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This red spider has set up a web in my yard, in South Eastern, Texas, United States: Spider 1 Spider 2

The spider itself is about an inch long (2.5 cm), and is predominantly red to brown in color, with red legs, and a very striking white line straight down the center of her back. The web is quite large—at least 4 feet (1.2 m) in diameter. It seems to be nocturnal, as I haven't seen it during the day, yet I've walked into the web (or nearly walked into its web) twice at night. Unfortunately, due to lighting conditions I wasn't able to capture the color particularly well.

I've searched but haven't found a species that looks like this yet.

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After some more searching, I think stumbled across the answer. It appears to be an…

Eriophora ravilla:

Eriophora ravilla Eriophora ravilla

Source BugGuide.net.

This species appears to have quite a diverse range of colors, and even thought I haven't found one that quite matches mine, the other similarities (the large abdomen, the stripe down the back, the four 'dimples', and the dark first leg segments) are enough to convince me. However, if anyone else can shed some light on this, I'd appreciate it.

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  • $\begingroup$ I found the same type of spider on my backyard in Houston TX. Would love to know if it is dangerous. $\endgroup$ – Donna Summers Dec 15 '16 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @DonnaSummers They're harmless. I've found them a couple of times around my house. They tend to build their web each evening and tear it down by morning. After a few days they seem to move on to a different hunting ground. $\endgroup$ – p.s.w.g Dec 15 '16 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Eriophora in general seems to be referred to as "tropical orb weavers", distinguished from araneidae (referred to as other kinds of "orb weavers"). Eriophora edax (bugguide.net/node/view/300786) is another possibility in your locale, and also look like they can have a stripe and vary greatly in color. $\endgroup$ – Jason C Mar 9 '17 at 21:59
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    $\begingroup$ @JasonC That's another close match, but I still think E. ravilla is closer. From those images, E. edax appears to be have more dull, cryptic coloring (though not always) and have more tapered abdomen (though not always). I just noticed that my specimen also appears to have two red bumps near the rear of the abdomen, that is seen in some other individuals. Thanks for your suggestion though, I could be wrong about ravilla, but it's definitely Eriophora. $\endgroup$ – p.s.w.g Mar 9 '17 at 22:16
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enter image description here

I found crab spider for mine, they seem to vary in color and Design. Maybe this is more your spider found in Katy Texas

They have the same butt and dimples it looks like.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you explain why you think this specimen would be the one in the question? I'm not an expert in spiders, a tad arachnophobic even, but imho the spider in your image looks as much to the one in the question as Margaret Thatcher looks like Napoleon Bonaparte. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 9 '17 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ Looking at the images on BugGuide.net, it seems there's quite a lot of color variation in E. ravilla. This one in particular looks a lot like yours (given relatively poor lighting). In other words, I think your image is of another E. ravilla, not a true crab spider (Thomisidae). $\endgroup$ – p.s.w.g Mar 9 '17 at 21:46

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