The Black and Yellow Garden Spider: Agriope

The Black and Yellow Garden Spider is an orb weaver of the family Araneidae. These are “sit and wait” predators. They are known for their fantastic and artistic webs, on which they wait for unsuspecting prey to become entangled.  Many species in this family also construct a stabilimentum, or extra webbing in a pattern around the center of the web; the purpose of this structure is debated.  Many think that it contributes to the capture of prey, either by camouflaging the spider, making the rest of the web less visible, or as a lure.

The orb weavers are harmless to human kind, though some humans dislike them anyway.  How unfair is that!?

This is the common black and yellow garden spider (Agriope aurantia)

This is the common black and yellow garden spider (Agriope aurantia).  The zigzag pattern on her web gives her other common names, like writing spider.

IMG_5958

The scientific name means “gilded silver face” in Greek. Can you tell why?

IMG_5955

If you scare one of these spiders sufficiently she (the females have the bright yellow pattern visible here) will shake her web violently from the center. It is not known what the function of this defensive behaviour is…it might distract predators, or entangle them in the web.

IMG_5966

I think they look kind of dopey up close.

"Hey guys, what's going on?  Anything cool...that's cool! I'm cool!"

“Hey guys, what’s going on? Anything cool…that’s cool! I’m cool!”

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Black and Yellow Garden Spider: Agriope

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: