Black and Yellow Argiope

Argiope aurantia

Mark Moran

The Black and Yellow Argiope is a common orb web spider. Orb web means it spins a web like a circle.

Female spiders are much larger than males, growing almost an inch and a half long. Males grow about 3/4 inch long. Both spiders have a cephalothorax (small front body section) with silver hairs on it. The abdomen (large back section) is egg-shaped with black and yellow coloring.

Legs of these spiders are black with red or yellow bands. Each leg has three claws on the end.

Black and Yellow Argiopes live in fields and gardens. They can be found on shrubs, tall plants, and flowers.

The web of this spider spirals out from the center and can be two feet across. The female builds the large web, and a male will build a smaller web on the outer part of her web. The male's web is a thick zig-zag of white silk.

William Welch ©a natural selection

Emile Zeringue

Black and Yellow Argiopes eat flying insects that get trapped in the sticky web. The most common ones are aphids, flies, grasshoppers, bees, and wasps.

The spider hangs with her head down in the center of her web, waiting for prey to be caught. Sometimes she hides off to the side with a thin silk thread attched to her web. When an insect hits the web, the spider feels the vibrations and comes running.

These spiders prefer sunny places with little or no wind to build their webs. Each night, they eat their web and build a new one.

After mating, the female spider lays eggs on one side of the web, then covers it with a papery sac. The egg sac can be up to an inch wide. Over a thousand eggs may be inside.

After laying eggs, the female dies. The baby spiders hatch from their eggs in the Fall, but they stay inside the sac through Winter.

In the Spring, the young spiders leave the sac and go off on their own.

These spiders are most active during the daytime.

Their predators include birds, some species of wasps (especially mud daubers), and other spider-eaters, such as shrews and lizards.

William Engstrom

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Spider Anatomy Diagram
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com
Black and Yellow Argiope's Head Under a Microscope #1
Link to Image
Uglybug.org
Black and Yellow Argiope's Head Under a Microscope #2
Link to Image
Uglybug.org
Black and Yellow Argiope's Head Under a Microscope #3
Link to Image
Uglybug.org

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Red-winged Blackbird

Sassafras

Fragile Forktail FP

Blue Bottle Fly

Wild Turkey

Witch Hazel

Fungus Gnat

Brown-headed Cowbird

Spicebush

Eastern Yellow Jacket

American Robin

Highbush Blueberry

Honey Bee

Least Shrew

Evergreen Blackberry

Differential Grasshopper

Five-lined Skink

Poison Ivy

Giant Willow Aphid

American Toad

Bracken Fern

Clouded Sulphur

Wood Frog

Queen Anne's Lace

Crane Fly

Mallard

Common Milkweed

Black Carpeneter Ant

Garden Centipede

Pokeweed

Pennsylvania Firefly

Organ-pipe Mud Dauber

Wild Grape

Chinese Mantid

Chinese Mantid

Trumpet Creeper

Golden Northern Bumble Bee

Red-tailed Hawk

Greenbrier

Northern Caddis Fly

Common Crow

Switchgrass

Virginia Pine Sawfly

Virginia Opossum

Smooth Sumac

Organ-pipe Mud Dauber

White-breasted Nuthatch

Red Clover

Fragile Forktail

Striped Skunk

Goldenrod

Carolina Chickadee

Bull Thistle

Common Yellowthroat

Spotted Jewelweed

Relationship to Humans:

Black and Yellow Garden Spiders are harmless to humans. Because they are large, many people fear them; however, not only are they harmless, but they do a lot of good. These spiders eat large amounts of insect pests, such as flies, mosquitoes, and aphids.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Arachnid
ORDER
Araneae
FAMILY
Araneidae
GENUS
Argiope
SPECIES
Argiope aurantia

QUICK LINKS

Organism Menu
Home
Glossary
Student Activities
Relationships
Classification Info
How to Use This Site
Bibliography