Argiope trifasciata (Banded Garden Spider)

About Argiope trifasciata

Taxonomic Hierarchy

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

Common Name (Official / AAS)

Banded Garden Spider

Other Common Names

Banded Argiope, Garden Spider

Author

Author of species name: Petrus Forskål. First year published: 1775, as Aranea trifasciata.

Pronunciation

ahr-JY-oh-pee try-fass-key-AH-tuh

Meaning

Argiope is Latin for “with bright face” (Cameron 2005); trifasciata is Latin for “three-banded.”

Identifying Traits of Argiope trifasciata

Size

Body length (excluding legs) of adult female ranges from 10-26 mm; adult males range from 4-6 mm.

Female Primary Colors

Male Primary Colors

Eye diagram of Argiope trifasciata

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 directed forward at rest in web, hind two pairs directed backwards. In female: legs banded in black and brown, or black and yellow, their entire length. In adult males, legs solid light brown or yellow. Each tarsus (tip of leg) has 3 claws.

Body

Abdomen oval, distinctly pointed toward rear. Female’s abdomen mostly white or yellow with many thin black traverse lines/grooves. Adult male’s abdomen mostly white or silver with some shimmery gold highlights. Carapace of both genders silver or white. Adult male much, much smaller than adult female.

Range of Argiope trifasciata

Argiope trifasciata 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 trifasciata is a cosmopolitan species that is thought to be widely introduced to new places via humans and commerce. Aside from the United States and southern Canada, it can also be found in Central & South America, Australia, the Mediterranean region, Africa, Sri Lanka, the South Pacific Islands, and China (Dondale et al. 2003).

United States

Canada

Additional Information

Habitat

Prefers open fields, prairies, and more arid habitats than other Argiope species.

Web

Large, vertical, orb-shaped web is usually built close to the ground amid tangled grasses, weeds, and other vegetation. The main orb made by adult spiders can be 2 feet across or more. Web may be decorated with a loose, zigzag band of silk called a stabilimentum. Spider occupies hub (center) of web, hanging head down. The web is usually eaten and rebuilt every day, with the exceptions of the periods around molting and egg-laying.

Season

Males mature in July to mid-September, and females mature from August to late autumn. Maturity can be reached somewhat earlier in warm regions.

Food

Prey is insects that jump or fly and are intercepted by the web.

Lifecycle

An annual species, males die not too long after mating and females become weak and die at the end of autumn. Egg sacs are laid by female in autumn. Egg sac is about 10-18mm in length and shaped like a kettledrum, flat on one surface and rounded on the other; covered in tough, brown, papery silk and suspended amid tangled vegetation at periphery of web. Females can lay more than one egg sac, sometimes three or four. Each sac can contain almost 1,000 yellowish eggs. Spiders “hatch” from their eggs mid-winter but do not emerge from the safety of the egg sac until the following spring.

Remarks

Argiope trifasciata is similar in size, shape, color, and pattern to the Palearctic species Argiope bruennichi, which is not yet known to occur in North America (though we are aware of at least one possible sighting in the state of Alaska, which was never confirmed).

Pictures of Argiope trifasciata (Banded 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 trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Wildcat Bluff Nature Center, Amarillo
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Tucson
  • State: Arizona
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Colorado Springs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Colorado Springs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Colorado Springs
  • State: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Ventral, Webs
  • City/Region: Athol
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Saylorsburg
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Eyes
  • State: Kentucky
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • City/Region: Letcher County
  • State: Kentucky
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Texas
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: MaleMale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • City/Region: Cross Plains
  • State: Wisconsin
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Immature
  • Attributes: Dorsal
  • State: Connecticut
  • Country: United States
  • Argiope trifasciata
  • Sex: FemaleFemale
  • Maturity: Adult
  • Attributes: Dorsal, Webs
  • State: Michigan
  • 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: March 23, 2014

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