Great crossbreed


August 14, 2022

The large crucian carp (Araneus angulatus) is a spider from the cruciferous family (Araneidae) and the genus Araneus.


The large crucian reaches a size of 14 to 18 mm in the case of females and 10 to 13 mm in the case of males, of which the cephalothorax measures 5 to 7 mm. It is the largest type of crucifer in the territory of the Czech Republic. In the case of males, the bottom is thin, the bottom of females is more massive, with a pair of noticeable bumps in front. The coloration of the species is highly variable. The cephalothorax is dark brown, the color of the rump varies from light brown to dark gray, in males the coloring is usually less pronounced. A dark lobed spot, the so-called folium, develops on the rump, which is separated by a thin white border. White markings may develop on the rump, but they never form a cross. The limbs are dark, with light ringing.


The large crucian crucian carp is a species of the Palearctic region, it occurs in the temperate zone of Eurasia, and its occurrence also extends to North Africa. In the Czech Republic, this is a rare species, scattered across forested areas. The big cross lives mainly in coniferous forests, typically in pine forests. It also lives less often in deciduous or mixed forests, in forest clearings, on the edges of forests or in clearings, rather avoiding synanthropic habitats. The great crucifer weaves large wheel webs to catch flying insects. They can be up to around 1 m in diameter, but they are not very strong. Towards the center of the web, the distance between the adhesive fibers thickens. The net is usually strung between trees, held by a single bridge thread. During the day, the Crusaders are not active. In addition, they often liquidate their networks with a new day, keeping only their basic outline. In this case, they rest at the end of the bridge thread, weave the web in the evening and are active at night. However, young individuals can still be found on the net during the day. Breeding occurs in the summer, the young hatch from the cocoon in the fall and hibernate until the spring.

Taxonomic significance

It is the first species introduced in Swedish naturalist Carl Alexander Clerck's monograph Svenska Spindlar (Spiders of Sweden) from 1757. Clerck described the spider under the still valid name Araneus angulatus. Clerck's work acquires great importance from the point of view of taxonomy, because it was published a year before the 10th edition of Linnaeus' Systema naturae, which is considered to be the formal boundary of the beginnings of zoological nomenclature. The spiders of Sweden are an exception in zoological nomenclature; it is therefore the oldest work that contains valid scientific names of animals. Thanks to this, the large crucian carp is the first scientifically described animal.



External links

Images, sounds or videos about the Great Crusader at Wikimedia Commons Dictionary entry Great Crusader in Wiktionary Taxon Araneus angulatus at Wikispecies