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Identify this spider please...

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#1 Baytown Bert

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 05:09 PM

Hi Mr. Bert,

Today I took my boys geocaching in a familiar city park green space today in the North Austin area. We've been geocaching for a couple of years now and are familiar with most wild life you might see in the woods.  Except for today.  As we bushwhacked our way through a wooded area speckled with dead pines and cedars, we nearly ran headlong into a giant spider web. It was one of those perfect circular types like you see in the movies.  As I stopped to admire it and try to figure out how to navigate around it, I saw the webmaker.  Hiding under a leaf where the top of the web attached with a few strands to a high branch, was this huge "camo'ed" spider. I've never seen anything like it! We shook the branch slightly just to see if it moved and it came out and stretched it's legs.   Then we noticed babies on the web as well. We high-tailed it out of there after taking a picture. Later, we found another one just like it!  Barely missed that one too.  The spider was again hiding under a leaf near the top strands that attached it to the tree branch.

I tell you this because I have searched high and low to find what this spider is! I have Googled and Wikied so many spider images even just sitting at my desk I'm creeped out now.   But it's all been in vain, until NOW. As I paged through even MORE Google images I came across one picture that led me to your blog.  I was just getting ready to post my picture to the Central Texas Geocachers yahoo group when I saw that you are a GEOCACHER! And you have a picture of my elusive spider. My picture didn't come out half as nice as yours but I can tell that the spiders are the same.   The details of your adventure on Texas Brazos Bend Endurance Series talk of a Spider the size of a walnut that actually hits your hat! Here's your image:     BBES-spiders.jpg

So, please, can you tell me what that spider is?  I can't find it in any identification websites.  Any assistance would be great!

Thanks so much
Christa (Mom of the Cacherats!)


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#2 Team Four Paw

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 05:38 PM

I think this is a bad angle. However I'm going to Roll with Golden Orb Weaver. The legs are identical to one. The sack is probably full of babies which is why it's so pronounced.



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#3 HoustonControl


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Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:00 PM

Definitely from the Orb Weaver family.  Maybe a Giant Lichen Orb Weaver

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#4 Baytown Bert

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:01 PM

That's it!  Walnut sized and heavy with short thick legs.  Thanks, HC!

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