Banded Garden Spider (three photos)
female body length 1 inch
Male and female Argiope trifasciata dating with a purpose in mind near Mercur, Utah.. © Carol Davis 9-18-2016
There is a big difference in size between the male and female with most species of spiders,
but somehow this species seems to win first prize, mostly because the female is so large.
I have observed that male spiders in general have to move in quickly during mating and
move out even more quickly to avoid being eaten, so they need to be small and quick.
However, I have yet to see a male Argiope end up as food. © Carol Davis 9-18-2016
This bright lady constructed her web with a "stabilimentum" (zigzag structure) in it. No one knows
for sure what the purpose is but it might make the web more visible to things like birds that might
destroy it accidentally. The females can have a green, orange or yellow cast or be mostly white
like this one. The horizontal body stripes, that this one lacks at present, are also variable.
She is the first Agriope I found near Mercur this day. © Carol Davis 9-18-2016
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