Banded Garden Spider  (three photos)
Argiope trifasciata
female body length 1 inch

male and female Argeiope trifasciata
Always make sure your gal has a green leafhopper tidbit to keep her happy during
mating season.  Mercur Canyon, Tooele County, UT.  © Carol Davis 9-1-2017

web of the banded garden spider
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 and, as I learned
today, they die shortly after mating anyway.  © Carol Davis 9-18-2016

female argiope trifasciata
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. After
laying her eggs in the fall, this pretty lady will probably also die.  © Carol Davis 9-18-2016, Mercur

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