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Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Banded Garden Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/2/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Banded Garden Spider  
Picture of Banded-Garden-Spider
Picture of Banded-Garden-Spider Picture of Banded-Garden-SpiderPicture of Banded-Garden-SpiderPicture of Banded-Garden-SpiderPicture of Banded-Garden-Spider

The Banded Garden Spider may be a natural compass as well as a pest-controller, giving people two reasons to keep them around in the garden.

This spider builds its orb-shaped web between plants in garden beds. It sits in the center of the spiral web with its body up-side-down, waiting for prey to ensnare itself in the web. It keeps its dark belly facing south, most likely in an effort to absorb solar heat, enabling it to stay active longer in cool weather. Colors vary between individuals. Some are reddish-brown with white bands, while other are black with yellow and white bands. They become darker as they mature. Legs are banded in colors similar to the head and abdomen. The abdomen is wide and round. Their furry carapace ('neck' region) is covered in silvery hairs.

This species, regardless of age, is most active from mid-summer to the region's first freeze. Males are half the size of females and can be found at the edge of a female's web before mating. Egg sacs are brown and paper-like with a flattened side making them look like little cauldrons. Females can deliver a moderately painful bite to humans if she is guarding eggs and feels threatened or disturbed. Eggs overwinter and spiderlings hatch in the spring.

They build their webs low to the ground in gardens, between tall grasses, or between shrubs. Like other members of the Orbweaver family, a zigzagged cluster of spider silk called a stabilimentum can be seen near the center of the web. This can increase visibility for those walking nearby.

Picture of the Banded Garden Spider
Picture of the Banded Garden Spider

Banded Garden Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Banded Garden Spider
Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Araneidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Argiope
       Arrow graphic Species: trifasciata

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 4 mm to 25 mm (0.156 inches to 0.975 inches)
Identifying Colors: black; white; yellow; brown
Additional Descriptors: stripes, bands, venomous

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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