Saturday, August 11, 2007

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

After a bike ride this morning I found this huge spider on my bedroom window. The body and head are over an inch long! I've seen them before but always in more rural areas. It's a Black and Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia). This one is a female (the males are much smaller). This genus has species all over the world. They are known for their bright colors, large size, and the interesting zig-zag patterns they weave into their webs. The purpose of these patterns is not currently known. One theory is that it makes the web more visible to large animals so they will be less likely to walk into the web and damage it. Here's another account of this species.

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