Learn all about the Cat Faced Orb Weaver spider

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Claudette, the Cat Faced Orb Weaver named by Dominique Leard Rauton, lays in wait for prey in her web on the porch. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
The Cat Faced Orb Weaver spider, Araneus gemmoides, is a common resident of the Anza Valley. The large, full-grown females are small, about 5-10 millimeters long, and males are much smaller, about half as large as the females. They come in varying colors but are mainly identified by the two horn-shaped growths on their large abdomens. The combination of the projections, dimples and markings lead to the common name “Cat or Monkey Faced” spider. These spiders spend the winter in the egg stage, within a silk-covered sac produced by the mother during fall. Mating occurs in late summer. The female will die within days of laying a single egg sac with hundreds of eggs inside. Eggs hatch in spring and the tiny spiderlings disperse by a method called ballooning. The babies find the
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