This large Asian import has settled comfortably in the lush gardens of the Hawaii islands.
Though Hawaiian Garden Spiders can grow to great sizes, they are not poisonous to humans. They actually make great bug-killers in the garden. Originally from Taiwan and Guam, the Hawaiian Garden Spider is an import that made Hawaii its home, and it has thrived in the state's tropical 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, so other Hawaiian Garden Spiders may be found in close proximity. This easy-going arachnid seems to have truly made the spirit of aloha a part of life in this new environment.
Scientific Name: Argiope appensa
Other Name(s): Yellow Garden Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 60mm (0.39in to 2.34in)
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).