Spiny Orb Weaver Spider
The famous spider from Charlotte's Web is a barn orb-weaver spider, Araneus cavaticus. Orb weaving spiders produce the familiar flat, ornate, circular webs usually associated with spiders. Orbweavers come in many shapes and sizes, but the brightly colored garden orbweavers, Argiope spp., are the largest and best known.
Orbweavers are generally harmless and can be a nuisance when they build large webs in places inconvenient for humans. Despite their formidable appearance, orb weaver spiders are not considered dangerous.
One of the bright-hued spiders is the spiny orb weaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis. Although not as large as some of the other orb weavers, its combined color, shape, and distinctive web makes G. cancriformis a very recognizable spider.
Though there is a group of spiders classed in the Thomisidae family which are given the common name of crab spiders, biologists placed the Spiny Orb Weaver in the Family Arneidae (known by the common designation of Orb Weavers). Nevertheless, most gardeners in the local area know this spider as a "crab spider" due to its flattened body having spines sticking out from the abdomen.