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Argiope aurantia commonly known as the black and yellow garden spider, writing spider, or corn spider can be found in any location where it can stretch its web across a wide span, such as eaves of houses or among tall plants.  The circular part of webs can be 2 feet across.

The web contains a zig-zag of silk in the center known as the  stabilimentum which is thought to either warn birds of the next and/or camouflage the spider. Only spiders that are active during the day constructs  stabilimentum in their webs.

Yellow garden spiders breed once a year. The males roam in search of a female, building a small web near or actually in the female's web, then court the females by plucking strands on her web. Often, when the male approaches the female, he has a safety drop line ready, in case she attacks him. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female.

The female garden spider can have up to four eggs sacs that may contain a thousand eggs each!

A beautiful yet scary creature will help rid your garden of pests!   If you see one and its web is in a location that isn't in your way, leave it as they are not aggressive or poisonous to people.

zig zag web of the black and yellow garden spider
Underside of black and yellow garden spider
Underside view black and yellow garden spider eats wasp
Photo Author: Ingrid Taylor

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia

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