Friday, July 26, 2013

Long-legged beauty

White watering this morning, James spotted this long-legged beauty–a yellow garden argiope (Argiope aurantia), also commonly called a yellow garden spider, banana spider and writing spider. She built her web in the front yard among the crape myrtle, woolly butterfly bush and blue mistflowers. Yes, she's a she. The female of this species is ALWAYS the larger of the two sexes. Soon the puny little male will show up at the edge of her web. They'll mate, and then he'll take off. 

P.S. The "zipper" in her orb web has a name: the stabilimentum. Biologists aren't sure of its real purpose, but the thick strands could warn birds not to fly into the web, and/or they might reflect ultraviolet light, which attracts insects.


Chris said...

When I lived in the Hill Country, we used to get these occasionally. It was always a treat, and I insisted on protecting them from the -phobes. Very beautiful spiders. Thank you so much for sharing her.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

One of my favorite species!!

Post a Comment