Spiney Orb Weaver Spider (Gasteracantha canciformis). Found here in Florida most often around citrus trees….both in groves and suburban yards.
Known locally as the “crab spider”due to their crablike carapace, they belong to the family of orb weavers, Arneidae, and are quite harmless.
The Spiney Orb Weaver spins a large and strong web (like the Barn Orb Weaver Araneus cavaticus in Charlotte’s Web) with a distinctive curiosity….random tufts of silk, which entomologists speculate are there to warn birds and flying insects not to fly into the web.
Steven Scott is a photonaturalist blogger based in Florida and Maine. He has surveyed butterflies with Earthwatch Institute in the mountains of Vietnam, tagged juvenile snook with Mote Marine Laboratory in the mangroves of Florida and filmed a BioBlitz insect survey in Acadia National Park. A registered nurse and retired Army officer, Steven believes man is an integral part of nature and travels annually to Vietnam with humanitarian medical teams from Vets With a Mission.