Ugly Spider

Carolyn Stables (PAS Member) found this in her garden:

More Information on the Spider:

Species Argiope argentata – Silver Argiope

Argiope argentata - male Argiope argentata in web - Argiope argentata Florida Garden Orbweaver - Argiope argentata Hatchlings - Argiope argentata Spider in the lemon tree - Argiope argentata Silver Garden Spider  - Argiope argentata Argiope argentata Argiope argentata

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynes )
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)
Genus Argiope
Species argentata (Silver Argiope)

Other Common Names
Silver Argiope
Silver Garden Orbweaver


Explanation of Names
argentata = silvery

females average 12 mm, males average 4 mm.

Posterior half of the top side of the abdomen is dark-colored with “windows” of white. The division between the light-colored front half and the dark-colored back half is usually straight and unbroken.

These orbweavers place a conspicuous zigzagging white silk banner in their webs called the “stabilimentum” which can be used to identify the species. In this species four stabilimenta form a cross in the web of mature spiders. Juveniles of many species, including this one, spin a spiralling stabilimentum from the center of the web. The function of the stabilimentum is not fully understood. Hypotheses are; that it stabilizes the web, or makes it more apparent to birds which will thus not fly into and wreck it, or it reflects light to attract insect prey, or perhaps most likely helps to camouflage the spider in the web.

CA, TX, FL (mostly in southernmost parts of those states). There’s also one data point from AZ. (Levi, 2004)
Garden orbweavers rebuild their webs each morning in their typical habitat, field edges, open woods and gardens.
Print References
Florida’s Fabulous Spiders (1)

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