Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yellow Garden Argiope

yellow garden argiope in web with stabilimentum The yellow garden argiope, Argiope aurantia, is a large orb weaver spider. The body of the female argiope ranges from 19 to 28 mm long. As with many spiders the male is much smaller with a body length of only 5 to 8 mm. The yellow garden argiope is a diurnal spider, which means that they are active during the day. Each morning they construct a large web, often with a zig zag pattern, called a stabilimentum, down the middle, you can see a small example below the spider in the photo above. No one is sure what the purpose of the stabilimentum is but there are several theories including; camouflage for the spider sitting in the middle of the web, attracting insect prey by reflecting ultraviolet light, and a warning to larger creatures so that they do not accidentally destroy the web. Each night the spider will consume most of the web, digesting any tiny insects that might be stuck on the web and possibly recycling the silk so that she can rebuild the web the next morning.

6 comments:

KaHolly said...

Oh, I see and photograph this species all the time. They fascinate me! Thanks for the info.

Roger Owen Green said...

Never saw THAT creature before - great shot.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Paula Scott said...

I have to avert my eyes here! Spiders creep me out even though I grew up with them! These (or something similar to it) in particular since there are out in the yard and you usually don't discover them until you've walked through their web! Eeew!

Meryl said...

Fascinating. I never realized there was such diversity in web construction.

photowannabe said...

That's taking recycling to the fullest.
What a fascinating critter. Spiders are not my favorite but this one is quite beautiful.

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