Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Argiope Aurantia

Until this morning this has been "the black and yellow spider who makes zig-zag stitching in her web."
It is amazing what one can learn from the internet!
Two of these female spiders have spent the past month in webs near our front porch steps.
The one above has her web centered in a large clump of sedum which wants dividing [which I haven't done as it hosts a flourishing poison ivy.]

On Sunday morning she had two well-wrapped meals awaiting her pleasure.
This lady spider looks full to bursting, but I have not spotted an egg sack.
Perhaps she isn't quite ready to produce.
The male of the species is a tiny unremarkable creature.
He mates with the colorful large female--and then expires.
While I don't harbor ill will toward males--human or otherwise--it piques my fancy to think of this subservient and insignificant male--rather the opposite of the male birds who out-shine the drabber females.

The sister Argiope has her web fastened from the back edge of the sedum to the edge of the porch.
As I sat drinking my coffee in the nearby rocking chair, a large moth blundered into the web.
The spider plunged toward her victim, trailing a length of silk.  She had her lunch wrapped and secured in less time then it takes my sewing machine to wind a bobbin.
I was delighted to have witnessed  this moment.

Here she is with the newly packaged treat and a spare in the larder.

The lower egg sack appeared several days ago. This morning the spider was resting near a second egg sack attached to the pillar above the first one.
She seemed lethargic and rather deflated.
I read that the spiders produce one to four egg bundles late in the summer and their life cycle will come to an end with cooler weather.

Here she rests, possessively guarding her future spiderlings.

Last week I moved a pot of impatiens which is looking spent and unthrifty.
In a few days this rampaging self-sowed morning glory wrapped almost completely around the pot.

I've had to rip great throttling cords of convulvulus from the grape arbor.
These I have allowed to wander around the nandina and through the leaning hibiscus at the edge of the porch.
Leaving the spiders to their day, I walked around the porch to the old plantings at the side of the car port.  These too are troubled with poion ivy which survived my attacks on it in April.
So many tasks should be completed before the end of the season.
Some days, contemplating the "ought to do" list, I feel as deflated as my resident spider looks.

Here is an interesting article on the life and behaviors of Argiope Aurantia.

I noticed this morning that I hadn't included the link to the spider article.


  1. Compared to me your energy seems bounless. You put me to shame.....

  2. We have those spiders also. Have you noticed that if you get too close that they make their web move up and down, sort of like a trampoline? They really are an interesting spider, and their web very artistic.

    I'd sure hate to have a run in with poison ivy.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.


  3. I know I might be considered weird, but I like spiders. I like bats too. Its only our slithery friends who leave me cold.

  4. We always enjoy the spider webs this time of year, incredible work. Great pictures.

  5. How interesing ...not that I am very fond of spiders ...but I will follow your link to learn more.

  6. Wow! You did yourself proud on these pics. What a story! Granted, I loathe (can't help it) spiders but neat pics!