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Oak spider - Aculepeira ceropegia
Oak spider - Aculepeira ceropegia

Oak spider
The oak spider (Aculepeira ceropegia) was formerly known as Araneus ceropegia or Araneus vachoni. This species belongs to the genus Aculepeira, in the order spiders (Araneae), the suborder Opisthothelae, the infraorder Araneomorphae, the superfamily Araneoidea (Araneoidea), the family orb-web spiders (Araneidae), the subfamily Araneinae and the tribe Araneini.
Oak spider - Side view
Oak spider - Side view
Aculepeira ceropegia are widespread mainly in Southern and Central Europe and are common in suitable habitats. They are not commonly encountered in the northwest and are not found in the British Isles and southern Scandinavia. Nevertheless, the oak spider is not endangered.
Aculepeira ceropegia - Back view
Aculepeira ceropegia - Back view
Adult oak spiders reach body lengths of 7 - 14 mm, the males, (7 - 8 mm) being significantly smaller than the females (12 - 14 mm). The front section of the body (prosoma) is almost uniformly dark and is considerably lighter in the direction of the eyes. The dark, base colour is hard to see because of the presence of thick, white hair.
Aculepeira ceropegia - Front view
Aculepeira ceropegia - Front view
The abdomen (opisthosoma) is narrow, arched and tapers to the rear. The upper side is yellowish brown and has a fine, dark, pattern. In the middle is a bright marking in the shape of an oak leaf, hence their name. The upper leg (femur) is brown in colour, while the lower limbs are ringed with narrow, bright and dark bands.
The oak spider prefers habitats with open, sunny areas of all kinds, especially dry grassland and wasteland, but also wet meadows and forest clearings. It is found at altitudes of up to 2000 metres.
The oak spider spins its web near the ground, between bushes or corn stalks with the hub is covered by a dense white tissue. The spider itself sits in another web, which has a bowl-like shape, is open upward and attached near to the upper edge of dry plant parts, or even larger flowers. If there is interference or danger the oak spider may fall to the ground, returning to its observation post after some time.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Oak spider - Aculepeira ceropegia
2. Oak spider - Side view
3. Aculepeira ceropegia - Back view
4. Aculepeira ceropegia - Front view
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