There are several types of Argiope spiders which live in different
countries. They are not considered a dangerous spider but are venomous like
Black and Yellow Argiopes (Argiope Aurantia) are commonly found in
the United States in the Summer months. They
are often called "writing" spiders because of the zigzag stablimentum which
characterise their web. This
lovely spider only has a short life span and once she has produced one or
more (usually no more than 3) brown, papery egg sacs, she will die. The egg
sacs are roughly round in shape and up to 25 mm in diameter; each contains
300 to 1400 eggs
. She attaches her egg sacs to
one side of her web, close to
her resting position at the centre. Each female will watch over her eggs as
long as she can, but will die in the first hard frost, if not before. The
eggs hatch in Autumn ( fall), but spiderlings stay in the sac during winter
and emerge in spring. (Milne and Milne 1980,Heiber 1992, Faulkner 1999).
The St Andrew's Cross Spider doesn't have dangerous venom. Its
bite causes a mild local pain.
The Australian variety is the St Andrews Cross Spider,
These spiders get their name for
the way their hold their eight legs in pairs to form an X shape like the St
Andrews Cross on our national flag.
Argiope Lobata are located around the Mediterranean and is a very common
species in the Iberian Peninsula and is frequently found in zones of high
grass, as well as in little dense matos, in which it constructs its web.
Gea Hepatgon is a small spider, averaging about ¼ inch in length. It has no
common name. Webs are built vertically, but close to the ground, and are
only a few inches across. They can sometimes be seen in the clover fern (Marsilea
macropodia) that functions as groundcover in sections of the garden.
largest and most striking of the argiope spiders is the Banded Argiope
spider (Argiope trifasciata). It is found in late summer and early
fall among shrubbery and in gardens where they make a highly symmetrical orb
web. Females are generally silvery, with dark and yellow striping. Males are
rarely observed and are much smaller than the females. The banded garden
spider is harmless.
This spider is one of nature's many pest control
agents. Its appetite for insects results in its keeping many burgeoning
insect populations in check. As a group, orb-weaving spiders consume
many tonnes of insects every year. You can find silver argiopes among
shrubbery, tall plants and flowers in meadows and gardens. They weave a
distinctive zigzag pattern within their web - an easy way to identify
the presence of this particular species. They are not
considered dangerous to humans although like all spiders can bite.
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