Hawaiian Garden Spider (Argiope appensa)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Hawaiian Garden Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 7/18/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This large Asian import has settled comfortably in the gardens of Hawaii.
Though Hawaiian Garden Spiders can grow to great sizes, they are not poisonous to humans and make great bug-killers in the garden. Originally from Taiwan and Guam, the Hawaiian Garden Spider is an import that made Hawaii home and has thrived in the perfect climate. Adept at building orb-shaped webs, the Hawaiian Garden Spider will sit in the center, head down, waiting for insect prey to get entangled in the fine silk threads. Most create a stabilimentum, which is a zig-zag shaped line in the web make of thicker bands of spider silk.
Females are much larger than males and are the more colorful of the genders. Males may be up to 4 times smaller in size, seemingly dwarfed by its mate. Males are also brown and drab in color by comparison. Unlike other spider species that prefer a solitary existence, Hawaiian Garden Spiders don't mind living close to their ohana and other Hawaiian Garden Spiders may be in close proximity. This easy-going arachnid seems to have truly made the spirit of aloha a part of life in this new environment.