Spider webs are far more visible when they’re covered with dew, and this morning I saw scores of them filling the low foliage of a local meadow.
Although many different spiders build many different kinds of webs (and some don’t build webs at all), it’s orb webs like these that most people probably think of as “typical” spider webs. These particular structures are built by individuals in several spider families, but they’re most often associated with orb weavers (Araneidae).
The webs I observed appeared to have been built by banded argiopes (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata). Large females were resting in the middle of many of them, still sluggish in the cold morning air.
These spiders are widespread throughout much of North America. As shown here, mature adults are particularly common in old fields and meadows in the late summer and autumn. Several similar species are also widespread in similar environments, especially black-and-yellow argiopes (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope aurantia).