to see spider webs as I have watched the many in my yard purposefully navigate away from them. Pretty cool.

In fact, I think that after the many months of the spiny-backed orbweaver spiders living in Ed’s and my yard, (much more so since we took out the grass and stopped using fertilizer and sprayed pesticides) they are learning to adapt to where we walk. I swear they now build their webs right in front of our walkways and doors but leave a large open space for us to walk though!

red, black and white
Its colors are red, black and white. (Public photo)

They do not bite and are they not aggressive…..like all of God’s creatures, they are my friends, and I learn from them.

…My mother used to sometimes say: “The webs we weave……”

Seeing the little hard-working spiders each day makes me mindful that, yes, we are all connected, and that I choose where and how to build my web.


US IFAS Spiny-backed Orb Weaver Spider Florida: (http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/g_cancriformis.htm



8 thoughts on “Spiny-backed Orbweaver Spiders, Their Marvelous Webs and Their Lessons, Indian River Lagoon

  1. I appreciate, am thankful , and wanting to say keep up the good work. I am interested in sharing this in a way with about 100,000 friends of mine on line, who read our papers and are committed to the land and water, especially the water, like Indian River Lagoon, other rivers , such as the CAHABA river in Alabama. So, we are asking to interview you, put you on our radio show, BMR, Birminhgam Mountain Radio and to our followers comprised of DJs, Chefs, Lawyers, business owners and committed lovers of nature.

    One question, I am looking to move to Jupiter from Viera , Fl as I have lived a year finding out about the great nightmare secret , outside of central fl, of the Lagoon and why. Is Jupiter area, clean , south of Hobe Sound to say West Palm or is it all corrupted? The Loxahatchee RIver , north and south, are either one of these clean for human use and consumption? I love this part of America but I feel I have been told a non truth of non disclosure of what is wrong around Cocoa, and Melboune. I have the last year living , looking , and knowing there is a great problem. If the water is dead , then so is all life around it.

    My name is Ed Jeffrey, phone 305 924 5298, and would love to speak about Jupiter and the area and how to add thousands of people who will drop their thoughts to Gov. Scott, Crist, senator Nelson, Rubio, a real message and updates, non threatning, but to the point of what they have all promised to do , so my goal is 100,000 people reminding them DAILY until we see real change, a financial penalty, funding of the cleanup, rules to deter bad behaviour etc. to make a change that is visible and verifiable to us
    Bless you and your husband , I am a piper cub fan myself. want to ride and film, we do videos , and music. .

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