Stripey Spider

by Sharon Grabowski
(Osceola, Fl)

A friend in Florida fond this spider outside on her porch and she wanted to know what kind it is and if its dangerous?

Hi Sharon, this spider is very dangerous - to insects! These are Argiope spiders, and have this typical arrangement of two front legs facing forward, and the two back legs trailing behind.

Their webs show these fascinating zig zag configurations, most often in a cross pattern at the center of the web.

The female spider usually makes the larger kinds of webs, and arranges herself carefully so as to avoid the sticky parts, which catch a lot of insects for her voracious appetite.

The males will build smaller webs around the edges of the female's web, and are very careful around her, because she's not afraid to have them for lunch too.

The eggs are laid under a leaf near the web, and then the female Argiope will die; sometimes males will survive the winter, but only as young spiderlings can they withstand frost, so if it gets cold, that will be all it takes.

They don't live in the north, only in warm tropical climates.

Enjoy your gorgeous spider with the interesting web, in the knowledge that they are not poisonous or dangerous to humans, they're just doing their job in the garden.


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