Argiope aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

About Argiope aurantia

Taxonomic Hierarchy

→ Kingdom: Animalia
→ Phylum: Arthropoda
→ Class: Arachnida
→ Order: Araneae
→ Family: Araneidae
→ Genus: Argiope
→ Species: Argiope aurantia

Common Name (Official / AAS)

Yellow Garden Spider

Other Common Names

Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Black and Yellow Argiope, Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Golden Orbweaver

Author

Author of species name: Hippolyte Lucas. First year published: 1833, as Argiope aurantia.

Pronunciation

ahr-JY-oh-pee our-RAN-chee-uh

Meaning

Argiope is Latin for “with bright face” (Cameron 2005); aurantia, in Latin, basically means “overlaid with gold”.

Identifying Traits of Argiope aurantia

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 14-28 mm; adult males range from 5-8 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Argiope aurantia

Eyes

Total of eight eyes. The median eyes are grouped together in a trapezoid shape, while the lateral eyes are some distance away. See eye arrangement diagram for clarification.

Legs

Legs long; first two pairs of legs held together and directed forward at rest in web; hind two pairs of legs directed backwards. Legs of mature female specimens yellowish or reddish brown at base and black distally. Immature specimens have entirely banded legs. Legs of adult male mostly brown with faded black bands. Each tarsus (tip of leg) has 3 claws.

Body

Abdomen somewhat of an oval shape with two rounded humps towards the front. Adult female: carapace silver or white, top of abdomen boldly patterned in black and yellow, underside of abdomen mottled black with two vertical, parallel yellow stripes. Adult male: typically shades of brown and much, much smaller than the female.

Range of Argiope aurantia

Argiope aurantia can be found in the following states, provinces and territories across the United States and Canada. Our current understanding of each spider's distribution is drawn from numerous scientific publications and online spider submissions, in order to be as accurate as possible. It is important to remember that spiders do not adhere to the territorial lines decided on by humans, therefore these ranges are subject to change.

Important Range Notes

Argiope aurantia is not common in parts of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains, but is pretty abundant everywhere else in the USA and southeastern Canada. Its range also extends south into Costa Rica in Central America.

United States

Canada

Additional Information

Habitat

Typically common in gardens, orchards, forest edges, old fields, and farms.

Web

Large, vertical, orb-shaped web is usually built amid tangled grasses, weeds, briars, and other vegetation, from near ground level to about three feet above it. Web usually decorated with a bold, zigzag band of silk called a stabilimentum. Spider occupies hub (center) of web, hanging head down. Immature spiders may spin an oval or circular stabilimentum in the hub of the web. The web is usually eaten and rebuilt every day, with the exceptions of the periods around molting and egg-laying.

Season

Males mature around July and August, females from August to October. Maturity can be reached somewhat quicker in warm regions (e.g. Florida).

Food

Prey is insects that jump or fly and are intercepted by the web. These spiders can tackle large prey such as grasshoppers and they have even been known to capture lizards (e.g. Cokendolpher 1977).

Lifecycle

An annual species, males die not too long after mating and females usually die off towards the end of the fall, or early winter. Studies have actually shown that the males’ death is triggered upon inserting the second palp into the female during mating (Foellmer & Fairbairn 2003). Egg sac is produced by the mature female spider in late summer or fall. It is spherical to pear-shaped, about 20-25mm long, covered in tough brown silk, and placed on the periphery of the web. Females typically lay 3 or 4 egg sacs, roughly 7-15 days apart. Each sac can contain 400 to 1,200 yellowish eggs, sometimes even more (1,200 in one sac is not uncommon). Spiderlings hatch within the egg sac in late autumn and overwinter inside the protective, insulated sac, emerging the following spring. Argiope are diurnal (daytime active), but might also occasionally feed at night if the temperature is warm.

Remarks

Pictures of Argiope aurantia (Yellow Garden Spider)

General

Female Spiders

Male Spiders

Filtering options are grayed out when we do not have pictures for the given perspective. If you are a spider photographer, you can submit pictures of spiders to help fill any voids in our ever expanding library.
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Athol
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • City/Region: Athol
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Lynx
  • State: Ohio
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Lynx
  • State: Ohio
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid
  • City/Region: Millers River near Erving
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Attributes: Egg Sacs
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • City/Region: NE
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Lateral, Webs
  • State: West Virginia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Attributes: Egg Sacs
  • State: South Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Nashville
  • State: Tennessee
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Mount Solon, Augusta County
  • State: Virginia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Erwin
  • State: Tennessee
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • State: New York
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Tennessee
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • City/Region: Manchester
  • State: New York
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Haverhill
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • City/Region: Stone Mountain
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • State: Mississippi
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Marietta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • City/Region: Chalco Hills Recreation Area
  • State: Nebraska
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: Male, FemaleMale, Female
  • Maturity: Adult, Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Rainbow Springs State Park
  • State: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Gravid, Lateral
  • City/Region: Merriam
  • State: Minnesota
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: High Point
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Sylvania
  • State: Ohio
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Gravid, Webs
  • State: Michigan
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Attributes: Egg Sacs
  • State: Michigan
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Egg Sacs, Ventral
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Atlanta
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Gleason Waterfowl Production Area
  • State: Nebraska
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Lateral, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Attributes: Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Attributes: Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Lateral, Webs
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Georgia
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Oxford
  • State: Alabama
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope aurantia
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: North Carolina
  • Country: United States

References and Further Reading

Various Research Papers

Scientific Diagrams and Keys for Identification

References for the Casual Reader

Species guide last updated: February 19, 2014

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