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Araneus gemmoides, commonly known as the jewel spider (a name shared with Austracantha minax) and cat-faced spider (a name shared with Araneus gemma), is a common outdoor orb-weaver spider found in the USA and Canada. They are considered harmless and have low-toxicity venom. A. gemmoides are useful natural predators for insects.
A. gemmoides make their webs near lights, closed spaces, and on the sides of buildings. They can also be found under wood, overhangs, or guarded places such as animal burrows. They come in varying colors but are easily identified by the two horn shaped growths on their relatively large abdomen. Their color changes from summer to winter.
The female will die within days of laying a single egg sac with hundreds of eggs. Egg sacs can survive overwinter, and the emerging spiderlings will eat their brothers and sisters. The babies ride strands of silk in warm air currents, able to transport them to locations miles away.
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