Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

yellow garden spider



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How to Identify Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

Family: ARANEIDAE Simon, 1895

Genus: Argiope Audouin, 1826

Species: Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

Origin of Name: The specific epithet aurantia is derived from the Latin aureus for "golden".

Official Common Name: yellow garden spider

Male dimensions A = 2.8 mm 
B = 2.97 mm 
C = 1.97 mm 
Male dimensions A = 5.68 mm 
B = 11.45 mm 
C = 4.49 mm 

Distinguishing Characteristics

Individuals of this species make large webs with a conspicuous, zig-zag stabilamentum (a dense band of silk). Male: Carapace brownish, covered with white setae (hairs). Sternum black with white median longitudinal band. Legs brownish. Abdomen black on dorsal surface with indistinct paired yellowish white longitudinal bands. Venter is black with paired indistinct longitudinal bands. Female: Carapace yellowish-white with brown markings and with silvery setae. Sternum as in male. Abdomen with paired lobes at anterior end, black with conspicuous paired yellow spots, venter black with white margins and 3-4 pairs of white spots.


Canada to Costa Rica.

Collection Map of Museum Specimens
in The Nearctic Spider Database

Museum Specimens in The Nearctic Spider Database

Typical Habitats

The web is built among goldenrod or other high herbs, in open sunny fields, meadows or flower gardens.

Activity Patterns

This is an annual species; males are mature in July and August and females from August to October. Eggs are laid in autumn and the sac is papery, round and suspended among fallen leaves. Young winter in the cocoon and emerge in the spring (Dondale et al., 2003).

Extra Reading

Dondale, C. D., J. H. Redner, P. Paquin & H. W. Levi. 2003. The insects and arachnids of Canada. Part 23. The orb-weaving spiders of Canada and Alaska (Araneae: Uloboridae, Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, Theridiosomatidae). NRC Research Press, Ottawa, 371 pp.

Other Web Pages

Animal Diversity Web (

The Nearctic Spider Database (

Recent Submissions

Argiope aurantia (katy k davis [September 19, 2007])Observation Date: September 19, 2007 Coordinates: 34.1365, -77.9044 Observer: katy k davis
Observation: I have a yard full of these! I love them, so beautiful. I had 6, two of them have disappeared. Left behind a jumble of web and leaves. Babies? I have woods surrounding my backyard, they love it.

Observation Date: September 14, 2007 Coordinates: 40.7914, -95.8733 Observer: P.J. Turner

Two ladies at my inlaws, one is in an old horse feed dish laying on it's side, the other in an old calf feed trough.  Both have laid 2 sacs this year.  At last observance, one of the ladies looked fat enough to lay a third.

Will post pictures when I get them developed.