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Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Banded Garden Spider



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Image Credit: Adam W. from Fort Collins, CO
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Image Credit: Adam W. from Fort Collins, CO
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Image Credit: Sandra S. from Yakima, WA
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Image Credit: Holley H. from Newark, OH
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Image Credit: Danny R. from Promontory, UT
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Image Credit: Adam W. from Fort Collins, CO
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Image Credit: Holley H. from Newark, OH
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Image Credit: Sandra S. from Yakima, WA
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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.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 others 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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Striped or banded insect icon
Venomous insect icon
Webspinner insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Araneidae
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          Genus: Argiope
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            Species: trifasciata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Argiope trifasciata
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 25mm (0.15" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; yellow; brown
Descriptors: stripes, bands, venomous, web
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 4mm and 25mm
Lo: 4mm
Md: 14.5mm
Hi: 25mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Banded Garden Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Banded Garden Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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