Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)
Description: This brightly colored spider is one of the largest orbweavers that occurs in Illinois (body length, female 19 - 28 mm; male 5 - 8 mm). The cephalothorax is silvery gray, and the abdomen is brightly marked with yellow along the sides and black in the median dorsal area. The dark legs are usually banded near the base with yellow or orange.
Habitat: The large orb web is constructed in tall grass and weeds in open areas and sometimes in vegetable and flower gardens. The web usually contains a vertical zig-zag shaped silk stabilimentum in the center of the web. The function of the stabilimentum is not well understood, however, some research has indicated that more insects are attracted to the webs having a stabilimentum. The black and yellow garden spider occurs throughout most of the United States.
Collection of the Illinois State Museum
Accession #: 1002
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