BLACK AND YELLOW ARGIOPE

Argiope aurantia

ORB WEAVER FAMILY (Araneidae)


Description
This is one of our largest spiders; the female grows to 1 1/8th inches long. The male is much smaller and skinnier, hangs around the edge of the female's web, but is seldom seen. The abdomen is egg-shaped with bright yellow markings on black. The legs are black, except close to the body where they are tan. This spider builds its web near the ground in tall grass or other low vegetation. It often uses a vertical zigzag pattern (A,B) called a stabilimentum in its web, the functions of which are still being debated.

Occurrence
Considered uncommon in Fontenelle Forest. Look for them on the floodplain in tall grass. We don't yet have data on the occurrence at Neale Woods, but similar sightings would be assumed.

Comments
The female builds an egg sack the shape of a cup, about one inch across, in which the eggs hatch in the fall and in which the spiderlings overwinter. The adults only live one season, shedding their 'skin' (exoskeleton) several times as they grow. Also known as Yellow Garden Spider. Compare with the closely related Banded Argiope (Argiope trifasciata).



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Black and Yellow Argiope

Black and Yellow Argiope

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