Anyone know the spider this might based on?

I just received this glass spider as a gift and I’m wondering if it’s modeled on any existing spider? It was made in Venice.


looks Nephila-adjacent to me. for example:

(this observation shows one of the N. cruentata morphs from a side view that i think shows many of the same features as the glass spider:


perhaps Spookium halloweenensis


The legs are good.
But the Florentine swirls on the body are pure Venetian glass glory :heart_eyes:
(I do love glass!)
@ajott ?

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Those long-ish spinnerets make me think of the family Macrothelidae


legs almost remind me of but the head isn’t black like your’s is.


I think they were going for some kind of Widow (Latrodectus sp.). Red-back in the link:


Thanks for all the suggestions! IMO the legs look too thin and pointy to be a tarantula’s, and the body not bulky enough. I agree it looks Latrodectus-y, although not like the European species.

I dunno, that’s not in the World Spider Catalog, which iNat follows. ;-)

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is it actually supposed to be modeled on a European spider? i figured it was just based on a random charismatic spider that shows off local glassmaking skills but appeals to an audience that comes from around the world?

there are Widow relatives that have the bandy legs and intricately patterned abdomens. just for example, these would be common all around the world:


Wait a minute. Isn’t there some rule around here that says this is not the place to seek IDs?


I don’t think this counts, as it’s not a real organism and thus not suitable for upload on iNaturalist. Also, the OP is a longstanding member of iNat staff, so he can do what he likes - he’s a member of the group that made that rule!

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Yes. That was sarcasm.


I thought so, but I wasn’t sure.


to the contrary, I think we expect staff and mods to stick to the rules more consistently. But this does fall under miscellaneous musings / humour, which in general can be treated a bit more leniently.

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This lies in the sweet spot of people engaging with nature.
Which spider inspired this art?

Fun exercise :-)

First of all, as far as I am able to judge, it is not a acurate depiction of any really existing spider species I know of (at least not european).

I am pretty sure, it is an araneid spider, due to the overall habitus. For example the form of the prosoma - pretty roundish with an forward extented eye-region - looks justl ike in my favourite taxon Argiope if you look closely

Indeed, I think those Argiope spiders might have been the inspiration… the colouration itself ist not very accurate as there is not that much black involved actually. But the pattern and contrast is cearly inspired by the “wasp spider” Argiope bruennichi , which surely is one of the more iconic spider species in Europe, even non-naturalists might have recognized when out in nature


is it time for a poll?

so far, i see 4 species suggestions (ordered chronologically):

  • Nephilingis cruentata (African Hermit Spider)
  • Brachypelma smithi (Mexican Tarantula)
  • Latrodectus hasselti (Redback Spider)
  • Argiope bruennichi (Wasp Spider)

any other candidates?


The posture reminds me of orb weavers or crab spiders, perhaps? Definitely not a cursorial spider.

The stripy legs

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