Camper Lynx

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Posted by admin | Posted in Parts And Stuff | Posted on 27-07-2015

Camper Lynx

Camper Lynx
Can you tell me what kind of green spider this is? It is not a green lynx spider?

Can you tell me what kind of spider this is? And is it dangerous to humans? I was in the appalachian mountains in Virginia about a half hour from Galax when I found this spider. We camp there every summer and I found it under our camper stairs. It is a green spider with a silky shine to it. I caught it to take a few pictures of it, then I let it go. It is quite pretty actually. My camera is not good at picking up detail but I hope you can still tell me from these photos what it is.

Thanks very much,
From Hideous Troll

I have more photos of it if you need more to look at.

link to photo of spider......

http://img10.picsplace.to/18/Green_spider_vacation_in_Virginia_july-August_2006_061_000.jpg

It looks like Araneus bicentenarius, the giant lichen orb weaver.

It's in a group of spiders generally known as the angulate orb-weavers, refering to the pointy 'shoulders' on the large abdomen of the female.

These spiders, and their close relatives are very common spiders across North America, Europe and Asia, found in virtually every garden and backyard. They are the ones that build those large, round webs that everyone thinks of as 'the' spider web.

They are completely harmless. In fact they are quite beneficial, eating all manner of flying and hopping insect, including flies, wasps and many of the critters we consider pests (they don't do well on moths and butterflies though, whose scaly wings allow them to escape capture in the web).

The famous and much-beloved Charlotte from Charlotte's Web would have been a spider from this same genus.

Although it is theoretically possible for these spiders to bite a human, they are quite docile, and it would take quite a lot of provocation, and probably physical injury to the spider to actually get them to bite. I've had hundreds, if not thousands of these spiders crawl on my hands and arms, and have never been so much as nibbled.

Even if a human were bitten, their venom is intended for use against flies and other invertebrates, and is not effective against mammals, particularily large ones like us. The bite might cause some burning and itching, but unless someone happens to be allergic (highly unlikely), it would likely be less severe than a wasp sting, probably more similar to a mosquito bite.

The abdomen gets so large because the female swells up with eggs in the late summer season. Suddenly they become noticeable, even though they were in the garden since spring, and people start freaking out about the 'tarantula' in their flowerbed. But they are completely harmless, beautiful little critters.

Here are some pictures of Araneus bicentenarius from BugGuide.net http://bugguide.net/node/view/2018/bgimage

UPDATE:

Although www.whatsthatbug.com is usually an excellent resource, I have to disagree with their identification from the answer below. The picture on their site is definitely the same species as the one you have pictured, however I don't think that either one is Araneus trifolium (they somehow mispelled the Genus name as well). Araneus trifolium, the shamrock spider, is a very common and highly variable species, but it does not tend to have the prominent 'shoulders' that are quite visible on spiders in the photos in question.

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