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Black & Yellow Garden Spider

The Black-and-Yellow spider (Argiope aurantia) is quite attractive and one of our more conspicuous species of orb weaving spiders. Orb web means it spins a web like a circle. The species name “aurantia” comes from medieval Latin “aurantium” meaning “orange (the fruit)”. Other commonly used names for this spider are golden orb-weaver, yellow garden orb-weaver and the writing spider. Females are much larger than males and can reach lengths of 19-28 mm as compared to 5-8 mm for males

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

A black midstripe with four white spots in the center marks the top of the abdomen. The legs are black with yellow-orange stripes. The upper portion of the legs is more solidly colored orange-yellow. The circular webs can be approximately 2 feet in diameter, and the spider can be found resting head-down at the hub, where a zigzag silk band, the stabilimentum, extends vertically at the center.

These spiders build their webs in gardens and in grassy areas near houses. The species is most typically found in tall grasslands. Individual spiders take up residence in a particular area and tend to stay there all season.

The brown recluse spider is not aggressive, and it normally bites only when crushed, handled or disturbed. Some people have been bitten in bed after inadvertently rolling over onto the spider. Others have been bitten after accidentally touching the spider when cleaning storage areas. Some bites occur when people put on seldom used clothing or shoes inhabited by a brown recluse.

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Life Cycle :The black-and-yellow argiope breeds once a year. Adult males roam in search of potential mates. When they find a female, they build a small web with a white zigzag band across the middle either nearby or in an outlying part of the female’s web. Potential males court by plucking and vibrating her web.

After mating, each female produces one or more (usually no more than three) brown, papery egg sacs. They are round in shape and up to an inch wide—each containing 300 to 1,400 eggs. The female attaches her egg sacs to one side of her web, close to her resting position at the center, since suspending the cocoon is particularly effective against ant predation.

The multi-layered wall of the cocoon provides barriers against burrowing larvae of insect predators, though some wasps and flies lay their eggs in A. aurantia egg cases. One study found that in addition to A. aurantia, 19 species of insects and 11 species of spiders emerged from A. aurantia egg cases. The vast majority, however, are eventually damaged by birds.In areas with a cold winter, the eggs hatch in the late summer or autumn, but the hatchling spiders become dormant and do not leave the egg sac until the following spring. Spiderlings generally resemble small adults. Once they mature, males leave their webs and wander in search of females.

Fishing Nursery Web Spider

Black & Yellow Garden Spider

Preventing Spider Bites:Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed. Wear gloves when handling firewood, lumber, and rocks.Be sure to inspect the gloves for spiders before putting them on. Exercise care when handling cardboard boxes.

Insecticides: There are many labeled pesticides for spider control. Some are labeled for homeowner use, while others are labeled only for the licensed, certified pesticide applicator.

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