Banded Garden Spider

vigor

Punxsutawney, United States

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Artist's Description

Sony Cyber Shot 100V
Sept. 2012
Pennsylvania
Topaz Adjust/Photoshop 6.0
I walked into some woods by the road to see if I could find anything of interest and as I stooped down to get closer to a mushroom, I noticed something that I had bumped into and it was thing. It was about the size of my little fingernail and not one I would have wanted on me. I did some research and this is what I found out it was.
Scientific Name
Argiope trifasciata
Common Name
Banded Garden Spider
Other Names
Banded Argiope, Banded Garden Orbweaver, Banded Orbweaver
Appearance

  • Size: Body length of mature female 10-26 mm; male 4-6 mm.
    *Color: Top of abdomen variable from silver to white with transverse bands of black, brown, and/or yellow. Trident mark frequently evident as well, the “tines” pointing to the hind end of the abdomen; underside of abdomen mottled black or brown with two parallel, vertical yellow stripes; carapace silver; legs strongly banded with black and yellow.
  • Eyes: Eye arrangement typical of orb weavers. Total of eight eyes.
    *Legs: Legs long; first two pairs of legs directed forward at rest in web, hind two pairs directed backwards.
    *Body: Abdomen oval, distinctly pointed toward rear.
    Habitat

Prefers open fields, prairies, and more arid habitats than other Argiope species.
Web

Large, vertical, orb-shaped web is usually built close to the ground amid tangled grasses, weeds, and other vegetation. The main orb made by adult spiders can be 2 feet across or more. Web may be decorated with a loose, zigzag band of silk called a stabilimentum. Spider occupies hub (center) of web, hanging head down. The web is usually eaten and rebuilt every day, with the exceptions of the periods around molting and egg laying.
Active in

Daytime (diurnal).
Season

Males mature in July to mid-September, and females mature from August to late autumn. Maturity can be reached somewhat earlier in warm regions.
Food

Prey is insects that jump or fly and are intercepted by the web.
Life Cycle

An annual species, males die not too long after mating and females die off when the first frost hits. Egg sacs are laid by female in autumn. Egg sac is about 10-18mm in length and shaped like a kettledrum, flat on one surface and rounded on the other; covered in tough, brown, papery silk and suspended amid tangled vegetation at periphery of web. Females can lay more than one egg sac, sometimes three or four. Each sac can contain almost 1,000 yellowish eggs. Spiders ‘hatch’ from their eggs mid-winter but do not emerge from the safety of the egg sac until the following spring.

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common garden spider nature woods vigor

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