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Species Argiope aurantia - Black-and-Yellow Argiope

garden spider - Argiope aurantia black and yellow spider - Argiope aurantia Black and Yellow Argiope - Argiope aurantia - female Black and Yellow Argiope, with prey - Argiope aurantia - female Black & Yellow Argiope - Argiope aurantia - Argiope aurantia - female gardenSpider - Argiope aurantia Female with prey - Argiope aurantia Black and Yellow Argiope - Argiope aurantia Black and Yellow Argiope - Argiope aurantia Spider - Argiope aurantia Male Black & Yellow Argiope Portrait - Argiope aurantia - male Pair of Black & Yellow Argiopes - Argiope aurantia - male - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynes )
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)
Genus Argiope
Species aurantia (Black-and-Yellow Argiope)
Other Common Names
Golden Orb-weaver (California) - see forum discussion
Yellow Garden Spider
Yellow Garden Orbweaver
Writing Spider
Black & Yellow Argiope
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833
Size
female: 14-25 mm
male: 5-6 mm (sizes do not include legs)
Identification
Stabilimentum (reinforced area) in web makes a vertical zigzag band above and below the middle of the web. Juveniles make a circular stabilimentum in the center of the web.

Female epigyne/scape


The normal colors are black and yellow -
but there can be significant variation
Range
Much of temperate North America: southern Canada, through most of the lower 48 states. Also found south through Mexico to Costa Rica. Uncommon in parts of Rocky Mountains, Great Basin.
Habitat
Gardens, old fields
Season
Noted most in late summer and early fall, when large females are found in webs.
Food
Carnivorous
Life Cycle
Life starts with the egg case:
...which produce masses of spiderlings:
though sometimes they are parasitized:
An immature will camouflage itself in the stabilimentum, an area of heavy silk:
The spiders, both immature and mature hang head down in their webs
which have that familiar zigzag pattern
To grow they must shed their exoskeleton: Richard's fabulous
...and, of course, eat:
VJ talks about how they vibrate their webs, testing for captured prey?
Sometimes they lose legs, but can regenerate them:
And then it's time for the cycle to close, with the female preparing her egg case:
Remarks
Despite bright colors this spider is not a danger to humans. It is very unlikely to bite unless severely provoked, and in that case the bite would be probably no worse than a bee sting.

Images of female - ventral: - frontal:
- lateral:
Images of male: - ventral:
Closeup of palps - male reproductive organs:
Images with male and female for comparison:
Print References
Jackman, pp. 75-76, plate 9 (1)
Levi, p. 68 (2)
Marshall and Edwards, p. 40 (3)
Internet References
Animal Diversity Web an extensive article from the University of Michigan
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Spiders and Scorpions of Texas
John A. Jackman. 2002. Gulf Publishing.
2.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.
3.Florida's Fabulous Spiders
Sam Marshall, G. B. Edwards. 2002. World Publications.