Furrow orbweavers have a tan, brown, grayish, or sometimes reddish or olive abdomen with a dark, zigzag-edged pattern down its length, resembling the furrow made by a plow, or a wavy-edged leaf pattern. The legs are banded and have small spines. The front two pairs of legs are longer than the hind two pairs. The carapace is brown, reddish, or gray and covered with fine hairs; the abdomen is rather smooth and shiny (while many other orbweavers are fuzzy or dull). They are almost always seen in their wheel-shaped (orb) webs. The spiral circles of the web are rather widely spaced (compared to the webs of other orbweavers). The males in this genus are very close to the same size as the females, and have about the same patterning. (In other orbweavers, the size and coloration differences between the sexes is more pronounced.)
Three species occur in Missouri and North America:
Of the three, the furrow orbweaver (L. cornutus) is most common in Missouri. It typically looks shinier than the other two, with comparatively shorter legs. A key ID feature is the absence of a dark band in the middle of the next-to-last segment (metatarsus) of the hindmost pair of legs. Instead, there is only a single dark band, at the farthest end of that segment. Also, the zigzag pattern on the abdomen looks smoother, less jagged, compared to L. patagiatus.
The dusty orbweaver (L. patagiatus) looks duller (less shiny) than L. cornutus. The pattern atop the abdomen is variable and causes confusion, but its zigzags look sharper or more jagged than in L. cornutus. A key ID feature is the presence of a dark band in the middle of the metatarsal segment on the fourth pair of legs.
The gray cross spider (L. sericatus; formerly L. sclopetarius) also has a dark band in the middle of the metatarsus on the hindmost pair of legs. This species is grayer and darker overall, and its carapace is usually edged with white. It also has comparatively longer legs.