There are a number of types of Argiopes, and this is one of the most commonly found in the USA. Their range is quite large – all of the USA and southern Canada and even into other parts of the world. They, themselves are of a good size and can appear scary, but they are not venomous in the way a Black Widow is. All spiders have venom, of course, but most don’t bite people. Common sense will tell you not to handle wild spiders since they can bite to protect themselves.
These Banded Argiopes are denizens of fields and meadow, preferring to build their webs in spaces between tangled vegetation. They are fully grown in late September or early October, mate, lay eggs, and then die. The spiderlings hatch during the winter but don’t leave their egg sack until spring. Nature is so clever!
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We should appreciate them for all the mosquitoes and flies they catch!