It was a pretty low key night at a household in Lakeville.  Tracey Dingee was cleaning up from dinner when she noticed a spot on her sweater.  She nearly jumped out of her skin when she realized the spot on her sweater was, in fact, a spider.  But this wasn't a boring Daddy Long Legs.  It's size, coloring, and pattern were unnerving.  Dingee and her family were able to manipulate the spider to their back deck where it escaped through these cracks into the dead of night.

She sent us the photo to see what we thought.  We all agreed it looked like a rare specimen, the kind you might see featured by a fake expert on a Tik Tok video.  So, we decided to go to a real expert to get some analysis on our creepy little friend.

Andrew Sievers, an Associate Certified Entomologist and the president of Profishant is a fan of the colorful spider.  It's called a marbled orb weaver.  In fact, he says he teaches his kids to preserve them whenever possible.  "This is a great spider, a spider that our staff and my family try not to kill.  We move them to wood lines to help protect them.  They also make very cool webs!"

Sievers says that this spider is not a rare breed in these parts of Massachusetts.  They are actually quite plentiful and surprisingly useful.

"These are the perfect spiders to place in your gardens if you have one.  They prey on insects like gnats and mosquitoes," says Sievers.  Luckily, while they look exotic and are a danger to bugs, they are definitely not dangerous to humans.  Their venom is mostly used to immobilize their prey.

Sievers says the marbled orb weavers are masters at web weaving.  In fact, he says the spiders are able to spin a web so quickly that he and his kids will often watch them come together.

"Every now and again, we get calls to come out and kill them.  This is a beneficial arthropod and worthy of relocating and protecting.  We would knock webs down and move the spider in stead of killing.  It is also a pest that loves the sun and very rarely found inside."

You can't judge a spider by it's pattern, I guess.

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