Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia.  This one is a female.  I don’t recall ever seeing a male, which, according to the link, is much smaller and duller.

The female mates only once, with a male who has been hanging around her web.  The male dies after mating, sometimes being eaten by the female.  I guess the male must actually lose something vital from sex, giving credence to the fear of old-time coaches, who advised their athletes to avoid sex before a contest.

The Garden Spider’s size, brilliant color, and huge, orderly web, help make it one of a child’s first insect memories, at least in the American countryside.  Below are a couple of egg sacs.  Spiders hatch from the egg sac the following spring.


2 Responses to Black and Yellow Garden Spider

  1. Spiders aren’t insects! Insects have six legs, spiders have eight. To group them together you could call them bugs or Arthropoda.

    Great pictures. In spider season I break a web outside my back door every morning.

  2. curiousfarmer says:

    Good point, Alison. I guess I was thinking back like a child, when everything insect-like is called an insect. Eventually someone corrects the child, about the same way you did here. Thank you!

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