Banded Garden Spider 2015

Half Moon Bay, California 2015

Agriope trifasciata is the most common garden spider in the Western United States, according to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Entomology department, though they live all over the country. “Probably their most defining physical characteristic is their body coloration,” said Sewlal. “Their oval abdomen is mostly white with bands of yellow and black, hence their common name.” These spiders have abdomens that are pointed near the rear and covered in small stripes. The female is significantly larger than the male.

Sewlal mentioned that arachnologists have found that banded garden spiders almost always “orient their webs along an east-to-west axis but place themselves in the webs with their abdomens facing south.” This position helps them absorb as much of the sun’s heat as possible. “Temperature is one of the major factors [for] spiders, especially for them to be active late in the year,” said Sewlal.

Like the other garden spiders, banded garden spiders also build stabilimenta. It looks similar to the silver garden spider’s, but is less prominent in the web, according to Sewlal.

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